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Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel Significant


So I stumbled across a reference to Alfred Adler today. I decided to do some research. I think I like this fellow. He's my kind of guy. He's a humanist. I think I'm a humanist. Not in any sort of formal or organized way (I don't like joining groups; anything close to groupthink gives me the heebie jeebies; I like independent thinkers. Anyhoo...) I like humanism. It's definitely my cup of tea. So pull up a chair and "Have a cuppa'", as my British stepfather used to say (take a break from whatever you are doing, sit down for a nice cup of tea, and let's chat.)

Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel Significant

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

Or maybe we should have a tea party...
Or maybe we should have a tea party...

Allow Me to Introduce...

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well." - Alfred

Alfred Adler, esteemed Philosopher, Psychiatrist, Thinker (1870-1937)

Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel Significant

Adler developed the first holistic theory of personality, psychopathology, and psychotherapy that was intimately connected to a humanistic philosophy of living. Adler is generally regarded, along with Freud and Jung, as one of the key thinkers and contributors to the development of the field of psychology.

He was very interested in the human condition and emphasized the importance of nurturing feelings of belonging in everyone. Social interest, a combination of a feeling of belonging and contribution to the welfare of humanity, became one of his essential ingredients for mental health. His ideas are just now being validated by scientific research and are often referred to as 'Positive psychology.'

According to Adler, all facets making up a patient's personality need to be taken into consideration in a holistic approach to therapy.

Adler Began Addressing Issues Such As:

  • The influence of birth order
  • Parent education
  • The influence of lifestyle
  • The holism of individuals
  • The need to understand individuals within their social context

Which Later Evolved Into These Tenets Being Pursued by his Contemporary Disciples of Today:

  • Mutual respect
  • Equality
  • Civil rights
  • Advancement of democracy
Sorry, Im not going to answer this. Its only here for the concept inspired by humanism.
Sorry, I'm not going to answer this. It's only here for the concept inspired by humanism.

The theories underlying classical Adlerian psychology were first proposed by Alfred Adler in the early 1900s. Today, the principles of Adlerian psychology can be found intertwined with the basic tenets on which many of the various forms of modern psychology are built. While Adlerian therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy, the principles of Adlerian psychology are also evident in many other methods of psychotherapy. Many of his concepts such as the 'inferiority complex,' 'compensation,' 'overcompensation' are now mainstays of therapists and people everywhere. It would not be easy to find another author from whom so much has been borrowed from all sides, without acknowledgment, as Alfred Adler.

Adler believed that we all have one basic desire and goal: to belong and to feel significant.

The gorgeous Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, September Danse 2010, Barbe
The gorgeous Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, September Danse 2010, Barbe

“It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.” - Alfred

His lectures and books for the general public are characterized by a crystal clear common sense.

His clinical books and journal articles reveal an uncommon understanding of mental disorders, a deep insight into the art of healing, and an inspiration for encouraging optimal human development.

Adlerʼs theory is a holistic psychology that focuses on the goals and purposes of human behaviour.

According to Adler, when we feel encouraged, we feel capable and appreciated and will generally act in a connected and cooperative way.

When we are discouraged, we may act in unhealthy ways by competing, withdrawing, or giving up.

It is in finding ways of expressing and accepting encouragement, respect, and social interest that help us feel fulfilled and optimistic.

The approach of Adlerian psychology to mental health can be explained simply as trying to create a sense of belonging within the individual. When the individual feels loved and has worthwhile connections to others in society, they will be able to pursue their best selves. Conversely, the tendency to act out or behave in socially deviant ways stems from feelings of inadequacy and being an outcast from society.


"Three Viennese Schools"" of Psychotherapy: Freud (1) Adler (2) Frankl (3); & Inferiority Complex?
"Three Viennese Schools"" of Psychotherapy: Freud (1) Adler (2) Frankl (3); & Inferiority Complex?

Alfred Adler was born in the Viennese suburb of Penzing on Feb. 7, 1870. Like Freud, he was the son of middle‐class Jewish merchant.

He suffered from rickets as a child and was unable to walk until he was four years old. "Alfred was his mother's second son —and she was rather cold in personality, and seems to have preferred her eldest. Adler's childhood was unhappy, embittered by jealousy of his older brother, despite the fact that four younger children were born to the family. 'One of my earliest recollections,' he once reminisced, 'is of sitting on a bench, bandaged up on account of rickets, with my healthy brother sitting opposite me. He could run, jump and move about quite effortlessly, while for me movement of any sort was a strain.'" - Maggie Scarf, The New York Times, 1971.

