69 Sigmund Freud Quotes on Life, Love, Dreams & Psychology (Explained)

Introduction

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist who founded Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a technique used to identify and resolve unconscious conflicts and emotional issues by bringing them into conscious awareness through psychological, dream analysis, and other techniques.

Although Freud’s ideas have been greatly influential in human psychology and philosophy, he remains a controversial figure, with fierce criticism of his theories and methods.

Nevertheless, Freud’s views on human nature, the unconscious mind, life, love, dreams & Psychoanalysis are undoubtedly worth exploring.

In this blog post, I’ve shared 69 famous Sigmund Freud quotes and explained some of the more complicated ones because frankly, some of his quotes are hard to understand without looking at his theory of psychoanalysis.

16 Sigmund Freud Famous Quotes About Life

If youth knew if age could

If youth knew; if age could.

Sigmund Freud
Most people do not really want freedom because freedom involves responsibility and most people are frightened of responsibility

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

Sigmund Freud
From error to error one discovers the entire truth

From error to error,
one discovers the entire truth.

Sigmund Freud
One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful

One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

Let’s take a moment to think back to challenging times in your life. Those moments may have been dark, but it was in those struggles that you found strength you never knew you had.

That’s the beauty of struggles… It lies in the lessons they teach us. When a problem arises, we have to dig deep and find creative ways to overcome it.

Struggles also give us a pleasing perspective. When we reflect on our toughest times, we often realize that what seemed impossible at the time was actually manageable.

So, all in all, the moments of struggle are when we learn and gain true wisdom. And looking back on them, you will see that they made you who you are today, and that is what makes them beautiful.

Also Read: 24 Andrew Huberman Quotes About Mind, Dopamine, Sleep & Motivation

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.

Sigmund Freud
If you cant do it give up

If you can’t do it, give up!

Sigmund Freud
Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways

Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.

Sigmund Freud
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

In the grand scheme of things, we often overlook the fact that vulnerabilities can lead to greater strength – it’s a truth that this quote from Sigmund Freud has so effectively expressed.

But how can those tender spaces within us where our fears reside inspire strength? Think of a young sapling, its delicate branches swaying in the wind. It might appear fragile but despite its mere fragility, it has tremendous strength hidden within its roots.

And as it grows, it strengthens its core by sending its roots deeper into the earth. In becoming a towering tree, a sapling’s vulnerability becomes the catalyst for its growth.

Similarly, it is in our most challenging moments that our fragile nature is evident, but it is also in these vulnerable moments that we gain the strength to overcome our limitations. So embrace our vulnerabilities, because they contain power beyond the facade on the outside.

Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me

Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.

Sigmund Freud
With words one man can make another blessed or drive him to despair

With words one man can make another blessed, or drive him to despair.

Sigmund Freud
Human beings are funny. They long to be with the person they love but refuse to admit openly

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.

Sigmund Freud
The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization

The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

In ancient times, physical violence was the norm when people faced conflict. When disagreements arose, individuals resorted to violence to assert their dominance.

But as the human race developed, so too did our communication methods. The ability to express our thoughts and feelings through language made conflict resolution more peaceful. Insulting instead of physically harming someone was a major advancement in civilization.

On a lighter note, insults, despite not being pleasant, provide a less violent way of expressing dissatisfaction with someone’s actions.

And as this Sigmund Freud quote on life suggests, today, we need to use this tool responsibly and be aware of how our words can affect others. By doing so, we can help build a better, more civilized world.

Rather than living our lives we are lived by unknown and uncontrollable forces

Rather than living our lives, we are ”lived” by unknown and uncontrollable forces.

Sigmund Freud
There are no mistakes

There are no mistakes.

Sigmund Freud
The goal of all life is death

The goal of all life is death.

Sigmund Freud
I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a fathers protection

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

The significance of a father’s protective embrace cannot be understated. It is a shield, forged with love and strengthened by unwavering commitment, that guards a child against dangers lurking around.

A father’s presence creates an atmosphere of safety that fosters a child’s development. The father cultivates an environment in which seeds of potential can bloom into resplendent blooms of possibility, as a gentle guardian of a secret garden. Despite life’s turbulence, they find comfort and reassurance in his embrace.

But perhaps more importantly, through his teachings, stories, and gentle guidance, a child learns the child discovers a map to navigate the complex web of life.

During a child’s growth and development, a father’s guidance and protection are vital to nurturing their spirit and shaping their future. So, let’s celebrate the guardians who protect, guide, and inspire our future generations.

