The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change your Life and Achieve Real Happiness

My notes

We can't say that our past is the only source of our future, because it would mean determinism.

in Adlerian psychology, we don't focus on previous causes but rather on future goals.

Aetiology is a stufy about cause, we focus on past to explain present. In contrast, teleology is a study about purpose of a given phenomena.

We are not determined by our experiences, but by the meaning we give them.

You are not yielling because you are angry, but you get angry because you wanted to be noticed, anger is like a boost that give you over power voice, thinking etc.

If he thinks, “I can’t __ because I was abused by my parents”, it’s because it is his goal to think that way.
His real goal is “not going out.” He is creating anxiety and fear as his reasons to stay inside.
Why doesn’t he want to go out? So his parents will worry. So he can get all his parents’ attention.
If he takes one step out of the house, he’ll become part of a faceless mass whom no one pays attention to. He’ll end up average, or less than average. And no one will take special care of him.

Good means 'beneficial'. Evil means 'not beneficial'. Therefore there is no one who desire evil. People just misjudge small evil for greater good. Morality or law is in assigning value to every act.

Personality is something that you choose for yourself.
External factors had a significant influence on that choice. But you chose this kind of self.
(Adlerian psychology’s view is that it happens around the age of ten.)

People can change if they want, but for the most time they make decisions not to change.

People do not want to change because it requires courage to change, as change is unpredictable and causes anxiety. Therefore people often agree on stable unhappiness.

[[People can change, but for most time they chose not to because it requires courage and causes anxiety]]

When there is decision on change that can cause anxiety and not change which can lead to disappointed. People often chose the latter.

The lifestyle you have now is like driving your old, familiar car. It might rattle a bit, but you can take that into account and maneuver easily.
But if you choose a new lifestyle, it will be hard to see ahead to the future, and life will be filled with anxiety. A more painful and unhappy life might lie ahead.
It’s easier and more secure to stay broken the way you are.
Being “the way I am” with all these shortcomings is, for you, a precious virtue.

He dreams of becoming a novelist, but he never completes his work. He says his job keeps him too busy, and he can never find enough time.
No! It’s actually that he wants to leave the possibility of “I can do it if I try” open.
He doesn’t want to face the reality that he might produce an inferior piece of writing and face rejection. He wants to live inside the realm of possibilities.

[[People who do not finish tasks, want to live in relam of open possibilities]]

Adlerian psychology is a psychology of courage. One us unhappy because he is lacking in the courage to be happy.

Be careful whenever you hear "if only" as this is a excuse of what you are really afraid of getting. You actually want to be in that state of possibility. You want to have this "bin" for putting your unsatisfied dreams to put on.

Our past experiences influence us, but what determines us the meaning we give them. We must believe that nothing is purely determined by the past experiences.

It is impossible to not get hurt in your relations with other people, and not to hurt anyone. Therefore avoiding such situations is not a solution. The solution is to have a courage to be disliked.

Internal worry does not exist. Whatever the worry that may arise, the shadows of other people are always present.


Loneliness is having other people around you, and having a deep sense of being excluded from them. To feel lonely, we need other people.

We need people to feel lonely. We can be individual only in the context of other people

We can not escape from people, to not feel lonely.


Subjectivity allows you to make your own choice - the choice to view facts as either an advantage or disadvantage.

Low self-esteem is a result of avoiding interpersonal problems. It serve you as an excuse, of not taking dare actions.

We all, want to escape the state of 'hopeless beings'. Therefore, we pursuit superiority. This is what motivates us.

Everyone has a desire to be better, to improve. And the inability of getting to the ideal 'me' lead us into a sens of being lesser.

Feeling of inferiority is not wrong. Feeling of inferiority can provide healthy striving and growth.

Those who make themselves look bigger on borrowed power are living according to other people’s value systems. They are living other people’s lives.

Never approach people with I am right attitude.
If you think you are right, regardless of what other people’s opinions might be, the matter should be closed then and there.

An inferiority complex is an excuse

Inferiority complex is something different than feeling of inferiority. Complex is an abnormal mental state made up of a complicated group of emotions and ideas, and has nothing to do with feeling of inferiority.