This and other childhood illnesses motivated Adler to become a physician. He graduated from the University of Vienna Medical School in 1895 and pursued a career first as an ophthalmologist and then as a general physician.

He later switched to the field of psychiatry and became part of a psychoanalysis discussion group formed by Sigmund Freud, who would later become known as the founder of psychoanalysis.

He was a member of Freudʼs Vienna Circle until he and several other members of the group left because of irreconcilable differences of opinion. Adler became so radically opposed to the basic tenets of Freudian theory that the two men severed all connections in 1911 and remained bitter enemies for the rest pf their lives.

In 1912, Adler founded the 'Society for Individual Psychology', labelling his theory, Individual Psychology, and using the term 'individual' to reflect his view of the person as an indivisible whole who should be treated as such. Adler's school was the first major deviation from the psychoanalytical movement. The name was meant to imply that man's mind is not, as Freud had suggested, locked in a struggle between conscious and unconscious forces, but that each in dividual represents a unified and self‐consistent whole. While in English, individual means one or single, in Adlerʼs native German, the word conveys a sense of an indivisible and undivided person.

Adler was one of the first people to provide family counseling, group counseling, and public education to teach psychological concepts to the general public as a way of improving the human condition.

He founded several child guidance clinics in Vienna and devoted much of his time to activities related to child guidance. He also lectured at universities across Europe and in the U.S. Among the most well-known works from his over 300 books and articles are The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology (1927); Understanding Human Nature (1927); and What Life Could Mean to You (1931).

In 1897, he married Raissa Epstein, a Russian activist, and writer, whom he had met in college. The couple had four children, two of whom followed in their father's mental health footsteps and went on to become psychiatrists. Alfred Adler died suddenly in 1937 at the age of 67 from a heart attack. His misplaced ashes were returned to Vienna over 70 years later, at which time he was given an honorable state burial.

Some Principles of Classical Adlerian Psychology for You to Know

Holism: The Unity of the Individual

  • The idea that the individual is unique, and to be fully understood, they must be viewed as a whole, indivisible unit. The total person must be taken into consideration and not just selected traits or mannerisms.
  • It views the behavior of a person as being socially embedded. Nothing happens in isolation.
  • Accepting the individual as a unity of personality helps to ensure that the whole self is treated and not just aspects which might be deemed lacking or defective.
  • The individual is not internally divided or by conflicting forces. Each aspect of the personality points in the same direction.

Goals: Powerful Motivators

  • Goals are an important part of motivation and cause of behaviour.
  • Goals come in all dimensions: short term, long term, and points in between.
  • Adlerian Psychology sees the individual as being future-oriented; creating and striving toward their own final goal. This goal represents the individual's idea of success or of becoming complete by making up (compensating) for perceived inferiorities.
  • This is often described as an optimistic, positive and inspiring view of the individual.
  • A person's fictional goal may be influenced by hereditary and cultural factors, but it ultimately springs from the creative power of the individual, and is consequently unique.
  • Importantly, Alder suggests that because the final goal is unique to the individual, then each person can change their beliefs and hence to change their final goal - creating a new one.
  • In mental health, it is a realistic goal of socially useful significance or superiority over general difficulties. In mental disorders, it is an unrealistic goal of exaggerated significance or superiority over others.
  • The early childhood feeling of inferiority, for which one aims to compensate, leads to the creation of a fictional final goal which subjectively seems to promise future security and success.
  • The depth of the inferiority feeling usually determines the height of the goal.

Family Constellation

(How a family is made up, and each person's perceived position within it.)

  • Adlerian Psychology focuses on people's efforts to compensate for their self-perceived inferiority to others. These feelings of inferiority may derive from one's position in the family, particularly if early experiences of humiliation occurred; a specific physical condition or defect existed; or a general lack of social feeling for others was present.
  • The family is the individual's first social setting and as such plays an important role in how they view life and behave in social settings later on. Our way of responding to our first social system, the family constellation, may become the prototype of our world view and attitude toward life.
  • Adler viewed the birth order and family constellation as being formative forces in the development of the individual's world view. In this way, Adler was an early proponent of examining family influences on the individual and the individual on the family.

Humans: Social Beings Striving for Uniqueness

  • Individuals strive for a feeling of uniqueness within social groups -- family, community, all of humanity, our planet, and the cosmos - while simultaneously needing to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.
  • Social interest implies conformity, but it is quite different. There is always room for social innovation through cultural resistance and rebellion.

