The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
My rating: 9/10
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Freedom is being disliked by other people.
All problems are interpersonal relationship problems
Why you don’t like yourself You notice only your shortcomings because you’ve resolved to not start liking yourself. In order to not like yourself, you don’t see your strong points and focus only on your shortcomings. To you, not liking yourself is a virtue. Something that’s to your benefit.
When a client shows up requesting a cure from fear of blushing, the counsellor must not cure the symptoms. She created the symptom of the fear of blushing. She didn’t have confidence in herself. She was very afraid she’d be rejected. And if that happened, she’d lose even more confidence and get hurt. What I can do is to get the person first to accept “myself now”, and then regardless of the outcome have the courage to step forward.
Why do you dislike yourself? Why do you focus only of your shortcomings, and why have you decided to not like yourself? It’s because you are overly afraid of being disliked by other people and getting hurt in your interpersonal relationships.
You’re afraid of being refused, and sustaining deep mental wounds. You think that instead of getting in such situations, it would be better if you just didn’t have relations with anyone in the first place. In other words, your goal is to not get hurt in your relationships with other people. How can that goal be realized? Just find your shortcomings, start disliking yourself, and become someone who doesn’t enter into interpersonal relationships. If you can shut yourself into your own shell, you won’t have to interact with anyone, and you’ll even have a justification ready whenever other people snub you.
It’s impossible to not get hurt in your relations with other people. It is inevitable that to a greater or lesser extent you will get hurt, and you will hurt someone too.
Being alone isn’t what makes you feel lonely. Loneliness is having other people and society and community around you, and having a deep sense of being excluded from them. To feel lonely, we need other people.
You were so afraid of interpersonal relationships that you came to dislike yourself. You’ve avoided interpersonal relationships by disliking yourself.
Feelings of inferiority are subjective assumptions.
If someone else who’s lived the same amount of time I have is so successful, then what on earth am I doing with myself? If I see a friend who is happy, I’m filled with envy and frustration. Feelings of inferiority when it comes to my education and occupation and income and social standing. There’s no point in being alive.
Things would be different if I was taller. As if more enjoyable life were waiting for me. But the issue is really what sort of meaning I attribute to that height, what sort of value I give it. My feelings about my height were all subjective feelings of inferiority, which arose entirely through my comparing myself to others (in my interpersonal relationships).
One good thing about subjectivity: it allows you to make your own choice. The choice to view my height as either an advantage or disadvantage is left open to me. You can choose a new lifestyle.
An inferiority complex is an excuse.
Everyone has feelings of inferiority. People enter this world as helpless beings, and have the universal desire to escape from that helpless state = Pursuit of superiority, hoping to improve, pursuing an ideal state.
You hold up various ideals or goals and head towards them. However, on not being able to reach your ideals, you harbour a sense of being lesser (feeling of inferiority). Pursuit of superiority and feeling of inferiority are stimulants to normal, healthy striving and growth. You try to get rid of your feeling of inferiority and keep moving forward. Never satisfied with your present situation - even if it’s just a single step, you want to make progress, to be happier.
There are people who lose the courage to take a single step forward, who cannot accept the fact that the situation can be changed by making realistic efforts. Who before doing anything simply give up and say things like “I’m not good enough anyway” or “Even if I tried, I wouldn’t stand a chance”. That’s not a feeling of inferiority — that’s an inferiority complex.
Feeling of inferiority: “I’m not well educated, so I’ll just have to try harder than anyone else”. Inferiority complex: “I’m not well educated, so I can’t succeed. I’m not good looking, so I can’t get married. A is the situation, so B cannot be done.” = excuse
Then instead of “I can’t succeed”, you should think, “I don’t want to succeed.”
It’s scary to even take one step forwards. You don’t want to make realistic efforts. You don’t want to change so much that you’d be willing to sacrifice the pleasures you enjoy now. You’re not equipped with the courage to change your lifestyle. It’s easier with things just as they are now, even if you have some complaints or limitations.
The healthiest way is to try to compensate through striving and growth. Studying, engaging in constant training, being diligent in work. // people with inferiority complex don’t have the courage to do that
You can’t tolerate the inferiority complex of thinking, “A is the situation, so B can’t be” done. You can’t accept your incapable self. To compensate you act as if you are indeed superior and to indulge in a fabricated feeling of superiority.
You make the “I” look superior by linking it to authority. It’s a fabricated feeling of superiority. (forms of giving authority: misrepresenting work experience, allegiance to brands of clothing)
People who wear rubies and emerald have issues with feelings of inferiority, rather than issues of aesthetic sensibility. They have signs of a superiority complex.
They are living according to other people’s value systems — they are living other people’s lives.
