Contents Authors    Note Introduction THE FIRST NIGHT   Deny Trauma The Unknown Third Giant Why People Can Change Trauma D...
Braggarts Have Feelings of Inferiority Life Is Not a Competition You   re the Only One Worrying About Your Appearance From...
The Goal of Interpersonal Relationships Is a Feeling of Community Why Am I Only Interested In Myself  You Are Not the Cent...
The Greatest Life-Lie Give Meaning to Seemingly Meaningless Life Afterword About the Authors
Authors    Note Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Alfred Adler are all giants in the world of psychology. This book is a disti...
On the outskirts of the thousand-year-old city lived a philosopher who taught that the world was simple  and that happines...
Introduction YOUTH  I want to ask you once again  you do believe that the world is, in all ways, a simple place  PHILOSOPH...
That   s not all. Once grown up, the child will get entangled in all kinds of complicated relationships with people and ha...
it. But when you drink the water in the summer it seems cool and when you drink the same water in the winter it seems warm...
YOUTH   That   s right, they can   t change. Actually, I am suffering myself because of not being able to  change. PHILOSO...
THE FIRST NIGHT   Deny Trauma
The young man entered the study and sat slouched in a chair. Why was he so determined to reject the philosopher   s theori...
The Unknown Third Giant YOUTH  A moment ago,  you used the words    another philosophy,    but I   ve heard that your spec...
YOUTH  I see. I should have studied it more.  I suppose it   s only natural you haven   t heard of Adler. As he himself sa...
Why People Can Change First, let   s plan the points of discussion. You say people can change. Then you take it a step fur...
Then perhaps the cause of his not being able to go out anymore lies in the home environment during his childhood. He was a...
Your friend is insecure, so he can   t go out. Think about it the other way around. He doesn   t want to go out, so he   s...
Trauma Does Not Exist YOUTH  If you are going to state things so forcibly, I   d like a thorough explanation. To begin wit...
Exactly. Focus on the point Adler is making here when he refers to the self being determined not by our experiences themse...
YOUTH  In  that case, following your line of reasoning, my friend has accomplished his goal and is satisfied with his curr...
People Fabricate Anger Yesterday afternoon, I was reading a book in a coffee shop when a waiter passed by and spilled coff...
the emotion of anger. YOUTH  I fabricated it  You   ve got to be joking  PHILOSOPHER  Then why did you raise your voice  Y...
Ah, I see now. Under that gentle-looking mask you wear, you   re terribly nihilistic  Whether we   re talking about anger ...
How to Live Without Being Controlled by the Past PHILOSOPHER  How am I being nihilistic  YOUTH  Think about it.  Simply pu...
gives up on life. The Freudian etiology that is typified by the trauma argument is determinism in a different form, and it...
Socrates and Adler YOUTH  All  right. Let me tell you about another friend of mine, a man named Y. He   s the kind of pers...
So are we going to try and reenact the kind of dialogue that Socrates and Adler carried out  In this little study  YOUTH  ...
Are You Okay Just As You Are  PHILOSOPHER  Okay, let   s go back to your query. So you   d like to be a more upbeat person...
Right now, you are unable to feel really happy. This is because you have not learned to love yourself. And to try to love ...
Unhappiness Is Something You Choose for Yourself YOUTH  No way. That   s unreasonable. PHILOSOPHER  Why is it unreasonable...
Without question, there is no shortage of behavior that is evil. But no one, not even the most hardened criminal, becomes ...
People Always Choose Not to Change Sit down. As things stand, it   s only natural that our views clash. I will now give a ...
YOUTH  That you choose for yourself  PHILOSOPHER  Yes, exactly. You choose your lifestyle.  So not only did I choose to be...
your responsibility. Whether you go on choosing the lifestyle you   ve had up till now, or you choose a new lifestyle alto...
PHILOSOPHER  Yes.  Adlerian psychology is a psychology of courage. Your unhappiness cannot be blamed on your past or your ...
Your Life Is Decided Here and Now YOUTH  The courage to be happy, huh  PHILOSOPHER  Do you need further explanation  YOUTH...
Yes. I have a young friend who dreams of becoming a novelist, but he never seems to be able to complete his work. Accordin...
everything I   ve ever been and done  PHILOSOPHER  No,  you are not being criticized. Rather, as Adler   s teleology tells...
