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The Courage to be Disliked - By Ichiro Kishmi & Fumitake Koga

Fear of being disliked
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Do you have the Courage to be disliked?

Are you always living with the hidden fear of being disliked by other people?

“ If I do this, I will put myself in an embarrassing situation and people will dislike me “

“ If I do that, what will people think of me! “

“ If I make a mistake, I will ruin my chance of getting accepted “

“ Because this happened to me in the past, nobody will like me again “

Whether it is dislike, judgement or rejection that we try to avoid, is there something that could be done about it?

Is there a hidden reason deep down to why we have these fears?

Perhaps a different perspective, a different choice, a different mindset will help us overcome this and set ourselves free.

Maybe with the help of a book?

Well, not just any book!

This book is amazing! I have personally read it, summarized it on the wall board in my room, and I’m using it as a daily reflection. 

In this post I’ll be sharing with you my review and experience with the book.


The Courage to be Disliked - by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga


Ichiro Kishimi  - specialized in Adlerian psychology, certified counsellor

Fumitake Koga - professional writer and author


The Courage to be Disliked is written in the form of a narrative dialogue between a philosopher and a young man ( Youth )

Youth : “ ……”

Philosopher: “ ……”

This style makes it EASY to read.

  • You can put yourself in the shoes of the speakers easily by immediately relating to a story/ idea
  • You can see clearly how the characters develop throughout the book
  • It gets to the point of things quickly
  • It keeps you excited about what is yet to come ( you can’t put the book down )

The book is parted into 5 nights.

In every section, the young man visits the philosopher at night and they both engage in dialogue regarding certain topics.


In this book you will learn a lot about Adlerian psychology as the philosopher uses the teachings of Alfred Adler, the founder of individual psychology.


A young man who doesn’t seem to be satisfied with life pays 5 nightly visits to a wise philosopher with the hopes of getting down to the bottom of the matter. The young man enters the study of the philosopher, keen on starting a debate with the intentions of proving the philosopher wrong. 

What is the background of this young man? 

How does he look at life?

Will the wise philosopher retract his principles and resign?

Who will be the first to change?

What is interesting is how examples in our daily lives are used through-out the book which makes it easier to relate to. 

The book covers many stories that help with the comprehension of different terminology that the philosopher uses.


Night 1 : Deny Trauma

Night 2 : All problems are interpersonal relationship problems

Night 3 : Discard other people’s tasks

Night 4 : Where the centre of the world is

Night 5 : Live in the earnest here and now


NIGHT 1 - Deny Trauma
  • Is change for everybody?
  • The significance of one’s past and it’s relation to the future
  • Why we act the way we act in the current moment
  • Is change an instant or slow process
  • What are the excuses we use not to change
  • Who determines our lifestyle?
NIGHT 2 - All Problems are interpersonal relationship problems
  • The reason why we dislike ourselves
  • Why are all problems interpersonal relationship problems?
  • Why do we have feelings of inferiority?
  • Could feeling inferior in certain situations be a good thing?
  • Inferiority and inferiority complex
  • Superiority and superiority complex
  • Is life a competition?
  • How to change our view of the world
  • How to deal with power struggles
  • What are our life tasks and how do we use life lies?
  • Psychology of possession .vs. psychology of practice
NIGHT 3 - Discard other people's tasks
  • Desire for recognition
  • Do we live to satisfy the expectations of others?
  • The separation of tasks
  • Can we get rid of interpersonal relationship problems?
  • Must we seek reward?
  • What real freedom is
  • Is there proof that you are living in freedom?
  • Who holds the interpersonal relationship cards?
NIGHT 4 - Where the centre of the world is
  • Are physical symptoms regarded separate from the mind?
  • What is the goal of interpersonal relationships?
  • The source of happiness
  • Characteristics of self-centred people
  • Small communities and large communities
  • What is the hidden motive behind praise and rebuke?
  • How to build horizontal relationships
  • How to feel that we are of value/worth
  • Self acceptance
NIGHT 5 - Live in the earnest here and now
  • Is excessive self-consciousness any good?
  • Self affirmation .vs. self acceptance
  • What is affirmative resignation
  • Trust .vs. confidence in other people
  • What is the essence of work?
  • How long does it take to learn and apply Adlerian psychology?
  • What is happiness
  • Wanting to be a ‘ special being ‘
  • Is life a line or a series of moments?
  • How to live
  • What is the greatest life lie?


Adler “ weakness can be quite strong and powerful”

Philosopher “ you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink “

Adler ‘ someone has to start. Other people might not be cooperative, but that is not connected to you. My advice is this: you should start. With no regard to whether others are cooperative or not’


Anyone with the following problems

You are lost in life and don't know what to do.

The past haunts you and gets in the way of making daily decisions.

You are hurt by other people on a regular basis.

You avoid interacting with people because you are scared they won’t like you.

You worry too much about the future and the past.

You dislike yourself and others.

You want to change for the better.

You want to build healthy relationships with people.

You want to find yourself, find happiness and live freely.

Of course, there are a lot of ways in how this book can help anybody. 

Every individual is different! 

But, even if we can end the day with one idea that will impact our quality of life, reading this book will definitely teach us something new about ourselves.


Was a Bestseller with more than 3.5 million copies sold!

Reviews were very positive overall, with some stating comments like:

  • Life changing
  • Amazing
  • Powerful
  • Full of wisdom

It has been also reviewed by Mail on Sunday, Emerald Street , Guardian Weekly

Was Ranked #1 on Amazon Uk for: self-help, politics and social sciences, relationships

(as of 05/April/2020)

Ranked #1 on Amazon USA for: free will and determination philosophy

(as of 05/April/2020)

Rankings are subject to change


5/5 stars

A great self-help book based on a branch of psychology ( Adlerian ). It is a great book to gain an understanding of Adlerian psychology and how it can apply to our daily lives. Once you start reading the book, you don’t want to stop.

Personally, I have started using the lessons from the book to reflect upon daily activities. Any small change is a game changer.

However, there was some difficulty in understanding some parts of the dialogue due to having to keep looking up the meaning of some new terminology. It is exciting to learn new words along the way though.

Happy reading :)

Share this with your friends if you enjoyed!

Have a nice day!

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