What the Adlerians Got Wrong About Alfred Adler
Alfred Adler was one of the pioneers of the field of psychology in the early 1900s.
Who is Alfred Adler?
Alfred Adler was one of the pioneers of the field of psychology in the early 1900s. He studied Sigmond Freud and was a contemporary of Carl Jung.
Who are the Adlerians?
The Courage to Be Disliked and The Courage to Be Happy are a book series by Ichiro Kishimi that summarize the contemporary Adlerian perspective.
What did the Adlerians get wrong?
There is one idea from The Courage to be Happy that has stood out to me to this day. However, it is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard. The author claims that you could choose anyone to marry, as in you could choose a random person on the street to marry and you would end up fine. This statement is so bad that it requires a step back and thorough analysis. This idea is not found in any of Adler's popular works. In fact, Adler never would have said anything like this. He was highly critical of people in Understanding Human Nature and understood the risks of choosing a random person to marry. He would never have advised it. The book The Courage to be Disliked states that it takes half as long as someone's been alive to change. This means that if you marry someone toxic at 30, it could take 15 years for them to change, and that's only if they want to change.
My personal philosophy is to assume that people will never change, at least not in a fundamental way and often not even in small ways. For example, if you tell someone not to do something, eventually they will forget and do it again or do it again intentionally to test how much you don't want them to do it.
"People don't change and if they do, it's for the worse."
"People can change, even satan used to be an angel."