THE SECOND NIGHT   All Problems Are Interpersonal Relationship Problems
The young man was as good as his word. Exactly one week later, he returned to the philosopher   s study.  Truth be told, h...
Why You Dislike Yourself So after last time, I calmed myself down, focused, and thought things over. And yet, I   ve got t...
act naturally  there   s always something theatrical about what I say and do. And it   s not just my personality   there  ...
Okay, so she fabricated that fear of blushing as an excuse for her own inability to confess her feelings. Or maybe as a ki...
PHILOSOPHER  Yes.  I   ll explain systematically what it consists of once our discussion has progressed a little further. ...
Don   t be evasive. Being    the way I am    with all these shortcomings is, for you, a precious virtue. In other words, s...
All Problems Are Interpersonal Relationship Problems Wait a minute  I   m supposed to just let that one slip by     To get...
Of course, we cannot do without interpersonal relationships. A human being   s existence, in its very essence, assumes the...
Feelings of Inferiority Are Subjective Assumptions Let   s look at interpersonal relationships from a slightly different p...
YOUTH  Um, well . . . PHILOSOPHER  There   s no need to hold back. Be direct. YOUTH  All right, I guess you were smaller t...
what you are feeling is not an objective inferiority but a subjective feeling of inferiority. Even with an issue like heig...
So this connects to what you were saying about all problems being interpersonal relationship problems  YOUTH   PHILOSOPHER...
An Inferiority Complex Is an Excuse But can you say for sure that feelings of inferiority are really a problem of interper...
PHILOSOPHER  Adler  is saying that the pursuit of superiority and the feeling of inferiority are not diseases but stimulan...
instance, if one had a feeling of inferiority with regard to one   s education, and resolved to oneself, I   m not well ed...
Braggarts Have Feelings of Inferiority YOUTH  Maybe so, but . . .  Further, you harbor an inferiority complex about educat...
No, that doesn   t make sense   the second thing you   re saying is beyond a feeling of inferiority. That   s really more ...
YOUTH  Right.  But those who make themselves look bigger on borrowed power are essentially living according to other peopl...
person, or suggest some change be made, he   ll refuse the helping hand by saying,    You don   t understand how I feel.  ...
who is suffering is something that no one is capable of. But as long as one continues to use one   s misfortune to one   s...
Life Is Not a Competition YOUTH  But I guess I still don   t really get it. PHILOSOPHER  Okay, ask me anything you like.  ...
from us. And that we are not the same, but we are equal. YOUTH  We are not the same, but we are equal   That   s right. Ev...
No way  That   s a tired-out old man   s argument. Young folks like me have to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps ...
You   re the Only One Worrying About Your Appearance Let   s tie up the loose ends. At the outset, you expressed dissatisf...
YOUTH  My enemy   You start to think that people are always looking down on you and treating you with scorn, that they   r...
and never gave me any sign of recognition. Whatever I did, I got treated like a child, and I was berated at every opportun...
in the dim shade doesn   t do so well  PHILOSOPHER  You are returning to etiology  the attributing of causes  again. YOUTH...
From Power Struggle to Revenge Okay, all this talk about teleology and such is pure sophistry, and trauma definitely does ...
If someone were to abuse me to my face, I would think about the person   s hidden goal. Even if you are not directly abusi...
Yes. It   s the revenge stage. Though he has withdrawn for the time being, he will be scheming some revenge in another pla...
Admitting Fault Is Not Defeat YOUTH  All  right, then what should you do when you   re subjected to personal attacks right...
One more thing about power struggles. In every instance, no matter how much you might think you are right, try not to crit...
Overcoming the Tasks That Face You in Life Okay, but there   s still a problem. It   s the statement    All problems are i...
YOUTH  What are life tasks   Let   s think of the word    life    as tracing back to childhood. During childhood, we are p...
However, considered from the viewpoint of distance and depth, interpersonal relationships of work may be said to have the ...
Red String and Rigid Chains YOUTH  Well, I   ll save my objections for later. Next, what about the task of friendship   Th...
changing others. Instead of waiting for others to change or waiting for the situation to change, you take the first step f...
and also an idea founded on a sense of distrust. Being in the same space with someone who distrusts you isn   t a natural ...
