The Courage to be Disliked – Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

I picked up this book because honestly, most of the time, I feel as though I spend a lot of my time thinking about what people think of me. Sometimes, unknowingly and knowingly, my actions, my behavior, and my thoughts depend on others or are about others – more so than I would like them to be. This book was kind of overwhelming because so many points seem to contradict each other or just seem too impossible to implement. Ultimately, it is my decision and my choice that will allow me to become the person I would like to be.

One thing that stood out to me in this book was that the experience of a horrible calamity or abuse during childhood or other such incidents does not influence the forming of a personality; their influences are strong. But the important thing is that nothing is determined by those influences. We determine our own lives according to the meaning we give to those past experiences. Your life is not something that someone gives you, but something you choose yourself, and you are the one who decides how you live.

I took my time reading this book because there was a lot to take in. My highlights won’t do justice so I recommend reading this for yourself and finding what helps you, what you agree or disagree with, and what resonates with you and who you want to be.


  1. None of us live in an objective world, but instead in a subjective world that we ourselves have given meaning to. The world you see is different from the one I see, and it’s impossible to share your world with anyone else.
  2. Freedom is being disliked by other people. It’s that you are disliked by someone – it is proof that you are exercising your freedom and living in freedom and a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles.
  3. If we focus only on past causes and try to explain things solely through cause and effect, we end up with determinism. Because what this says is that our present and our future have already been decided by past occurrences, and are unalterable.
  4. This is the difference between aetiology (the study of causation) and teleology (the study of the purpose of a given phenomenon, rather than its cause). Everything you have been telling me is based in aetiology. As long as we stay in aetiology, we will not take a single step forward.
  5. We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them is self-determining.
  6. Anger is a more impulsive emotion. Anger is a tool that can be taken out as needed. It can be put away the moment the phone rings and pulled out again after one hangs up.
  7. Anger is a means for achieving a goal – a form of communication. But, we can convey our thoughts and intentions and be accepted without any need for anger.
  8. People are not driven by past causes but move toward goals that they themselves set.
  9. Why are you rushing for answers? You should arrive at answers on your own, and not rely upon what you get from someone else. Answers from others are nothing more than stopgap measures; they’re of no value.
  10. I do not think I would like to a different person and I accept who I am.
  11. The important thing is not what one is born with, but what use one makes of that equipment.
  12. But no one, not even the most hardened criminal, becomes involved in crime purely out of a desire to engage in evil acts. Every criminal has an internal justification for getting involved in crime. A dispute over money leads someone to engage in murder, for instance. To the perpetrator, it is something for which there is a justification, and which can be restated as an accomplishment of good. Of course, this is not good in a moral sense, but good in the sense of being “of benefit to oneself.”
  13. It is not because you were born into unhappy circumstances or ended up in an unhappy situation. It’s that you judged being unhappy to be good for you.
  14. People are constantly selecting their lifestyles. But why are we still unable to change? It is because you are making the persistent decision not to change your lifestyle.
  15. Life just seems complicated because I make it complicated, all of which is what makes it difficult for me to live happily.
  16. Don’t forget, it’s basically impossible to not get hurt in your relations with other people. When you enter into interpersonal relationships, it is inevitable that to a greater or lesser extent you will get hurt, and you will hurt someone too.
  17. To get rid of one’s problems, all one can do is live in the universe all alone. But one can’t do such a thing.
  18. The one who boasts does so only out of a feeling of inferiority. If one really has confidence in oneself, one doesn’t feel the need to boast.
  19. We are not the same, but we are equal.
  20. It should be enough to just keep moving in a forward direction, without competing with anyone. But, we’ll always compare ourselves to other people no matter what.
  21. But a healthy feeling of inferiority is not something that comes from comparing oneself to others, but from one’s comparison with one’s ideal self.
  22. Do not answer action with a reaction.
  23. If you think you are right, regardless of what other people’s opinions might be, the matter should be closed then and there. However, many people will rush into a power struggle, and try to make others submit to them. And that is why they think of admitting a mistake as admitting defeat.
  24. Because of one’s mindset of not wanting to lose, one is unable to admit one’s mistake, the result being that one ends up choosing the wrong path. Admitting mistakes, conveying words of apology, and stepping down from power struggles – none of these things is defeat. The pursuit of superiority is not something that is carried out through competition with other people.
