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Issue #86: The Courage to Be Disliked

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Book Freak

May 31 · Issue #86 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books


Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th-century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors explain how we are all free to determine our own future free of the shackles of past experiences, doubts, and the expectations of others. It’s a philosophy that’s profoundly liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change and to ignore the limitations that we and those around us can place on ourselves.

Don't live to satisfy the expectations of others
“The courage to be happy also includes the courage to be disliked. When you have gained that courage, your interpersonal relationships will all at once change into things of lightness.”
Don't let competition get in the way
“YOUTH: Have you become free from all forms of competition?
PHILOSOPHER: Of course. I do not think about gaining status or honor, and I live my life as an outsider philosopher without any connection whatsoever to worldly competition.
YOUTH: Does that mean you dropped out of competition? That you somehow accepted defeat?
PHILOSOPHER: No. I withdrew from places that are preoccupied with winning and losing. When one is trying to be oneself, competition will inevitably get in the way.”
Use your own yardstick
“Being praised essentially means that one is receiving judgment from another person as ‘good.’ And the measure of what is good or bad about that act is that person’s yardstick. If receiving praise is what one is after, one will have no choice but to adapt to that person’s yardstick and put the brakes on one’s own freedom.”
Don't worry about other people looking at you
“You are worried about other people looking at you. You are worried about being judged by other people. That is why you are constantly craving recognition from others. Now, why are you worried about other people looking at you, anyway? Adlerian psychology has an easy answer. You haven’t done the separation of tasks yet. You assume that even things that should be other people’s tasks are your own. Remember the words of the grandmother: ‘You’re the only one who’s worried how you look.’ Her remark drives right to the heart of the separation of tasks. What other people think when they see your face — that is the task of other people and is not something you have any control over.”
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