62 of the Best Sigmund Freud Quotes

Sigmund Freud Quotes

Psychologist, physiologist, and medical doctor, Sigmund Freud, was born in Moravia in 1856. Out of all of his professional titles, Freud considered himself to be a scientist. Sigmund studied medicine and received his medical degree in 1881 after studying under Ernest Brucke, a famous German scientist.

While in Paris in 1885-1886, Freud learned from Jean Charcot, a neurologist that used hypnotism in his practice to treat things such as hysteria. Freud spent his life studying and developing theories on things like dreams, sexual activity, personalities and primitive culture.

Freud had a theory on the human psyche and it turned into the term we now know as psychoanalysis. He believed that our adulthood and personality is greatly influenced by our childhood. The goal of psychoanalysis was to give the patients a stronger ego by bringing their feelings and thoughts they were repressing to the surface.

Sigmund Freud Quotes

  1. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud
  2. “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” – Sigmund Freud
  3. “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” – Sigmund Freud
  4. “Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.” – Sigmund Freud
  5. “One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be ‘happy’ is not included in the plan of ‘Creation.’” – Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
  6. “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.” – Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion
  7. “What is needed for solving the problems of human life and motives is not moral estimates but more knowledge.” – Sigmund Freud
  8. “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud
  9. “We choose not randomly each other. We meet only those who already exists in our subconscious.” – Sigmund Freud
  10. “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” – Sigmund Freud
  11. “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by unpleasant people.” – Sigmund Freud
  12. “America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen … but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.” – Sigmund Freud, Ronald W. Clark’s Freud: The Man and His Cause
  13. “Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.” – Sigmund Freud
  14. “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.” – Sigmund Freud
  15. “We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.” – Sigmund Freud
  16. “In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart.” – Sigmund Freud
  17. “Love and work… work and love, that’s all there is.” – Sigmund Freud
  18. “Just as no one can be forced into belief, so no one can be forced into unbelief.” – Sigmund Freud
  19. “If a man has been his mother’s undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it.” – Sigmund Freud, A Childhood Recollection
  20. “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.” – Sigmund Freud
  21. “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” – Sigmund Freud
  22. “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud
  23. “The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.” – Sigmund Freud
  24. “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” – Sigmund Freud
  25. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” – Sigmund Freud, And I Quote
  26. “The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.” – Sigmund Freud
  27. “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” – Sigmund Freud
  28. “We are what we are because we have been what we have been.” – Sigmund Freud
  29. “The ego is not master in its own house.” – Sigmund Freud
  30. “The only person with whom you have to compare yourself is you in the past.” – Sigmund Freud
  31. “The first request of civilization … is that of justice.” – Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
  32. “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.” – Sigmund Freud
  33. “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
  34. “All family life is organized around the most damaged person in it.” – Sigmund Freud
  35. “The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” – Sigmund Freud
  36. “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.” – Sigmund Freud
  37. “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.” – Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones, 1933
  38. “No neurotic harbors thoughts of suicide which are not murderous impulses against others redirected upon himself.” – Sigmund Freud
  39. “In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow-men, with a few exceptions, are worthless.” – Sigmund Freud
  40. “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?’ – Sigmund Freud
  41. “If youth knew; if age could.” – Sigmund Freud
  42. “From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.” – Sigmund Freud
  43. “Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.” – Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
  44. “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.” – Sigmund Freud
  45. “Immorality, no less than morality, has at all times found support in religion.” – Sigmund Freud
  46. “I have found little ‘good’ about human beings. In my experience, most of them are trash.” – Sigmund Freud
  47. “The goal of all life is death.” – Sigmund Freud
  48. “When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons.” – Sigmund Freud
  49. “The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life.” – Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams
  50. “A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.” – Sigmund Freud
  51. “Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have , so to speak , pawned a part of their narcissism.” – Sigmund Freud
  52. “Love is a state of temporary psychosis.” – Sigmund Freud
  53. “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” – Sigmund Freud
  54. “Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” – Sigmund Freud
  55. “The behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life.” – Sigmund Freud, Sexuality and the Psychology of Love
  56. “Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.” – Sigmund Freud
  57. “Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” – Sigmund Freud
  58. “The aim of psychoanalysis is to relieve people of their neurotic unhappiness so that they can be normally unhappy.” – Sigmund Freud
  59. “We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.” – Sigmund Freud
  60. “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud
  61. “I like to avoid concessions to faint-heartedness. One can never tell where that road may lead one; one gives way first in words, and then little by little in substance too.” – Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego
  62. “Conservatism is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.” – Sigmund Freud

See our Quotes from William James, considered by many to be the grandfather of psychology. And our Timothy Leary Quotes are quite fascinating too!

Summary

Sigmund Freud’s life works literally changed the way that people had viewed mental health. Many psychology classes have Sigmund Freud in their teachings today, and he remains an influence in the psychology field as well as an inspiration. You may even be a teacher just looking for Freud quotes to talk about with your students, or you may just be interested in the man that dedicated his life to understanding and curing the human mind. These quotes will inspire, motivate, bring laughter and make you think.

Sigmund Freud Video – Psychotherapy

In this short fun and educational video, the School of Life discusses Freud’s approach to psychotherapy. Freud invented the field of psychoanalysis and appreciated the many ways in which our human minds are occupied by anxiety as part of the human condition.

This video also discusses the pleasure principle, the foundation of neurosis and his concept of the Id, Ego and Superego. It’s an excellent short summary of his top contributions to the field. Give it a watch.

 

Image Credit: Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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