8 Sigmund Freud Quotes About Love

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

In love, we allow ourselves to be hurt. We allow someone to see our deepest vulnerabilities. This level of vulnerability is a powerful and courageous act that requires trust, faith, and willingness to hurt.

And yet, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences we have. Love shows us what we are capable of and what truly matters in life. It teaches us about sacrifice, forgiveness, and connection. Love opens our eyes to a world we could never experience otherwise

This Freud quote on love shows that caring deeply for someone also exposes us to pain and suffering. So, we have to be mindful of how we really approach love, especially after heartbreak. We need to communicate our emotional boundaries clearly to our partners.

All in all, love is not a shield against suffering but it is an unforgettable and transformative experience worth taking the risk for.

Also Read: 99 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Success, Self-reliance, Life, Nature, & Happiness (Explained)

Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness. Sigmund Freud

Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.

Sigmund Freud
Love and work work and love. Thats all there is

Love and work, work and love.
That’s all there is.

Sigmund Freud
Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have so to speak pawned a part of their narcissism. Sigmund Freud

Whoever loves becomes humble.
Those who love have, so to speak,
pawned a part of their narcissism.

Sigmund Freud
Love is a state of temporary psychosis

Love is a state of temporary psychosis.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

We typically associate psychosis with mental illness and instability. But if we look closer, Freud’s words on love have weight to them.

When we fall in love, we often feel as if we are in a different world. Our thoughts and actions can seem illogical or inexplicable to others. We are prone to intense emotions, both positive and negative.

So, in many ways, this state of mind is similar to psychosis. People who experience psychosis often experience delusions or hallucinations that are disconnected from reality. They sometimes feel agitated or paranoid, and their behavior becomes unpredictable.

In other words, love can be both wonderful and terrifying, uplifting and destabilizing. But ultimately, it is one of the most meaningful experiences that we go through as human beings.

My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection

My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection.

Sigmund Freud
Not all men are worthy of love

Not all men are worthy of love.

Sigmund Freud
How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved

How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.

Sigmund Freud

10 Sigmund Freud Quotes About Dreams

The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life. Sigmund Freud

The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

At its core, this quote indicates that even the most upright can carry dark thoughts and desires, which may only be expressed in dreams.

Freud believed our dreams were reflections of this inner world, and that they often revealed our deepest fears, desires, and motivations.

In this way, if we dream of doing something we wouldn’t do in waking life, our unconscious mind is trying to resolve some underlying issues or conflicts. For the virtuous man, this means dealing with aspects of their personality they would like to deny or suppress.

By contrast, wicked men may act out these same desires in real life without ever acknowledging the underlying causes of their actions. In this sense, this Sigmund Freud quote on dreams says that the virtuous man’s willingness to confront their inner demons is indicative of their moral superiority since they are actively engaging with their own mind.

Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious

Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.

Sigmund Freud
Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy

Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.

Sigmund Freud
Every one has wishes which he would not like to tell to others which he does not want to admit even to himself

Every one has wishes which he would not like to tell to others, which he does not want to admit even to himself.

Sigmund Freud
Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers

Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

Freud says that our dreams are symbolic representations of our unconscious mind, where all of our suppressed thoughts and emotions reside.

In our waking hours, it may be difficult to confront these hidden aspects of ourselves. However, dreams provide a safe and controlled environment for them to emerge.

In this way, dreams play a crucial role in our mental well-being. They allow us to process and release unconscious material we may not be able to confront directly in our daily lives.

In this sense, our dreams are not disturbers of sleep, but rather guardians that protect us from psychological turmoil caused by suppressed feelings.

dreams may be thus stated They are concealed realizations of repressed desires

Dreams may be thus stated:

They are concealed realizations of repressed desires.

Sigmund Freud
The Irish are the one race for which psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever. because they already live in a dream world

The Irish are the one race for which psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever… because they already live in a dream world.

Sigmund Freud
The dream acts as a safety valve for the over burdened brain

The dream acts as a safety-valve for the over-burdened brain.

Sigmund Freud
The dream unites the grossest contradictions permits impossibilities sets aside the knowledge that influences us by day

The dream unites the grossest contradictions, permits impossibilities, sets aside the knowledge that influences us by day, and exposes us as ethically and morally obtuse.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

As discussed above, Freud’s philosophy suggests that the dream world reflects our unconscious desires and fears. In our regular activities, we adhere to social norms and conventions, and we often suppress our true selves to fit in with others.

But when we dream, we can explore our deepest desires without fear of judgment or consequences. This is why dreams are so powerful. So, dreams can be a way of working through psychological conflicts and finding effective solutions to old problems.