Don   t Fall for the    Life-Lie    Ah, it   s getting confusing again. You said that I see other people as enemies and ca...
digging up some reason to dislike him. That   s exactly why the world can become a perilous place at any time, and it   s ...
should be discussing, but the issue of courage. YOUTH  Courage again   Yes. Even if you are avoiding your life tasks and c...
From the Psychology of Possession to the Psychology of Practice So in the end what you   re talking about is courage  That...
PHILOSOPHER  So what you are saying is that you would like me to suggest some specific steps   Yes, please. I am a human b...
THE THIRD NIGHT   Discard Other People   s Tasks
Two anguished weeks later, the youth paid another visit to the philosopher   s study. What is freedom   Why can   t people...
Deny the Desire for Recognition YOUTH  So you said that today we would discuss freedom. PHILOSOPHER  Yes. Did you have any...
released from such petty interpersonal relationships, how easy things would be  But no one can really do such a thing. Whe...
Whether or not they are comrades is another matter, but, at the very least, they are not what I would call enemies. It   s...
Do Not Live to Satisfy the Expectations of Others Being recognized by others is certainly something to be happy about. But...
be indignant or decide that you   ll never do such a thing again. Clearly, there   s something wrong with this situation. ...
recognized by others. It is through this relationship of mutual recognition that our very society is built. Your argument ...
YOUTH  Separation of tasks  That   s a new term. Let   s hear about it.  The youth   s irritation had reached its peak. De...
How to Separate Tasks PHILOSOPHER  Say  there   s a child who has a hard time studying. He doesn   t pay attention in clas...
YOUTH  How does one go about separating them  PHILOSOPHER  One does not intrude on other people   s tasks. That   s all. Y...
assist him whenever he has the urge to study. But one must not intrude on the child   s task. When no requests are being m...
Discard Other People   s Tasks Then, what about with shut-ins, for example  I mean, with someone like my friend. Even then...
living to satisfy your expectations. Though the child is one   s own, he or she is not living to satisfy one   s expectati...
How to Rid Yourself of Interpersonal Relationship Problems YOUTH  I don   t know, it just doesn   t sit right with me. PHI...
other people   s tasks are your own. Remember the words of the grandmother     You   re the only one who   s worried how y...
Then suppose you had done the separation of tasks. How would things be  In other words, no matter how much your boss tries...
Cut the Gordian Knot I am sure that if one could understand the separation of tasks and put it into practice, one   s inte...
destiny with his sword. As you know, he then proceeded to become the great conqueror of all the territories of what is now...
PHILOSOPHER  Yes.  When reward is at the base of an interpersonal relationship, there   s a feeling that wells up in one t...
Desire for Recognition Makes You Unfree Look, I have been dissatisfied for ages. The adults of the world tell the young pe...
watching    might serve as a criterion for self-discipline. If one were recognized by God, maybe one didn   t need recogni...
Ha-ha  Not only are you a nihilist, you   re an anarchist and a hedonist to boot. I   m past being astonished, and now I  ...
What Real Freedom Is Earlier, you acknowledged that you do not want to be disliked by anyone, and said,    There   s no on...
recognition is probably a natural desire. So are you going to keep rolling downhill in order to receive recognition from o...
YOUTH  Be disliked by other people   is that what you are saying  PHILOSOPHER  What I am saying is, don   t be afraid of b...
You Hold the Cards to Interpersonal Relationships YOUTH  Well, I never would have imagined I   d visit a philosopher   s p...
a virtue. And there was also the aspect of taking revenge on a feudal father. That is exactly what I wanted to ask about  ...
I did not change in order to change my father. That is an erroneous notion of trying to manipulate another person. Even if...
THE FOURTH NIGHT   Where the Center of the World Is
That was close   I almost fell for it  The following week, the young man called on the philosopher  again, and, with an in...
Individual Psychology and Holism PHILOSOPHER  Well, you   re looking rather gloomy today.  You see, since we last met, I  ...
are viewed as one, as a whole that cannot be divided into parts. Tension in the mind can make one   s arms and legs shake,...
This is something I believe I went over last time   that forming good interpersonal relationships requires a certain degre...
The Goal of Interpersonal Relationships Is a Feeling of Community Okay, I have a question. Please give me a simple answer ...
YOUTH  Huh   In other words, he is espousing that community is not merely one of the preexisting frameworks that the word ...
it is advisable to use    you and I    as the starting point. YOUTH  And what do you do with that as the starting point  P...
