- The overall message behind the series feels confusing, in particular when Mob is initially confronted by Teru, he states "You are like me, without your powers, you would be a nobody."(paraphrased), It's good to not attack others, or oppress them with your powers, those are fine messages... but what is so wrong about Teru using his powers to enhance his abilities? it is no different from Reigen using his immense charisma and discourse skills to run a phony(if genuinely helpful) business for years, Teru is simply using his natural talent, and he happens to have won the Superpower Lottery by having what can be argued to be the best natural talent. It's understandable, Mob's idea of wanting to have more than just his powers, afterall, even he can exhaust his powers completely(like when he transfer his built up energy to Reigen in 100% Gratitude), but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Teru using his powers to increase his physical ability, or to get high grades, the only problem was his attitude about his powers, yet the series acts like the way he used his powers was wrong in any shape or form, when the only wrong thing he did was using his powers to beat up other people.
- Because Mob was wrong too. you have to keep in mind, Mob deliberately misremembered Reigen's advice because he hates his powers and that part of himself and thus feels worthless WITH his powers because he feels has nothing but things he hates about himself. Teru valued his abilities too much that it tunnel visioned him from seeing the whole picture about what he really had besides his powers and believed that the stuff he had was superficial and only existed because of his powers (even without using his powers he gets all of that back simply by being himself and a good person). It's not until the very end that Mob finally finds a balance that he can accept about himself. (Teru gets to that point much quicker because he doesn't hate his powers, and readily accepted his new outlook which made him even more popular than he was before (despite making a fool of himself for awhile with that giant wig)).
- When Mob says,"Without your powers, you'd be a nobody", it's not that Teru is using his powers to give himself a little bit of an edge, like Reigen using some of his charisma, it's that he's become far too reliant on his powers. Every other Esper Mob's fought against (and some of the non Espers too) have had this fatal flaw. They're too reliant on their one thing that defines them and makes them special and never improve beyond that. It's like a rich kid using their money to get out of any situation they're in, instead of growing as person.
- In short, the message of the show is not that powers are bad, it's more that your powers should not be the only thing that defines you as a person. Teru's problem was not that he used his powers, it's that he allowed himself to grow arrogant because of them and consider himself as the "main character of the world". Additionally, depending on how he used them to increase his academic prowess, it might be a form of cheating (for instance if he used them to read the thoughts of the smartest students, or read from the manual without being seen).
- I would like to point out that Teru doesn't have telepathy, if I remember correctly he tried to learn from the Shiratori brothers (along with Kurosaki's clairvoyance) and couldn't. And we can't forget that he is a teenager, they have a tendency towards that, he just upped it to eleven with an attitude of I don't need anyone else. Also I think that his dependence towards his psychic powers and his attitude can be explained as a copping mechanism for having been alone and having to take care of himself, for at least a couple of years. So instead of treating them as something dangerous to be afraid of, or like a normal trait among others, he treats them as a security blanket between him and the world.
Headscratchers / Mob Psycho 100