If you have confidence in yourself, you don’t feel the need to boast. When your feeling of inferiority is strong, you need to boast, to flaunt your superiority. Fear that if you don’t do that, people won’t accept you the way you are.
Some people use their experience of misfortune to make themselves “special”, to place themselves above others. E.g. when they are sick or injured, or suffering heartbreak. They use their feeling of inferiority to their advantage. They try to worry people around them, and to restrict their speech and behavior, and control them. E.g. people who shut themselves up in their rooms, indulging in feelings of superiority and using misfortune to their advantage. Adler: “In our culture weakness can be quite strong and powerful.”
As long as you continue to use your misfortune to your advantage to be “special”, you will always need that misfortune.
Life is not a competition.
A healthy feeling of inferiority is not something that comes from comparing yourself to others; it comes from your comparison with your ideal self.
You’re the only one worrying about your appearance.
When you are conscious of competition and victory and defeat, it is inevitable that your feelings of inferiority will arise. Because you are constantly comparing yourself to others and you think: “I beat that person” or “I lost to that person”.
Before you know it, you start to see everyone not just as mere rivals, but as your enemy. You start to think that people are always looking down on you and treating you with scorn, that they’re all enemies who must never be underestimated, who lie in wait for any opening and attack. In short, that the world is a terrifying place.
Even if you’re not a loser, even if you’re someone who keeps winning, if you are someone who has placed himself in competition, you will never have a moment’s peace. You always have to keep winning if you don’t want to be a loser. You can’t trust other people.
But do other people actually look at you so much? Are they really watching you around the clock and lying in wait for the perfect moment to attack? It seems rather unlikely.
You perceive other people’s happiness as “my defeat,” and that is why you can’t celebrate it. However, once one is released from the schema of competition, the need to triumph over someone disappears.
////// This thought up is what happens when Johnny is meeting with friends.
When you are able to truly feel that “people are my comrades,” your way of looking at the world will change utterly. The world will appear before you as a safe and pleasant place. And your interpersonal relationship problems will decrease dramatically.
Admitting fault is not defeat.
Communication is possible without using anger. It’s not that you mustn’t get angry, but that there is no need to rely on the tool of anger. Irascible people don’t have short tempers, they don’t know that there are effective communication tools other than anger.
Admitting mistakes, conveying words of apology and stepping down from power struggles, are not defeat.
Two objectives for behavior: To be self-reliant To live in harmony with society
Two objectives for the psychology that support these behaviors: The consciousness that I have the ability The consciousness that People are my comrades
Life tasks: tasks of work, tasks of friendship and tasks of love. You have no choice but to confront these interpersonal relationship tasks.
A person not in eduction, employment or training/ a person confined indoors, they don’t try to work because they want to avoid the interpersonal relationships associated with work. It’s not that they’re refusing to work or do manual labor.
Getting rejected by companies hurts your pride. It’s an interpersonal relationship issue.
There’s no value at all in the number of friends you have. Distance and depth of the relationship is what matters.
If you change, those around you will change too. They will have no choice but to change. Instead of waiting for others or the situation to change, you take the first step forward.
When you can think, Whenever I am with this person, I can behave very freely, you can really feel love.
You don’t dislike Mr. A because you can’t forgive his flaws. You had the goal of taking a dislike to Mr. A before hand and then started looking for the flaws to satisfy that goal. Why? So that you could avoid an interpersonal relationship with Mr. A.
You’re making up flaws so that you can avoid life tasks and interpersonal relationships. Running away by thinking other people as your enemies.
Life-lie. Shifting your responsibility for the situation in to someone else. Running away from your life tasks by saying that everything is the fault of other people or the environment.
We choose our lifestyles. It’s our responsibility.
Don’t seek recognition. It’s something to be happy about, but not absolutely necessary. Don’t live to satisfy the expectations of others.
Why do we seek recognition? In many cases due to the influence of reward-and-punishment education. If no one is going to praise me, I won’t take action. If no one is going to punish me, I’ll engage in inappropriate actions.
When you seek recognition from others, and are concerned only with how others judge you, in the end, you are living other people’s lives. It will lead to a life of following expectations held by other people who want you to be “this kind of person”. You throw away who you really are to live other people’s lives.
It follows that, if you’re not living to satisfy other people’s expectations, other people are not living to satisfy yours. Someone might not act the way you want him to, but it doesn’t do to get angry. That’s only natural.
We need to think with the perspective “Whose task is this?” and continually separate one’s own tasks from other people’s tasks.
All interpersonal relationship troubles are caused by intruding on other people’s tasks, or having one’s own tasks intruded on.
Who ultimately is going to receive the result brought by the choice that is made?