Why Am I Only Interested in Myself  PHILOSOPHER  Well,  let   s consider this concretely. For purposes of clarity, in plac...
Yes. In the sense that you are concerned solely with the    I,    you are self-centered. You want to be thought well of by...
You Are Not the Center of the World PHILOSOPHER  Let   s go  over things in order. First of all, each of us is a member of...
That   s strange. Didn   t you say that we are living in a subjective world  As long as the world is a subjective space, I...
One faces one   s life tasks. In other words, one takes steps forward on one   s own, without avoiding the tasks of the in...
Listen to the Voice of a Larger Community I must admit, you   re starting to lose me. Let me try to straighten things out ...
him. So he   s basically running away from all the tasks of work and tasks of friendship and tasks of love. Would you say ...
PHILOSOPHER  When  that happens, if you are thinking of school as being everything to you, you will end up without a sense...
community that is the school. From the standpoint of the community that is    human society,    both you and your teacher ...
Do Not Rebuke or Praise YOUTH  Well,  all right. But don   t you see  You haven   t touched on the essential point, that i...
objective is completely different if the animal is doing it because it will be rebuked or doing it because it wants to be ...
YOUTH  So you   re saying that one praises in order to manipulate  PHILOSOPHER  That   s right.  Whether we praise or rebu...
YOUTH  So in  a sense, they are getting into a superiority complex in which they are trying to make a show of their abilit...
The Encouragement Approach PHILOSOPHER  As you  may recall from our discussion on the separation of tasks, I brought up th...
No, it   s not. Without forcing, and with the tasks always kept separate, one assists the child to resolve them by his own...
YOUTH  I just cannot agree with that.  When receiving praise becomes one   s goal, one is choosing a way of living that is...
How to Feel You Have Value YOUTH  So  concretely speaking, how does one go about this  One cannot praise, and one cannot r...
So even if you   re judged as    good    by another person, you don   t feel that you   ve made a contribution  YOUTH   Th...
YOUTH  To be of use to someone. That is what my life is worth living for . . .   PHILOSOPHER  Let   s take a little break....
Exist in the Present PHILOSOPHER  Well, have you worked things out   Gradually, but yes, it   s getting clearer. You don  ...
YOUTH  You call out to their existence  What on earth are you talking about   If you consider things at the level of being...
is, and be glad and grateful for his being there. Instead of taking away points from some idealized image, they could star...
People Cannot Make Proper Use of Self YOUTH  I should start  PHILOSOPHER  That   s right. Without regard to whether other ...
YOUTH  Of course, I have different kinds of relationships. That   s how it is for everyone.  This is a very important poin...
I am not someone who can mouth off to my seniors, and I would never think of trying. My social common sense would be calle...
PHILOSOPHER  What are you afraid of, exactly  YOUTH  The tasks of friendship, naturally. I have never befriended an older ...
THE FIFTH NIGHT   To Live in Earnest in the Here and Now
The young man thought to himself, Adlerian psychology is engaged in a thorough inquiry into  interpersonal relationships. ...
Excessive Self-Consciousness Stifles the Self PHILOSOPHER  It   s been awhile, hasn   t it   Yes, I last came about a mont...
concern for others is important, I agree. But no matter what, we worry about ourselves  we look at ourselves all the time....
Not Self-Affirmation    Self-Acceptance First of all, let   s look at what you were just saying, about your self-conscious...
We cannot discard the receptacle that is the    I,    and neither can we replace it. The important thing, however, is    w...
own power, go about changing what use one makes of that equipment. So in that case, one simply has to focus on what one ca...
The Difference Between Trust and Confidence YOUTH  There  is something about this    affirmative resignation    that sound...
YOUTH  Believing unconditionally  So it   s back to your pet notion of neighborly love   Of course, if one believes in oth...
The way to understand Adlerian psychology is simple. Right now, you are thinking, If I were to have confidence in someone ...
YOUTH  Wait  Why is that  PHILOSOPHER  Your  partner   s casual remarks, her tone when talking to someone on the phone, th...
The Essence of Work Is a Contribution to the Common Good All right. Well, suppose I have managed to attain self-acceptance...