The difference in feeling of inferiority and inferiority complex is that inferiority complexes is when we are making up excuses for not taking an action to change the situation.

Bragging — a sign of superiority complex

When one make up a conditions like "If only I were more X, I could be Y". Meaning that "the real me" is inferior to the potential superior me.

Superiority complex is strong feeling of inferiority, with lack of courage to do something to reduce the tension—through healthy modes of striving and growth. Instead, one tries to escape that feeling by showing with powerful (superior) people, associating superiority with them through transitive relation. The same with particular brands. People try to associate with superior brands in hope that they will make them superior as well. It's fabricated feeling of superiority.

When you overuse your past success to cover your current losses is a sign of superiority complex.

There is a difference between saying about your achievements and boasting about them aloud.

People who boast about their misfortunes, and reject help, actually want to stay in the image of misfortune as it makes them unique, and therefore 'superior' to others. They want to be misunderstood, as it makes the special.

There is nothing wrong in thinking that 'no one will understand how you feel'. This is true, a [[Point can't understand line]]. But don't use it to build your self-worth as you will connect your uniqueness to the misfortune. So you will unconsciously seek misfortune in your life.

Life is not a competition, do not compare to others, compare to ideal self

Withdraw from places that are preoccupied with winning and losing. When you are trying to be yourself, competition will inevitably get in the way.

Don't compare with others, compare with one's ideal self.

We are not the same, we are different, but we are equal human beings. We have different values. Everyone is optimising for something else, therefore it can not be compared with anyone else. Treat others as you would treat yourself.

We should not compete with other people, we should treat other people as going in different directions, we should compete with ourselves only.

Comparing to others is bad because you start to think that people are always looking down on you trying to attack you. You can never trust them.

If you have a problem with celebrating other people happiness, it is because you see other people as competition. Their happiness is your relative loss.

Avoid power struggles

People who insult you, wants to get into power struggle. They don't want to get into the truth. They want to feel the winners. ^b004e1

The goal of a child who cut his wrist, is not to make a harm to himself, but to make his parents feel bad. He want's to punish them.

Saying "I'm right" is also telling the other person "You're wrong" which immediately starts a power struggle.

If you think you are right regardless what other people say, then you are also telling the other people that you don't care about their opinions. The whole conversation makes no sense.

Conveying words of apology, stepping down from power struggles is a signal of power.

Objectives of live

There are two objectives for your life. To be self-reliant and live in harmony with society.

Relationship is not about restrictions

Relationship in which people restrict each other eventually fall apart

The kind of relationship that feels somehow oppressive and strained when the two people are together cannot be called love, even if there is passion.

Life-lies are because of lack of courage

We first want to dislike someone, then we find a reason for that, we make up and find his flaws. Why? So we want to avoid interpersonal relationships with them

Separation of tasks

Think with the perspective of “Whose task is this?” and continually separate your own tasks from other people’s tasks.

All interpersonal problems are caused by intruding on other people's tasks

Parents who tell the child that "this is for your own good" are lying. It's for them. They don't want to have uneducated child, that they will be ashamed of. Child senses this deception and rebels.

To tell whose task it is, ask, “Who ultimately is going to receive the result brought about by the choice that is made?”

We can not change other people. They are the only ones who can change themselves.

When we solve child's tasks, we teach them not to confront challenges, so they try to avoid all challenges

What is freedom

Being free is to act according to the highest will, not the inclinations and desires.

Being free is to release from interpersonal relationships. You can not be free if you are afraid of being disliked, or not recognised.

If you are disliked by some people it's a proof that you are freedom. Being disliked is exercising your freedom.

Freedom is when you are not afraid of being disliked.

The goal of interpersonal relationships

Society’s smallest unit is "you and I."

The goal of interpersonal relations is community feeling. Feeling of being surrounded with our comrades—all contributing to the community.

Our happiness or lack of it, is completely dependent on interpersonal relations. If you want to be happy you have to know how to manage interpersonal relationships.

Community feeling is what defines our happiness state

How to feel valuable

Sense of self-value comes not from being praised, or admired but from the sense of usefulness.

The self-worth of a child should be made our of feeling of gratitude, not by comparing them to others. We should always communicate to children that we are thankful that they exist, no matter what they do.

