list, psychology

021   The Courage to be Disliked (2013)



My high school was big enough to be a college, but my back pack was bigger. After band class, I’d sprint across the court yard and up the stairs three flights for physics class. Bashfully holding the broken strap of my backpack and lowering my eyes I would shuffle in just seconds from the bell.

I was a generic impressionable “smart” kid. I was determined to do well in school, yet outside of that I didn’t know who I was or wanted to be. Two recent big decisions would influence the rest of my life. 1) I was going to college at Birmingham Southern College and 2) I had decided I wasn’t going to be shy any more. My reasoning: “adults aren’t shy therefore I cannot be shy, best get used to it now.”

I went on to study engineering at Auburn, way more extroverted than before. Having changed my whole psychology (i.e. INFP->ENFP IFYKYK), I came to pick up an interest in human psychology and sociology. Save for a one-off psychology class here or there, I didn’t pursue formal study in the subject. I’ve since read numerous books categorized as “self help” or “pop psychology” so put me on CNN. I’m an expert.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

The Courage to be Disliked is definitely the most…recent of these books. Despite my distaste for books with cringe titles and big promises, I gave this book a chance at the suggestion of an influencer I like on Youtube (I guess he’s good at his job).

It floored me with its insights. A better title for the book might be “Intro to Adlerian Psychology.” (Given how boring that title would be, I see why the publishers went with the cringier, click-baity title.)

The book describes why life is better understood as a series of moments rather than a line and our actions (and others’) understood to be informed by our own free-will rather than pre-determined by our pasts. It presents these subjects (and more!) through conversation between a hot headed youth and a wisened old man, a format I found to be very accessible and as hokey as it sounds while not distracting from the material.

I ate it up. Perhaps because I’m an “i” on the DiSC assessment, with a high degree of “openness” as defined by one of the many Big5 personality inventories on the web and an ENFP meyers briggs score. Or perhaps not.

This is one of those books that I’ll re-read. There’s a lot in here that I’d like to carry with me into my life.

Despite this particular cringe title working out for me, I know that much of the click bait out there isn’t worth my time or yours. If I lower my bull sh*t detector there’s plenty of predatory authors waiting to kick down my door with their paid-by-the-word, best-selling, big-promises self-help gospels.

I think for now I’ll stick with my current book recommendation system. As for you, I read somewhere recently that you have free-will so there’s nothing I can say that will force you to read this book…. so what’s a recommendation, but a lame excuse to write 500 words?

If you like psychology and aren’t familiar with Alfred Adler I bet you’d like this. If you don’t, then read something else.

Either way, thanks for reading. ✌ ️& 💜.

🗣 Hit me up if you check out The Courage to be Disliked.

“The Courage to be Disliked reminds me of…

Quality Time is a Myth
It’s midnight on a weeknight and I’m in less of a hurry to get to bed than I should be. I’m sitting at my workstation…

Stuff I mentioned…

Ali Abdaal, DiSC, Big 5 Personality Traits, Myers-Briggs