99 Sigmund Freud Quotes (That Will Change Your Life)
Sigmund Freud is considered to be the father of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. He managed to explored the human mind more thoroughly than any other before him and his contributions to psychology are vast. Freud’s life work was dominated by his attempts to find ways of penetrating the subtle and elaborate camouflage that obscures the hidden structure and processes of personality.
Freud elaborated his theory of the unconscious and went on to develop a model of psychic structure comprising id, ego and super-ego. He developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process. His analysis of dreams as wish-fulfillments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the underlying mechanisms of repression. Freud redefined sexuality to include its infantile forms led him to formulate the Oedipus complex as the central tenet of psychoanalytical theory, and postulated the existence of libido, an energy with which mental processes and structures are invested and which generates erotic attachments, and a death drive, the source of compulsive repetition, hate, aggression and neurotic guilt.
Sigmund Freud’s Short Quotes
- The ego is not master in its own house.
- Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.
- Where id is, there shall ego be.
- From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.
- He who knows how to wait need make no concessions.
- If children could, if adults knew.
- There are no mistakes.
- Neurosis is no excuse for bad manners.
- Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
- Anatomy is destiny.
- How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.
- We are what we are because we have been what we have been.
- The madman is a dreamer awake.
- Public self is a conditioned construct of the inner psychological self.
- A woman should soften but not weaken a man.
- My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection.
Inspirational Quotes by Sigmund Freud
- One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
- Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
- We are what we are because we have been what we have been, and what is needed for solving the problems of human life and motives is not moral estimates but more knowledge.
- Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.
- The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.
- Great decisions in the realm of thought and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems are only possible to an individual, working in solitude.
- No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.
- The unconscious of one human being can react upon that of another without passing through the conscious.
- Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea,they become powerless when they oppose it.
- The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.
Insightful Quotes by Sigmund Freud
- When one does not have what one wants, one must want what one has.
- Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it we cannot dispense with palliative measures… There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensible to it.
- The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.
- We may insist as often as we like that man’s intellect is powerless in comparison to his instinctual life, and we may be right in this. Nevertheless, there is something peculiar about this weakness. The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it will not rest until it has gained a hearing. Finally, after a countless succession of rebuffs, it succeeds.
- Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to taking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young.
- One thing only do I know for certain and that is that man’s judgments of value follow directly his wishes for happiness-that, accordingly, they are an attempt to support his illusions with arguments.
- No neurotic harbors thoughts of suicide which are not murderous impulses against others redirected upon himself.
- It goes without saying that a civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves the prospect of a lasting existence.
- Instinct of love toward an object demands a mastery to obtain it, and if a person feels they can’t control the object or feel threatened by it, they act negatively toward it.
- No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.
- A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.
- Human beings are funny. They long to be with the person they love but refuse to admit openly. Some are afraid to show even the slightest sign of affection because of fear. Fear that their feelings may not be recognized, or even worst, returned. But one thing about human beings puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.
- Love in the form of longing and deprivation lowers the self regard.
- A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
- A transference neurosis corresponds to a conflict between ego and id, a narcissistic neurosis corresponds to that between between ego and super-ego, and a psychosis to that between ego and outer world.
- Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.
- It is a predisposition of human nature to consider an unpleasant idea untrue, and then it is easy to find arguments against it.
- Conservatism is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.
- When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature.
- The behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life.
- Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
- He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.
Sigmund Freud Quotes about Religion
- It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be.
- Religious doctrines are all illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe in them.
- Immorality, no less than morality, has at all times found support in religion.
- Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and he is optimistic enough to suppose that mankind will surmount this neurotic phase, just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis.
- That feeling of oneness with the universe which is its ideational content sounds very like a first attempt at the consolations of religion, like another way taken by the ego of denying the dangers it sees threatening it in the external world.
- Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion’s eleventh commandment is “Thou shalt not question”.
- Where the questions of religion are concerned people are guilty of every possible kind of insincerity and intellectual misdemeanor.
- Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.
Intellectual Quotes by Sigmund Freud
- Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.
- The individual does actually carry on a double existence: one designed to serve his own purposes and another as a link in a chain, in which he serves against, or at any rate without, any volition of his own.
- Experience teaches that for most people there is a limit beyond which their constitution cannot comply with the demands of civilization. All who wish to reach a higher standard than their constitution will allow, fall victims to neurosis. It would have been better for them if they could have remained less “perfect”.
- Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.
- Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.
- The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.
- Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man’s craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ego of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psycho-analysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.
- What is common in all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealized. They are simply and undisguisedly realizations of wishes.
- Our possibilities of happiness are already restricted by our constitution. Unhappiness is much less difficult to experience. We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful to us than any other.
- It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.
- A love that does not discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part of its own value, by doing an injustice to its object; and secondly, not all men are worthy of love
Cynical Quotes by Sigmund Freud
- Everyone owes nature a death.
- What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.
- Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God.
- America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- The time comes when each of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he pinned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will.
- The intention that man should be happy is not in the plan of Creation.
- Our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says.
- I never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me as a member.
- Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss.
- In matters of sexuality we are at present, every one of us, ill or well, nothing but hypocrites.
- It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up upon a renunciation of instinct.
- The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.
- Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
- America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.
- In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow-men, with a few exceptions, are worthless.
- You wanted to kill your father in order to be your father yourself. Now you are your father, but a dead father.
- Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it
- The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life.
- The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is What does a woman want?
- Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.
Sigmund Freud’s Poetic Quotes
- He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.
- Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science.
- Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.
- Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.
- Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.
- The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.
- In mourning it is the world which has become poor and empty; in melancholia it is the ego itself.
- The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water
- When a love-relationship is at its height there is no room left for any interest in the environment; a pair of lovers are sufficient to themselves.
- The creative writer does the same as the child at play; he creates a world of fantasy which he takes very seriously.
- Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.
- Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.
- Where does a thought go when it’s forgotten?
- We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.
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