Intervening on other people’s tasks and taking on other people tasks turns one’s life into something heavy and full of hardship. Worry and suffering. Learn the boundary of “From here on, that is not my task.”
Your parents approval, how they feel about your choices, is their task.
What another person thinks of you - if he likes or dislikes you- that is that person’s task. You are worried about other people looking at you or judging you. That is why you are constantly craving recognition from others. You haven’t done the separation of tasks yet. You assume that even things that should be other people’s tasks are your own. What other people think when they see your face is their task, and not something you have any control over.
You need the existence of an awful boss. Because then you can say “If only I didn’t have this boss, I could get more work done.” “I don’t want to work, so I’ll create an awful boss” or “I don’t want to acknowledge my incapable self, so I’ll create an awful boss”.
Children who have not been taught to confront challenges will try to avoid challenges. A mother constantly tying the shoes of her child, that is an intervention, and takin the child’s task away from him. Repeating intervention = the child will cease to learn anything and will lose the courage to face his life tasks.
Desire for recognition makes you unfree Desire for recognition = you don’t want to be disliked by anyone.
To not be disliked you should constantly gauge other people’s feeling while swearing loyalty to all of them. That way of living is lying to yourself and continuing that lying to include the people around you.
Separating your tasks is not an egocentric thing. Intervening in other’s people tasks is an egocentric way of thinking (e.g. parents forcing kids to study, meddling in their life and marriage choices).
There is no reason of any sort that you should not live your life as you please.
Freedom is being disliked by other people.
Being disliked 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. It is distressful to be disliked. We want to satisfy our desire for recognition. But trying to not be disliked by anyone is an extremely unfree way of living, and also impossible. The cost of freedom in interpersonal relationships is being disliked by other people.
If someone likes you or not, it’s their task.
You move forward without fearing the possibility of being disliked. That is freedom. Before being concerned with what others think of you, you should follow with your own being.
You don’t want to be disliked, that’s your task. But wether or not someone dislikes you is the other person’s task. You cannot intervene in that.
The courage to be happy includes the courage to be disliked.
“It is because he hit me that I have a bad relationship with my father”, I brought this memory because I didn’t want my relationship with my father to get better. More convenient than repair the relationship.
Many people think that the interpersonal relationship cards are held by the other person. That’s why they wonder, “How does that person feel about me?” and end up living in such a way to satisfy the wishes of other people. But you are holding all the cards. Interpersonal relationships start with oneself. When you are tied to the desire for recognition, the interpersonal relationship cards will always stay in the hands of other people.
Only when you are able to feel that you have worth, you can possess courage. You have true sense of worth when you feel “I am beneficial to the community”.
“I hate who I am, I don’t have confidence, that’s why I am excessively self-conscious. If I ask this question, they’ll probably laugh at me”. You don’t have confidence in yourself. In yourself just as you are. You can be yourself alone, but not in front of others. Make the switch from attachment to self (self-interest) to concern for others (social interest) and gain a sense of community feeling. Three things needed: self acceptance, confidence in others and contribution to others.
Self-affirmation: Making suggestions to yourself, “I can do it”, even when it’s beyond your ability. This can bring superiority complex and lies to yourself.
Self-acceptance: Accepting yourself and moving forward doing whatever you can. “I couldn’t do this, how could I get closer to that result?” It is focusing on what you can change, not on what you cannot. Accept “this is me”. And have the courage to change what you can change.
“If I were to have confidence in someone unconditionally, I would just get taken advantage of”. You are not the one who decides that. It’s the other person’s task. All you need to do is think “What should I do?”. If you are telling yourself, “I’ll give it to him if he isn’t going to take advantage of me”, it’s just a relationship of trust that is based on security conditions.
We are truly aware of our own worth only when we feel that our existence and behavior are beneficial to the community. “I am of use to someone”.
Life-lie of workaholics: “It’s busy at work so I don’t have enough time to think about my family”. Trying to avoid responsibilities using work as an excuse.
A company is just a small part of “work”. Work: hobbies, contributing to the local society, working at home… Only acknowledging company work is lacking harmony of life.
The greatest unhappiness for a human being is not being able to like oneself. The feeling go “I am beneficial to the community” or “I am of use to someone” is the only thing that can give you a true awareness that you have worth.
You don’t decide if your contributions are of use. Thats the task of other people.
Happiness is the feeling of contribution.
The courage to be normal. We want to be special because we cannot accept our normal self. Being normal is not being incapable.
Life is a series of moments that you live as if you were dancing, right now, around and around each passing instant. The dance itself is the goal. You might arrive somewhere, since you are dancing, you don’t stay in the same place. But there is no destination. The goal is the mountain climbing itself, not just getting to the top.
If “I” change the world will change.