The Courage to be Disliked Summary

This book is for everyone seeking personal progress and comprehending human behaviour. The book will appeal to you if you are interested in seeking practical ways to better your relationships and well-being. In this article, you will find the summary of “The Courage to be Disliked”, the book that has received favourable reviews from readers across the globe for its unique approach.

Summary and the Main Ideas presented in The Courage to be Disliked

Adlerian psychology emphasises self-acceptance, taking responsibility for one’s life and decisions. Adler offers clarity on a variety of ideas. “The Courage to be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga is based on this Adlerian school of psychology.

the courage to be disliked book summary

Freedom to Overcome the Past Trauma

This idea questions the belief that people are limited by their background or situation, proposing instead that they possess the strength and ability to influence their futures.

Adlerian psychology, founded by Alfred Adler, emphasizes the individual’s ability to choose their route in life despite past experiences. This theory challenges the idea that people are restricted by their past or situation and suggests they can shape their destiny.

Personal responsibility frees and empowers

Instead of blaming others or external circumstances, the book emphasizes that people may alter their lives by taking responsibility for their actions. Adlerian psychology emphasizes courage in accepting change and taking responsibility for one’s life.

Maintaining a Positive Outlook

The book delves into why you must maintain a positive mindset and how a positive mindset can influence your overall happiness. This translates into fostering a constructive outlook that can assist you in navigating hurdles and difficulties more efficiently.

By changing the thought pattern and staying present, you can boost your happiness and ability to bounce back.

“The Courage to Be Disliked” also discusses how a good outlook can affect happiness. This indicates that a positive perspective can help you overcome obstacles.


The book emphasizes self-acceptance and acceptance of flaws. The writers believe that not accepting oneself fully causes feelings of inadequacy and that readers should stop seeking acceptance from others. Embracing one’s flaws and vulnerabilities can boost self-esteem.

Social interest builds Relationships and Fulfilment.

Adlerian psychology emphasizes “social interest,” or the desire to benefit society. Social interest brings fulfilment and significance to life. At the base of Adlerian psychology lies the idea of social interest. It pertains to a person’s natural inclination to make a positive impact on society.

Developing social interest results in more personal fulfilment and happiness. Adlerian psychology centres on social interest, or a person’s natural desire to improve society. This book explores how social interest can boost happiness and fulfilment.

Also read: Getting There by Samir Deokuliar

Being Present Boosts Happiness and Well-being.

To find true happiness, the writers advise letting go of past grievances and future worries. True freedom comes from understanding human limitations and responsibilities. You can improve your happiness and resilience by changing your thinking and staying in the present.

Vertical and Horizontal Relationships

Adler distinguishes between dominance and subordination in vertical relationships. Whereas, horizontal relationships are marked by equality and mutual respect. Horizontal ties enhance good social interactions, according to Adler’s philosophy. 

Same-level or horizontal connections are based on equality and respect, encouraged over vertical ones based on power hierarchy. Healthy interactions require equal and respectful horizontal partnerships.

Embrace Imperfections

The book highlights the significance of embracing oneself completely and accepting imperfections. The authors suggest that feelings of inadequacy arise from not embracing oneself fully. They advise the release of desire for validation from others.

Embracing imperfections and vulnerabilities can help cultivate a strong sense of self-worth and confidence.

Inferior Complex

The authors address the typical feelings of inferiority and how they can affect behaviour and personal growth.

Goal Setting

The book delves into the importance of goal-setting in attaining happiness and fulfilment. It highlights the significance of establishing goals that resonate with personal values and aspirations, instead of fixating only on external approval or achievements.

It also motivates you to concentrate on the journey of reaching goals, rather than obsessing over the outcome. The book emphasizes goal-setting for happiness and fulfilment.

It emphasizes the importance of setting goals that reflect your values and desires rather than external approval or achievements. It also encourages readers to focus on the process rather than the outcome.

The Parenting Job

The authors examine how parenting approaches affect development and underline the importance of encouragement in building a child’s autonomy.

Task Separation

Adler’s theory of “separation of tasks” refers to separating what you can control from what you cannot control. Inter-personal relationship problems arise whenever there is overstepping on somebody else’s tasks.

Therefore, you should analyze critically whose tasks it is and not intrude into other people’s tasks. You can only control and work on your tasks.

  • Title: The Courage to be Disliked
  • Author: Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Year of Publication: 2018
  • Pages: 288
  • Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Author Background Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Philosopher and Adlerian psychologist Ichiro Kishimi along with writer and journalist Fumitake Koga have extensively researched Alfred Adler’s philosophy and applied his theories. The collaboration benefits from Koga’s writing and communication skills.

In comparison to other books on the same topic, “The Courage to be Disliked” offers an understandable approach to Adlerian psychology and practical guidance for everyday application. Some self-help books address personal responsibility and happiness, but few explain Adler’s beliefs.

Other Adlerian psychology and personal growth works include:

“Man’s Search for Meaning” authored by Victor E. Frankl

“The Science of Living” by Alfred Adler


The book thoroughly covers Adlerian psychology and life-improvement ideas. This book encourages you to accept yourself with all your flaws, be unpopular, and follow your path with confidence and purpose.

Alfred Adler founded Adlerian psychology, which emphasizes the individual’s ability to choose their route in life despite past experiences.

The detailed summary covers the topics of the book “The Courage to be Disliked”, including key insights and self-improvement advice. You will like the clear approach and concrete insights in the book, but critics say the dialogue style may not work for everyone.

The book addresses Adlerian psychology and life-improvement. This book will inspire you to embrace yourself, be despised, and follow your life with purpose.

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