PHILOSOPHER  Is to act, in  some way, on one   s comrades. To attempt to contribute. That is    contribution  to others.  ...
they work  Are they driven by boundless greed  No. They work so they are able to contribute to others, and also to confirm...
Young People Walk Ahead of Adults I will acknowledge that work has aspects of contribution to others. But the logic that s...
whole, in a sort of circular structure. It is because one accepts oneself just as one is   one self-accepts    that one ca...
YOUTH  I am walking ahead of you  PHILOSOPHER  You certainly are. We walk on the same ground, and you are moving on ahead ...
Workaholism Is a Life-Lie All right. I readily admit that I do not have the courage to take steps toward self-acceptance o...
Yes, there was a student at the school I went to who stuttered. That must be hard to deal with, both for the person who ha...
YOUTH  A workaholic is  Why is that   People who suffer from stammering are looking at only a part of things but judging t...
work any longer or do anything on the level of acts. Does one accept oneself on the level of acts, or on the level of bein...
You Can Be Happy Now YOUTH  The courage to be happy. Well, let   s hear what kind of courage that should be. PHILOSOPHER  ...
YOUTH  How can you be so sure   For a human being, the greatest unhappiness is not being able to like oneself. Adler came ...
PHILOSOPHER  That is correct. YOUTH  Then how can I get a feeling of contribution  By working  Through volunteer activitie...
without needing to go out of one   s way to be acknowledged by others. In other words, a person who is obsessed with the d...
Two Paths Traveled by Those Wanting to Be    Special Beings    You still have not answered my question. Maybe I could actu...
YOUTH  Yes. Simply put, it   s a term that indicates    hoping to improve    and    pursuing an ideal state.    PHILOSOPHE...
PHILOSOPHER   Exactly. Because the parents and other adults are giving him attention through the act of  rebuking. YOUTH  ...
The Courage to Be Normal YOUTH  But how .  . .   It would be impossible for all human beings to be especially good, or any...
with my lot, because that   s the sort of human being I am  You   ve got to be joking. I   d abandon such a life in a seco...
Life Is a Series of Moments All right. When you speak of lofty goals, I am guessing that you have an image of something li...
of small dots. Seemingly linear existence is actually a series of dots  in other words, life is a series of moments. YOUTH...
Live Like You   re Dancing PHILOSOPHER  What is wrong with it   Your argument not only denies the making of plans in life,...
having danced. Since one is dancing, one does not stay in the same place. But there is no destination. A life without a de...
destination should be a journey. Of course, there might be circumstances that prevent you from making it to the pyramid, b...
Shine a Light on the Here and Now Look, in your refutation of etiology, you rejected focusing on the past. You said that t...
like, the school I attended and the company where I got a job. And that decides who I am now and who I will become. To be ...
The Greatest Life-Lie YOUTH  To live earnestly and conscientiously   For example, one wants to get into a university but m...
Not having objectives or the like is fine. Living earnestly here and now is itself a dance. One must not get too serious. ...
Give Meaning to Seemingly Meaningless Life YOUTH  What are you saying   I think this discussion has now reached the water ...
YOUTH  I agree entirely  PHILOSOPHER  And Adler, having stated that    life in general has no meaning,    then continues, ...
PHILOSOPHER  It is contribution to others. YOUTH  Huh  Contribution to others  PHILOSOPHER  No  matter what moments you ar...
learning of Adlerian psychology is not the world I once knew. YOUTH  If I change, the world will change. No one else will ...
The young man slowly tied his shoelaces and left the philosopher   s house. On opening the door, he found a snowy scene sp...
Afterword In life, there are encounters in which a book one happens to pick up one day ends up completely altering one   s...
When Kishimi said to me then,    Socrates   s thought was conveyed by Plato. I would like to be a Plato for Adler,    with...
For instance, the idea of teleology, far from being something that appeared suddenly in Adler   s time, is present in the ...
   My psychology is for all people,    says Adler, and dispensing with specialized language much as Plato did, he shows us...
The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga  This reading group guide for The Courage to Be Disliked in...
7. Answer the philosopher   s question  why does one want to be praised by others   page 116  8. The philosopher offers th...
discovering truth. Have your book club perform a Socratic circle. Come up with a list of a few questions you   d like to d...
About the Authors  ICHIRO KISHIMI was born in Kyoto, where he currently resides. He writes and lectures on Adlerian psycho...
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