Vertical vs horizontal relationships

We must not allow even one vertical relationship, because it will lead to treating all relations as vertical ones.

The feeling of inferiority arises within vertical relationships.
If you can build horizontal relationships that are “equal but not the same” for all people, there will no longer be any room for inferiority complexes to emerge.

Why do you intervene - intruding on other people’s tasks?
Because you see the other party as beneath you.
Through intervention, you try to lead the other party in the desired direction.
You have convinced yourself that you are right and that the other party is wrong.

Neither praise nor rebuke.
Being praised leads people to form the belief that they have no ability.

Assistance, which is based on horizontal relationships, is referred to in Adlerian psychology as “encouragement.”
Something that helps when one has lost the courage to face one’s tasks. (En-courage.)

Not self-affirmation but self-acceptance

Say you’ve got a score of 60 percent, but you tell yourself, “I just happened to get unlucky this time around, and the real me is 100 percent.” That is self-affirmation.
By contrast, if you accept yourself as you are, as 60 percent, and think to yourself, “How should I go about getting closer to 100 percent?” - that is self-acceptance.

Self-affirmation is when we are bending the reality to our benefit, we are lying ourselves.

Self-acceptance is when we accept what is (the objective truth), but have a courage to improve. In other words is when you accept things that can not be changed. And have the courage to change what can be changed.

The difference between trust and confidence

Deep relationships can happen when one has confidence in others that the joy of relation can grow.

The basis of interpersonal relations is founded not on trust but on confidence.
Confidence is doing without any set conditions whatsoever when believing in others - without concerning oneself with such things as security.
There are people who will continue to have confidence in you no matter how they are treated.

Unconditional confidence is a means for making your interpersonal relationship with a person better and for building a horizontal relationship.
If you do not have the desire to make your relationship with that person better, then sever it. Because severing is your task.

People with neurotic lifestyles tend to overuse "everyone", "always" and "everything". This indicate lacking in "harmony of life", when one sees only part of the whole, but judges the whole.

People who suffer from stuttering are hyper worried about their own way of speaking.

Workaholic are people who focus on one aspect of life. They are like people who make general statements about people based on the few people, rather than the whole. ^e9d4c1

How to be happy

Happiness comes from feeling of contribution. Everyone has to feel being needed. Being of use to someone.

When you gain feeling of contribution, you no longer need desire for recognition.

Wanting to be special


The child that is trying to be especially good or especially bad has the same goal: to attract the attention of others, to leave 'normal' and become a 'special being'.

Pursuit of easy superiority: is when a child takes the easy path of getting attention via bad results. They will probably succeed in becoming “special”. And get attention through the act of rebuking.

[[Child rebel to get attention and become special being]]

The courage to be normal

People are rejecting normality because they associate it with being incapable, while being normal is not being incapable, it is rejecting the desire to being special. We have natural inclinations to becoming special as it is assciated with worth. Therefore it requires courage to be normal, as it's against natural inclunations.

Life is a series of moments

Life is a series of 'now' moments, not a linear line which ends at the 'death'.

Dancing itself is the goal, and no one is concerned with arriving somewhere by doing it.
Naturally, it may happen that one arrives somewhere as a result of having danced.
Since one is dancing, one does not stay in the same place. But there is no destination.

The more you are living now, the more the spotlight is pointing at you, the less you see. But as life is a series of moments, you should life that way.

If life were climbing a mountain in order to reach the top, then the greater part of life would end up being “en route.”

The greatest life-lie

The greatest life-lie is to not live here and now, but in past and future. As long as you are living earnestly now, your life will always be complete. There is no yesterday and tomorrow, there is only now.

The meaning of life

The life in general has no meaning, we are the ones that fill the blank page of meaning of our life, we by our actions assign the meaning to our living.

The life in general has no meaning, we are the ones that fill the blank page of meaning of our life, we by our actions assign the meaning to our living.

No matter what moments you are living, or if there are people who dislike you, as long as you do not lose sight of the guiding star of “I contribute to others,” you will not lose your way, and you can do whatever you like.

if ‘I’ change, the world will change. This means that the world can be changed only by me and no one else will change it for me

Someone has to start, the fact that other are not cooperating donesnt change a thing, it's your task to change. People will change accordingly.