... And a Desire for Community and Connectedness

  • Each human being has the capacity to live in harmony with society. This is an innate potential for social connectedness which has to be consciously developed. Social connectedness (also called Social Interest) can be achieved by anyone, but it is something the individual must consciously work at.
  • The feeling of genuine security is rooted in a deep sense of belonging.
  • This connectedness is not conformity; rather, it is living in harmony with society and contributing positively to it.
  • It is within social groups that a person is faced with life challenges. Adler identified the most important of these challenges as: Relationships with others, Occupation, Love
  • The feeling of community, social connectedness or social interest is seen in Adler's approach as going hand-in-hand with mental health. It is a person's level of social interest which will determine how well life's major challenges are handled and whether they are handled in socially useful ways.
  • It is through positive social interactions and the sense of belonging that each person develops courage, optimism, and self-confidence. The individual must, therefore, come to accept that as a social being, the input of persons in their past has contributed to making them who they are present. They must also come to realize that they are having an effect on others.

Lifestyle (aka 'Style of Life' / Personality)

  • From an early age, the individual adopts a pattern of how they think and behave within their social groups. It includes the person's concept of themselves, their worldview and their strategies for dealing with life's challenges even as they try to improve on their perceived inferior status. The goal a person shaped for himself, and the characteristic ways he struggled to reach it were what Adler termed his “style of life.”
  • Adlerians are concerned with understanding the unique and private beliefs and strategies (one's lifestyle) that each individual creates in childhood.
  • Lifestyle is seen as both a method of survival and a key influence in a person's development. It is linked to mental health in that the healthy individual is adaptable and capable of changing their approach to situations. In an unhealthy mind, there is rigidity of seeing only one way of doing things.
  • A person's lifestyle may be manifested in conscious or unconscious ways in their behavior and emotions. It may also prove to be normal or neurotic, being respectively constructive or destructive to the development of the individual and to the social groups they are a part of.
  • The concept of lifestyle also encompasses a lack of action in certain situations where the individual has the ability to act but chooses not to.

Private Logic

  • Another principle which Adler laid out is that of private logic as opposed to common sense. Private logic is how the individual rationalizes his lifestyle - their interpretation of reality and their place in it. Private logic influences the individual to focus on themselves and on attaining personal security and superiority.
  • Common sense is an attribute of the community. It is consensual and serves the good of the entire community. One aim of therapy based on Adlerian psychology is to help the individual adopt more of a common-sense approach to how they relate to others instead of one which is self-centered.

Mental Health and Feelings of Inferiority

  • Feelings of Inferiority is another Adlerian idea. They become a motivating factor for us to develop skills, talents, and ways of overcoming our sense of inadequacy.
  • A feeling of human connectedness and a willingness to develop oneself fully and contribute to the welfare of others are the main criteria of mental health. When these qualities are underdeveloped, feelings of inferiority may haunt an individual, or an attitude of superiority may antagonize others.
  • They can give rise to genius.
  • Unfortunately, they can also give rise to neuroses and problems in daily living when they are overwhelming or when we attempt to hide them rather than face them.
  • Consequently, the unconscious fictional goal will be self-centred and emotionally or materially exploitative of other people.
  • When the feeling of connectedness and the willingness to contribute are stronger, a feeling of equality emerges, and the individual's goal will be self-transcending and beneficial to others.
  • Adler believed that courage was the answer to many of the problems of living.

Therapy Using the Adlerian Method

  • Nowadays, Alfred Adler's approach to psychology is practiced by many in the field of mental health under the umbrella of Adlerian Psychotherapy. Its focus is on building a relationship of encouragement and mutual respect between client and therapist. Through therapy, the client sheds their negative self-image which adversely affects how they function in society.
  • Adlerian individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, and family therapy follow parallel paths. Clients are encouraged to overcome their feelings of insecurity, develop deeper feelings of connectedness, and to redirect their striving for significance into more socially beneficial directions.
  • Through a respectful Socratic dialogue, they are challenged to correct mistaken assumptions, attitudes, behaviours, and feelings about themselves and the world.
  • Constant encouragement stimulates clients to attempt what was believed impossible. The growth of confidence, pride, and gratification leads to a greater desire and ability to cooperate. The objective of therapy is to replace exaggerated self-protection, self-enhancement, and self-indulgence with courageous social contribution.

