Buku ini adalah buku tentang filosofi hidup dan psikologi. Struktur penulisannya tidak biasa. Satu buku full isinya percakapan antara filsuf dan anak muda. Bahasanya ringan dan saya sendiri merasa anak muda itu menyuarakan pertanyaan-pertanyaan saya. Mungkin semua orang usia 20an bisa merasa relatable dengan anak muda itu. Filsuf itu menjawab dengan teori-teori Adler, psikolog Jerman. Di masanya, Adler biasa menyampaikan teori-teorinya dengan menjawab pertanyaan orang-orang di bar. Jadi, mungkin itu yang menginspirasi buku ini untuk mempunyai bentukan tanya jawab.
Saya baca buku ini pas liburan tahun baru jadi waktu yang pas banget buat starting fresh, ini adalah poin2 yang mengena di aku:
1. Deny the trauma and set a goal
What hooked me up from the beginning of this book is the talk about trauma. The youth asked about his friend who is isolating himself from the world because he was bullied and his parents are scary. He felt worthless, ugly and couldn’t find a job. I was hooked because sometimes I felt like that too and I just want to stay at home. Having a job is kind of too much responsibility for me. Everyday I felt like dragging myself and by the end of the day I had a mental breakdown. It’s not healthy and I’m not happy. I relate to him also because I always blame my childhood trauma as the cause of my anxiety at work. I thought I couldn’t have a normal interaction with my coworkers because I was raised as a conservative yes-man. I was so afraid to have a different opinion because my mom always got so angry at me whenever I said something that she didn’t like. One second she could hype me up, and the next second she broke me down. So I became a people pleaser and sometimes even a snake.
So then, I read this part;
If we focus only on past causes and try to explain things solely through cause and effect, we end up with “determinism.” Because what this says is that our present and our future have already been decided by past occurrences, and are unalterable.
So in Adlerian psychology, we do not think about past “causes” but rather about present “goals.”
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 creating a state of anxiety.
Think about it this way. Your friend had the goal of not going out beforehand, and he’s been manufacturing a state of anxiety and fear as a means to achieve that goal. In Adlerian psychology, this is called “teleology.”
It hits me right in the feels. I realized, maybe I don’t have anxiety. I just don’t want to go to work. I just don’t want to chit chat with my coworkers. Maybe working in an office setting is not in line with my value system, eg: in islam, life between man and woman is separated. I always only want to talk in professional context but everyone is so laid back. Maybe I’m not happy at work because it doesn’t serve my goal. Boom. That’s it. I don’t even have a goal.
So I’ve never really wanted to be a software developer let alone working nine to five. But the offer was so good, I couldn’t deny. I was hired as a highly skilled migrant and got a beautiful paycheck. So I decided to give this career a shot. And then I thought “I stray far away from what I planned, but it ended up better than what I expected, financially.” So after that I just went through my years without a goal. That’s really a problem.
The reason why people tend to just blame on their trauma because it’s easy for them. It’s easier to say I can’t go to the job interview because I have anxiety, rather than to actually work on it and improve yourself. If really want it, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find excuse.
So this year, I want to refine my goal and live my life according to that goal.
2. You fabricated your anger
I’m an emotional person but when I got angry I cried or sometimes I say something very hurtful. I thought it was in my gene because most people in my family is emotional. Since it was an internal instance, you can’t control it. But actually your anger or for me maybe my passive-aggressiveness can be controlled.
PHILOSOPHER: Don’t you see? In a word, anger is a tool that can be taken out as needed. It can be put away the moment the phone rings, and pulled out again after one hangs up. The mother isn’t yelling in anger she cannot control. She is simply using the anger to overpower her daughter with a loud voice and thereby assert her opinions.
YOUTH: So anger is a means to achieve a goal?
PHILOSOPHER: That is what teleology says.
So, now, whenever I feel emotional and want to do the passive-aggressive thing, I will ask myself, what is your goal. What do you want to achieve? If you are being passive-aggressive, would you deliver your message clearly?
3. Build horizontal relationship
I am the kind of person motivated by external validation. I could care less about money as long as I am “winning”. Sometimes I got disappointed when my work is not recognised. In Adlerian psychology, that was explained by a vertical relationship theory. We look at people either below or above us. We seek validation from those who are above us and we crave admiration from those who we think are below us. In Adlerian, we should build a horizontal relationship instead. Even in Islam, we are taught that all human are equal. The difference is only in their taqwa, and only Allah can see that.
YOUTH: For children, isn’t being praised by their parents the greatest joy of all? It’s because they want praise that they do their studies. It’s because they want praise that they learn to behave properly. That’s how it was for me when I was a child. How I craved praise from my parents! And even after becoming an adult, it’s been the same way. When your boss praises you, it feels good. That’s how it is for everyone. This has nothing to do with reason—it’s just instinctual emotion!
PHILOSOPHER: 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.” This holds true for you, too: It is because you are living in vertical relationships that you want to be praised. Adlerian psychology refutes all manner of vertical relationships and proposes that all interpersonal relationships be horizontal relationships. In a sense, this point may be regarded as the fundamental principle of Adlerian psychology.
4. You will feel belong to something if you put an effort into it
PHILOSOPHER: Now we will go back to where we started. All of us are searching for the sense of belonging, that “it’s okay to be here.” In Adlerian psychology, however, a sense of belonging is something that one can attain only by making an active commitment to the community of one’s own accord, and not simply by being here.