Corporate training Malaysia - Ezyspark

Learn to be disliked to be happy

Book - The Courage to be Disliked

Hey there, fellow knowledge ezy-sparker!

As the co-founder of a learning platform, my journey has been all about growth through soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

I love reading books and in the last decade, I have been reading mostly non-fiction books and self-help with some recent add-ons of fiction books to improve creativity and sleep better at night (I’ll spill the beans on that in an upcoming blog article).

So, this month, let’s dive into a topic that can sometimes put the brakes on our growth – the quest for being liked and appreciated by others. I stumbled upon, “The Courage to be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga.

It dives into the profound teachings of psychologist Alfred Adler told as a dialogue between a philosopher and a youth, offering unique perspectives on life and especially on personal growth, relationships, and the pursuit of genuine happiness.

Now, let’s break down some of the nuggets I found.

1️⃣ Trauma is a Creation: Shaping our own narrative

Adler’s philosophy challenges the notion of trauma proposed by Freud, asserting that it is the meaning we attribute to experiences, not the experiences themselves, that shape our success.

“We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them is self-determining.

Reflection time: Essentially Adler and this book are talking about the fact that past trauma does not define our future and that it is in our hands to create happiness for ourselves. We should be choosing how our past trauma can influence our present and future.

Obviously seems much easier said than done, and I fully acknowledge that some traumas are harder to overcome than others and for which we might need help.

Nevertheless, I believe in the power of our mind. If we envision our goals and work smart and hard, we have a good chance of achieving them and making them a reality.

2️⃣ Interpersonal Roots of Problems: Navigating Relationships

All problems are viewed through the lens of interpersonal relationships. Understanding others’ roles in our challenges helps us take corrective measures.

“If all interpersonal relationships were gone from this world, which is to say if one were alone in the universe and all other people were gone, all manner of problems would disappear.

Understanding our roles and delineating tasks within these relationships becomes crucial. It’s a lesson in discerning which tasks belong to us and which are the responsibilities of others. For instance, the task of being liked is not ours but rather the responsibility of those interacting with us.

Reflection time: Anything we do in life is linked to an interpersonal relationship, even if nowadays machines have reduced the need to talk to humans for some of the aspects of our lives.

This is a difficult point to integrate into our lives since it is not easy to learn which role is ours to play and which is not.

3️⃣ Disliking Ourselves as a Defense: Embracing Vulnerability

The idea is that self-dislike often serves a purpose, acting as a defense mechanism against facing more significant pains.

“Why do you dislike yourself? Why do you focus only on your shortcomings, and why have you decided to not start liking yourself? It’s because you are overly afraid of being disliked by other people and getting hurt in your interpersonal relationships.”

Reflection time: We need to first accept ourselves and then have the courage to change and face potential rejections in life. Instead, sometimes we use our weakness as an excuse not to take a step forward in a direction that requires courage.

It’s best to face our imperfections with courage, acknowledging that the path to personal growth often involves confronting our vulnerabilities.

4️⃣ Freedom in Disapproval: Embracing Authenticity Over Universal Approval

Real freedom lies in being okay with others disliking us. Authenticity prevails over the need for universal approval.

“In short, that “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.”

Reflection time: Being authentic means being able to accept that people might not agree with your stance and might criticize you. This means you might get disliked. I prefer to live in authenticity rather than with a fake mask to please others. The choice to be genuine, to express one’s true self, carries a unique kind of freedom.

5️⃣ Do not seek recognition from others: Unveiling the Pursuit of Intrinsic Value

“When one seeks recognition from others and concerns oneself only with how one is judged by others, in the end, one is living other people’s lives.”

Reflection time: The stronger the need to be recognized the more we lose our own self and we try to change and adapt to fit other’s people expectations.

While I agree with the fact that seeking recognition could harm us, it is nice to receive appreciation or recognition, but it should not be the goal, or else we risk not living our lives like we would like to.

An example could be you do what our parents expect us to study a particular field or do a specific job. Not always their expectations and ours will match. They are looking at our best with their own lens of life, perhaps reducing risks and maximizing stability or happiness. But what if instead, we are looking through different lenses which could have values such as adventure, flexibility, and continuous growth?

To be free we need to cut ourselves from the desire to be recognized.

5️⃣ Feeling of use to someone to be Happy: The Art of Contribution

“People can be truly aware of their worth only when they are able to feel “I am of use to someone.” However, it doesn’t matter if the contribution one makes at such a time is without any visible form. It is enough to have the subjective sense of being of use to someone, that is to say, a feeling of contribution. And then the philosopher arrives at the following conclusion: Happiness is the feeling of contribution. There certainly seemed to be aspects of the truth there. But is that really all that happiness is? Not if it’s the happiness I’m searching for!”

Reflection time: Contributing to others, in various forms, becomes a cornerstone in the pursuit of happiness. It emphasizes the importance of establishing boundaries, focusing on our tasks, embracing authenticity, and acknowledging the potential for disapproval as essential components for genuine happiness.

In conclusion, the journey toward freedom, as illuminated by “The Courage to be Disliked,” involves freeing ourselves from the desire for universal recognition. It encourages us to live authentically—accepting ourselves, navigating interpersonal relationships with wisdom, embracing vulnerability, and finding happiness in contributing to others.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment below.

🚀 #CourageToBeDisliked #AuthenticLiving #HappinessQuest

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