Woo Hoo - You Made It!

So, that's a little window into humanism. Sounds nice, doesn't it?

So how about be nice to each other. Spread a little love and appreciation. People do notice. I promise you.

Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel Significant

And if you don't, I might sneak up behind you and sprinkle pixie dust on you. - Fair warning

Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel Significant
The bar for kindness is getting pretty low these days.
The bar for kindness is getting pretty low these days.

Key References:





Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel Significant
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  • Sun_Kim-Ai
    Excellent myTake, thank you for sharing.
    Adler is perhaps the most influential - and at the same time, the most underrated - of the Viennese circle.
    He efficiently defined the essence of the psychology of the human mind much better than Freud did in my opinion, because his framework is much more encompassing and analyzes a much comprehensive and well-weighed factors unlike Freud who reduced everything to the primal instincts - and if I'm not mistaken, that was one of the core motives of their disagreements.

    There's really little I can add or comment further on since you exposed and treated this topic in a very exhaustive and complete way, but I'd still like to add that Adler mentored and/or influenced at least two people that I think really shaped the study and comprehension of social dynamics and interpersonal relationships - Dale Carnegie and Abraham Maslow. Maslow was a student of Adler and took from his theories to develop his hierarchy of needs Alfred Adler [Humanistic] Theory: We All Have One Basic Desire and Goal: To Belong and Feel SignificantWhere we can see that the desire of belonging and feeling loved is put middle place, but it's also connected to the top two - you can't achieve those without the former, and in my opinion this ''middle step'' is what differentiates us humans from animals - animals generally keep on the lowest step while the most intelligent reach the second step with the needs of health, resources and even employment (just look at bees and ants for example) - the third step is the effective ''spartiacque'' - or divider - that marks the difference.
    Finally, most famously Dale Carnegie quoted Adler in his book How to Make Friends and Influence People - "It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring."
    Basically proving and illustrating the point that a socially successful person has to have a genuine interest in people's desires and expectations - so we get back to the desire of belonging.
    Is this still revelant?
  • JustinTimberlegs
    Very interesting read! And very well written as usual.

    Definitely agree with a lot of the points there especially with connectedness and insecurity.

    Notes on the thoughts coming from inferiority and superiority was particularly interesting also.

    Heard of some of these but never knew it was called humanistic theory and that it was from Alfred Adler.

    Thank you once again for another insightful peice of writing ☺️
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Lliam
    I was raised Catholic. I went to parochial school through 9th grade, was an altar boy for 6 or 7 years, beginning when I was eight years old. I liked the Catholics. But in my late teens, I began having questions that couldn't be answered satisfactorily. I drifted away but still had a thirst for answers. I read lot of books about the history of Christianity and Judaism, world religions, mythology, cultural anthropology, and various ideas about spirituality.

    Long story short, I rejected religion and belief in gods, but still had a need for personal spirituality. I have awe and reverence for all creation. I like Alfred North Whitehead's thought that all creatures are the universe observing itself.

    Anyway, I discovered humanism and was part of a humanist discussion group for a couple of years in my early 50s. But I drifted away from that because the members seemed to be motivated by a need to compensate for the fact that they weren't religious, almost as if they had to justify their beliefs. They weren't spiritually curious and spent a lot of time discussing dry philosophy just to prove how smart they were. It reminded me of a Cartesian view of creation, as if the universe was a machine that could be dissected and understood. I think that is arrogant and disrespectful. Life is precious. I don't think feelings and emotions can be dissected to be understood.

    I could still be described as a humanist. But it's not a religion for me, neither is atheism.

    I haven't studied much psychology. I wasn't even aware of Alder. But, based on what you posted here, I like his approach. I think I agree. As I read, I could relate to his ideas.
    • AmandaYVR

      That sounds very much like you. You are so intellectually curious. They could put your picture next to that phrase in an encyclopedia.

    • Lliam

      Thanks, Amanda. If only I had the memory to compliment the curiosity. LOL I read a lot, but remember few details. Things make impressions and effect my opinions. Maybe that's why I gravitate to things like history and culture instead of things like philosophy, psychology and hard science like math, engineering and technology. I'm more interested the big picture than minutia. I think I have more of an artistic temperament. :-)

    • AmandaYVR

      I think I'm similar. Well for one, I think I had an absolutely dreadful history teacher (he used to play documentaries for an hour each class and we had to manically fill-in-the-blanks, which was so stupid) so I never learned much history. But aside from him, I think I've never been good with rote memory. I like concepts, and overall understanding more than name and dates.

