Do we need to admire others?

PSYCHOLOGY – To grant your admiration to someone is to give yourself a chance to be carried by their abilities or their moral values. Provided you don’t fall into idolatry.

We don’t really choose to admire. This affect can strike us at the sight of peaceful demonstrators facing violent repression, from reading an article about an extraordinary success. Sometimes, it settles over time, through contact with a loved one or by dint of frequenting a personality adorned with all the qualities from afar. A question then arises: is the experience of admiration superfluous, or necessary to learn from admired people and progress in our actions?

Philosophers and writers have provided various answers, oscillating between claiming an admiration that would elevate us and rejecting a feeling that would push us into dangerous submission. In the field of psychology, this emotion is only partially studied. “Research on admiration highlights above all the notions of ego and self-esteem, notes Fabien Fenouillet, professor of positive psychology of learning. The focus is on people…

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