1.43 The Courage to Be Disliked

  • etiology: the study of causation

  • teleology: the study of the purpose of a given phenomenon, rather than its cause

  • If you end up staying in etiology, you will be bound by the past and never be able to find happiness.

  • We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences but instead we make out of them whatever suits our purposes. We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them is self-determining.

  • Lifestyle is the tendencies of thought and action in life……In a narrow sense, lifestyle could be defined as someone’s personality; taken more broadly, the worldview of that person and his or her outlook on life.

  • Adler’s teleology tells us, “No matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it should have no bearing at all on how you live from now on.” That you, living in the here and now, are the one who determines your own life.

  • There are two objectives for behavior: to be self-reliant and to live in harmony with society. Then the two objectives for the psychology that supports these behaviors are the consciousness that I have the ability and the consciousness that people are my comrades.

  • Adler made three categories of the interpersonal relationships that arise out of the process of growing up. He referred to them as “tasks of work”: tasks of work, tasks of friendship, tasks of love, and all together as “life tasks”

  • Interpersonal relationships of work have the easy-to-understand common objective of obtaining good results, so people can cooperate even if they don’t always get along, and to some extent they have no choice but to cooperate.

  • People are extremely selfish creatures who are capable of finding any number of flaws and shortcomings in others whenever the mood strikes them……One is running away from one’s life tasks by saying that everything is the fault of other people, or the fault of one’s environment.

  • Destiny is not something brought about by legend, but by clearing away with one’s own sword……the Gordian knot……such intricate knots, the bonds in our interpersonal relationships, are not to be unraveled by conventional methods but must be severed by some completely new approach.

  • As Adler says, Children who are not been taught to confront challenges will try to avoid all challenges.

  • Freedom is being disliked by other people……One neither prepares to be self-righteous nor becomes defiant. One just separate tasks……One move forward without fearing the possibility of being disliked.

  • When one flies into a rage and shouts at another person, it is “I as a whole” who is choosing to shout. One would never think of emotions that somehow exist independentlyーunrelated to one’s intention ー as having produced that shouting voice. When one separates the “I” from “emotion” and thinks, It was the emotion that made me do it, or The emotion got the best of me, and I couldn’t help it, such thinking quickly becomes a life-lie.

Hui: “Holism” way of life. anger: mother and daughter example

  • The goal of interpersonal relationships is community feeling….. a key is how one sees others as enemies or comrades.

  • Adler is espousing that community is not merely one of the preexisting frameworks that the word might bring to mind but is also inclusive of literally everything ー the entire universe, from the past to the future…….Community feeling is also referred to as “social feeling”.

  • The fact that there are people who do not think well of you is proof that you are living in freedom……A way of living in which one is constantly troubled by how one is seen by others is a self-centered lifestyle in which one’s sole concern is with the “I”.

  • Once you know how big the world is, you will see all the hardship you went through was a storm in a teacup……If this “you and I” relationship can break down just because you raise an objection, then it is not the sort of relationship you need to get into in the first place. It is fine to just let go of it. Living in fear of one’s relationships falling apart is an unfree way to live, in which one is living for other people……Do not cling to the small community right in front of you. There will always be more “you and I”, and more “everyone” and larger communities that exist.

Hui: Scale is important. When you look at things at scale, your view of the world will change, hence the world changes for you.

  • Whether we praise or rebuke others, the only difference is one of the carrot or stick, and the background goal is manipulation……One wishes to be praised by someone. Or conversely, one decides to give praise to someone. This is proof that one is seeing all interpersonal relationships as “vertical relationships.”…….We are equal but bot the same, this is horizontal.

  • The more one is praised by another person, the more one forms the belief that one has no ability……Even if you do derive joy from being praised, it is the same as being dependent on vertical relationships and acknowledging that you have no ability. Because giving praise is a judgment that is passed by a person of ability onto a person without ability……When receiving praise becomes one’s goal, one is choosing a way of living that is in line with another person’s system of values……Do the separation of tasks. Then, while accepting each other’s differences, build equal horizontal relationships. Encouragement is the approach that comes next…….You convey words of gratitude. This is an approach to encouragement that is based on horizontal relationships.

Hui: But you mentioned that people shouldn’t live for other’s recognition. So the other person shouldn’t change behavior because of your gratitude.

  • One can feels one has worth when one is able to feel “I am beneficial to the community”.

  • If you consider things at the level of being, we are of use to others and have worth just by being here. This is an indisputable fact.

Hui: I have worth for people who love me just being myself : )

  • Three things are needed: self-acceptance, confidence in others, and contribution to others

  • Self-acceptance: the important thing is not what one is born with but what use one makes of that equipment.

  • Resignation has the connotation of seeing clearly with fortitude and acceptance. Having a firm grasp on the truth of thingsーthat is resignation. There is nothing pessimistic about it.

  • It is precisely when one tries to escape the pain and sadness that one gets stuck and ceases to be able to build deep relationships with anyone.

  • Contribution to others, rather than being about getting rid of the “I” and being of service to someone, is actually something one does in order to be truly aware of the worth of the “I”.

  • It is because one accepts oneself just as one is that one can have “confidence in others” without the fear of being taken advantage of. It is because one can place unconditional confidence in others, and feel that people are one’s comrades, that one can engage in “contribution to others”. It is because one contributes to others that one can have deep awareness that “I am of use to someone” and accept oneself just as one is.

  • People with neurotic lifestyle tend to sprinkle their speech with such words as “everyone” and “always” and “everything”.

  • For a human being, the greatest unhappiness is not being able to like oneself……Happiness is the feeling of contribution. That is the definition of happiness.

  • “Revenge” and “pursuit of easy superiority” are easily linked. One makes trouble for another person while trying at the same time to be “special”.

  • Self-acceptance is the vital first step. If you are able to possess the courage to be normal, your way of looking at the world will change dramatically.

  • Life is a series of moments (called “now”)…We can live only in here and now…If life were a line, then life planning would be possible. But our lives are only a series of dots. A well-planned life is not something to be treated as necessary or unnecessary, as it is impossible.

  • The kind of life that you speak of, which tries to reach a destination, may be termed a “kinetic (dynamic) life.” The kind of dancing life I am talking about could be called an “energeial (actual-active-state) life” (the process itself is treated as the outcome).

  • What happened in the past has nothing whatsoever to do with your here and now, and what the future may hold is not a matter to think about here and now…Don’t confuse being earnest with being too serious…Life is always simple, not something that one needs to get too serious about. If one is living each moment earnestly, there is no need to get too serious…When one has adopted an energeial viewpoint, life is always complete.

  • What is the meaning of life? According to Adler, “like in general has no meaning. Whatever meaning life has must be assigned to it by the individual.”

  • Regardless of the circumstances, we must take some form of action. We must stand up to Kan’t “inclination.”

  • 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. 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.