  • ObscuredBeyond
    Therein lies the trap, the proverbial "God is waiting for you at the bottom of the glass." In Him, there is automatic significance to the individual. Without, there is only a sense that it *should* be there.

    And that is why there is a neverending urge to not only feel significant, but justify existence. Yet, when all you will acknowledge is fallible man's flawed reason and even more flawed emotions, it becomes impossible to convince those who especially "feel" a certain way that any individual's way is more valid, on any grounds.

    So when logic and emotions both fail to set a standard, force - including by violence - becomes the standard. Then, even those who don't want to believe in violence, are forced into it by those who see no problem with it.

    Whenever a point of tension develops, and something must give, it tragically often comes down to who shot first, and who shoots last.

    The Adamaic Rebellion is also deep-rooted and hardwired into us. As such, "feeling significant" is a trap. It's never enough. And for those who can't dampen the feeling that they're "not significant enough," that leads to them insisting on playing life as though it were nothing but a game of zero sums.

    But that itself becomes a curse. Those given over to zero sum fallacies insist that beyond a certain point, the only way to be "more significant," to shield their insecurity of not being significant enough, is not to build, but to tear down. To destroy and take away someone else's significance.

    From the playground bully to the Woke lunatic on Twitter trying to cancel everyone and their dog, to the current US government in Washington, we have seen how diseased this mindset can become. If Adler failed in any way, it was to anticipate any effective means to combat this curse.
    • AmandaYVR

      I think you've defined significance as notoriety or fame. I define it as knowing that you have value, as the person you have worked to be, and have some (not necessarily more than some) people in your life who recognize and appreciate you for your efforts, and for who you are, with them, at least.
      My opinion is god is a manmade construct, and those of us don't believe, leave 'him' out of philosophical discussions about meaning.
      I think we disagree on some key points, but I appreciate what you said. Your last two paragraphs, especially, were powerful. (Again, I'd define that as fame-whore et al.)
      Thank you for your comments.

    • As influence. Beings that are but a paramecium to their host planet, but a paramecium to the closet star, but a paramecium to the largest known star, still want to be gods.

  • Kaneki05
    Okay... so... There is a lot i disagree with in here but i won't bother point it all out. Mostly what is said here makes perfect sense to most people and includes the way it works for most people.
    But simply some stuff is just out right wrong.
    More focused on the part in speech marks
    It views the behaviour of a person as being socially embedded. "Nothing happens in isolation."
    Simply untrue.
    You put a person in true unsocial bounds a lot of things will happen and they will develop there own personality of sorts.
    Another one,
    The individual is not internally divided or by conflicting forces. Each aspect of the personality points in the same direction.
    Nope there is cases and just evidence to point that that this just ain't true for some people and will not always be true.

    I could be misunderstanding these points or nit picking. But there is a lot here that to me, i can point to cases were no this is not true. However for most people i would agree and society on a whole yeah.
    • AmandaYVR

      Really? Interesting. I didn't find anything way off-base, personally.

      I do agree that last example you gave/quoted seems a bit poorly worded.
      Here's the original text:
      "Unity of the Individual
      Thinking, feeling, emotion, and behavior can only be understood as subordinated to the individual's style of life, or consistent pattern of dealing with life. The individual is not internally divided or the battleground of conflicting forces. Each aspect of the personality points in the same direction."
      I think it still has a typo in there ("... divided or the battleground...") so I used only a portion of it. I'm tempted to edit it some more, but I'm not entirely confident in the original writer's skill, or the concept, what was intended. People certainly can be divided, conflicted. Though Adler's approach was to acknowledge all aspects of a person's personality, holistically.

    • Kaneki05

      For me when it comes to practically anything to do with psychology and someone tries to state no this is the way all people or all this group people act due to these reasons or explains how they all act. 100% of the time you will find someone who contradicts that.

      So when this say's stuff like Each aspect of the personality points in the same direction there will be someone who don't.
      Subordinated to the individual's style of life again there will be a person who contradicts this were there style of life don't impact there thinking or feeling.
      It's just why psychology is interesting to me because there is always you mention this is the way people act due to etc and this how they may respond etc there will always be that one who does the opposite to what you think may happen or why you think it is so.

      One person may say, environment will always effect your personality, then there will be that one person who isn't effected at all by there environment and somehow manages to not let it effect there mood at all nor link anything to there personality.
      While again it's true 99.999999% people will, there is always room for the opposite.