  25. It’s only when we take away the lenses of competition and winning and losing that we can begin to correct and change ourselves.
  26. Instead of waiting for others to change or waiting for the situation to change, you take the first step to forward yourself.
  27. If the person seems to be happy, one can openly celebrate that condition – that is love. Relationships in which people restrict each other eventually fall apart.
  28. When one can think, “whenever I am with this person, I can behave very freely, one can really feel love.
  29. If two people want to live together on good terms, they must treat each other as equal personalities.
  30. No matter how distressful the relationship, you must not avoid or put off dealing with it. Even if in the end you’re going to cut it off with scissors, first you have to face it.
  31. The person feels this way because at some stage she has resolved to herself, “I want to end this relationship,” she has been looking around for the material with which to end it. The other person hasn’t changed at all. It is her own goal that has changed.
  32. People are extremely selfish creatures who are capable of finding any number of flaws and shortcomings in others whenever the mood strikes them.
  33. If one takes appropriate action, one receives praise. If one takes inappropriate action, one receives punishment. Adler was very critical of education by reward and punishment. It leads to mistake lifestyles in which people think, “If no one is going to praise me, I won’t take appropriate action and if no one is going to punish me, I’ll engage inappropriate action, too.”
  34. We are not living to satisfy other people’s expectations.
  35. Do not behave without regard for others.
  36. You are the only one who can change yourself.
  37. Intervening in other people’s tasks and taking on other people’s tasks turns one’s life into something heavy and full of hardship. If you are leading a life of worry and suffering – which stems from interpersonal relationships – first, learn the boundary of “from here on, that is not my task.” And discard other people’s tasks. That is the first step toward lightening the load and making life simpler.
  38. You are using the term “desire for recognition,” but what you are really saying is that you don’t want to be disliked by anyone.
  39. Not wanting to be disliked by other people. To human beings, this is an entirely natural desire and an impulse.
  40. You want to be thought well of by others, and that is why you worry about the way they look at you. That is not concern for others – it is nothing but attachment to self.
  41. People who have concern for only for themselves think that they are at the center of the world. To such people, others are merely people who will do something for me. They half-genuinely believe that everyone else exists to serve them, and should give precedence to their feelings.
  42. One needs to think not “what will this person give me? but rather, “what can I give to this person? That is the commitment to the community.
  43. Praises are given in order to manipulate. Whether we praise or rebuke others, the only difference is one of the carrot or the stick, and the background goal is manipulation.
  44. Being praised is what leads people to form the belief that they have no ability. The more one is praised by another person, the more on forms the belief that one has no ability.
  45. Someone has to start. Other people might not be cooperative, but that is not connected to you. You should start. With no regard to whether others are cooperative or not.
  46. There is no such thing as a one hundred percent person.
  47. We do not lack ability. We just lack courage.
  48. When one is sad, one should be sad to one’s heart’s content. It is precisely when one tries to escape the pain and sadness that one gets stuck and ceases to be able to build deep relationships with anyone.
  49. We can believe. And we can doubt. But we are aspiring to see others as our comrades. To believe or to doubt – the choice should be clear.
  50. The two objectives for behavior: to be self-reliant and to live in harmony with society. The two objectives for the psychology that supports these behaviors: the consciousness that I have the ability and the consciousness that people are my comrades.
  51. It is the person who attacks you who has the problem.
  52. It doesn’t matter if the contribution is not a visible one.
  53. All we need is the subjective sense that “I am of use to someone,” or in other words, ” a feeling of contribution.
  54. Happiness is the feeling of contribution. That is the definition of happiness.
  55. You are probably rejecting normality because you equate being normal with being incapable. Being normal is not being incapable. One does not need to flaunt one’s superiority.
  56. Live like you’re dancing.
  57. To shine a spotlight on here and now is to go about doing what one can do now, earnestly and conscientiously.
  58. If one is living each moment earnestly, there is no need to get too serious.
  59. Life is always complete.
  60. As long as you are dancing, you will get somewhere.
  61. If I change, the world will change. No one else will change the world for me.
  62. There are encounters in which a book one happens to pick up one day ends up completely altering one’s landscape the following morning.
What you are lacking is the courage to be happy.
*I take no credit for any of these points.

Recommend me a book

No horror books, please!!