      To me it's a lot like the claim of everyone feels physical pain. Brilliant observation that's true to pretty much everyone. But key word Pretty much. Not all.
      This for another example "Social Beings Striving for Uniqueness" you will again 100% be able to find a so called social being that don't at all. Which ironically is Unique but it's not there trying to be that. Just is the nature of you can always find an opposite of what is said to be true in psychology.

      At least that's what i see and notice. So it's not way off but i feel like it misses that point.

    • AmandaYVR

      Yeah I think you are fighting the 'don't box me in' so much, that you want to negate any conclusions being made whatsoever.
      Everyone is affected and influenced by the environment they grew up in. (And by the way, the old 'nature or nurture?' is long dead in the psychology/anthropology world. Only laymen still debate this. The answer is a firm "both."
      Everyone wants to be seen as an individual, and appreciated for such. What is more true is that different people have different levels of desire for independence and belonging.
      Sounds like psychology is simply not your thing. You are using "[doesn't]... at all" which is also not what anyone is saying. And "99.999999%" which is also not the right number, and odd that you would even bother using that as an example of outliers existing.
      I don't have a problem with this stuff because I am interested in majorities, and being able to find commonalities, and innate aspects, more than I am interested in the outliers. It's just a preference at this stage of my life. Younger, I was exposed more, or sought out, the other. My stepfather was a doctor and once he knew all the majority stuff, he moved on to outliers and studied those cases. That's what people do when they get deep into their fields. These Adler principles outlined here are just a starting point, I suspect.

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  • Anon621
    This was definitely a very interesting read I felt like I was reading a biography of Alfred Adler and I thought Adler's views on humanism were very important concepts that can be applied in everyday thinking. Very nicely done!
  • genericname85
    don't tell that to poor christians. they think they can only be moral because of god. they need every argument for that branch they are standing on that gets smaller and smaller by the day.
    • AmandaYVR

      Totally agree. Organized religion is failing people.
      I always resented the implication and condemnation that I was immoral because atheist. Negging is a nasty practice.

    • organized religion isn't failing. it's still doing a pretty damn good job at deceiving gullible people with fearmongering and pseudo science... i mean specially considering how old that shit already is and how often their shit has been proven to becompletely and factually wrong. goes to show how sluggish the evolution of the human mind is.

    • AmandaYVR

      By failing I mean church attendance is going significantly down as people feel disillusioned with the hypocrisy and judgment etc.
      But, yes, evolution is slow and fear and belonging are powerful motivators.

    • Show All
  • exitseven
    Very good MyTake. I appreciate the ideas of inferiority and lifestyle. I have thought about this in regard to my own life.
    Everyone uses Freud as the De Facto word in psychiatry and it is interesting to get another view that is not as well known.
  • normalice
    I like this. Also it reminds me a lot of Ernest T Becker's work (who has died and since then Sheldon Solomon has picked up the torch). Adler seems to cover a description of the human condition and what to do about it, whereas Becker seemed to cover why things are that way in the first place, which knowing how things tick has always been the thing I'm drawn to.
  • Charliefretz329
    What a wonderful insightful read you have me this morning! Thank you so much for that! It was very informative and helpful!
  • AngelMegumin
    This is one of higher necessary things every person needs, not the only one tho. Safety, esthetic needs, prestige also count, so do biological needs.
  • VTecumseh
    I think Alfred Adler has one basic desire and goal - to belong and feel significant.

    Both Adler and Freud are widely discredited, they're only ever brought up in college as a historical footnote. Like Galen is brought up in medicine.
    • AmandaYVR

      Freud's been mostly discredited, yes, but not Adler.

      Adler had a tremendous impact on the development of psychotherapy. He also had an important influence on many other great thinkers like Maslow and Albert Ellis.


  • monkeynutts
    Cool, thanks for writing something meaningful. More content like this is needed on this site.
  • SenseiSeptred
    For me, I don't quite care if I belong, or not because I have been a human race racial (like what is mentioned in Dungeons and Dragons and not the real world) iconoclast for quite a while that the benevolent monster that I am inside doesn't correlate with much of humans.
  • sunshineglow
    I also like Erich Fromm. Read him when I was 16, almost all books that same year.
  • Anpu23
    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
  • crazysassypaws21
    True that
  • McKellar
    Alfred Adler? Any relations to Russell Adler? lol