On top of that, dreams also expose our ethical and moral weaknesses. When we dream, we are not bound by the same ethical and moral constraints that govern our daily lives. This can lead us to act in ways we wouldn’t consider acceptable when we are awake.

Ultimately, only by reflecting on and engaging with our dreams will we be able to fully comprehend ourselves and the world around us.

The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter

The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.

Sigmund Freud

14 Sigmund Freud Quotes About Psychology & Psychoanalysis

The mind is like an iceberg it floats with one seventh of its bulk above water

The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

The human mind is mysterious, like an iceberg floating in the vast ocean.

Just as an iceberg appears still on the surface of the water, the mind can also conceal its true depths beneath a calm and collected exterior.

What’s truly haunting is that no matter how much we think we understand our thoughts and emotions, there’s always more lurking beneath the surface. Our conscious mind, like the tip of an iceberg, only scratches the surface of what we are truly capable of.

But just like us, others also have hidden depths and complexities. And by accepting this fact, we can build more meaningful and compassionate relationships. So, take a moment and explore the incredible potential that lies beneath the surface of your brilliant mind.

Beauty has no obvious use nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it. Sigmund Freud

Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.

Sigmund Freud
The voice of the intellect is a soft one but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing

The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.

Sigmund Freud
The most common form of repression operates not at the level of the individual psyche but at the level of society

The most common form of repression operates not at the level of the individual psyche, but at the level of society.

Sigmund Freud
Where id was there shall ego be

Where id was,
there shall ego be.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

This Sigmund Freud quote on psychology is incredibly important when understanding human behavior and how our innermost desires influence our behavior.

The id, according to Freud’s theory of personality, operates on instinctual impulses and seeks immediate gratification of desires. On the other hand, the ego represents our rational self, the mediator between the id’s impulses and reality’s demands.

This quote implies that the ego arises from the id, showing that our rational self is derived from our primal impulses. It is only by developing the ego that we can learn to control and channel our desires in a healthy and functional manner.

As we grow, our ego becomes better equipped to handle the conflict between our inner desires and outside expectations. It allows us to make decisions and choices that are grounded in reality and considerate of others rather than purely based on instincts.

The ego is not master in its own house

The ego is not master in its own house.

Sigmund Freud
Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity

Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.

Sigmund Freud
The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer

The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is

‘What does a woman want?’

Sigmund Freud
The act of birth is the first experience of anxiety and thus the source and prototype of the affect of

The act of birth is the first experience of anxiety, and thus the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

Sigmund Freud proposed that anxiety was not simply a feeling caused by specific situations, but a part of the human experience from birth.

Think about it. As newborns, we are thrust into an unfamiliar world, vastly different from the womb. Bright lights, loud noises, and unfamiliar sensations suddenly flood our senses. No wonder we cry and wail in distress!

But this anxiety doesn’t end there. As we grow older, new and challenging situations cause unease and fear. In short, anxiety is a common part of the human experience, and it can affect our daily lives dramatically.

Anxiety is also stigmatized as a personal weakness. But as Freud pointed out, anxiety is not a weakness, it is a natural reaction to life’s challenges and uncertainties. And remember, anxiety can be intimidating, but it is not unbeatable. We can learn to live with it and thrive in spite of it.

Also Read: Thomas Hobbes Quotes on Life, War, Government & Philosophy (Analyzed)

A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them they are legitimately what directs hi conduct in the world

A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes, but to get into accord with them; they are legitimately what directs hi conduct in the world.

Sigmund Freud
The more perfect a person is on the outside the more demons they have on the inside

The more perfect a person is on the outside, the more demons they have on the inside.

Sigmund Freud
Public self is a conditioned construct of the inner psychological self

Public self is a conditioned construct of the inner psychological self.

Sigmund Freud
All family life is organized around the most damaged person in it

All family life is organized around the most damaged person in it.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

Whether it’s a difficult relationship, a mental health issue, a physical disability, or simply anger issues, every family has its own struggles. These challenges affect everyone in the family differently, but they usually revolve around one central figure – the most damaged one.

This person usually needs the most attention, care, or support to cope with their issues. And the rest of the family has to adjust to accommodate them and function as a whole.

And although the most damaged person in a family is not necessarily to blame for their problems, the challenges they face often negatively impact the dynamics of the family, as this quote from sigmund freud describes.

To conclude, I’d like to mention that life is not always easy, but it is always worth the effort. We need to embrace each other’s strengths and weaknesses and create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love

Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.

Sigmund Freud

12 Sigmund Freud Quotes About The Mind

I have found little good about human beings. In my experience most of them are trash

I have found little ‘good’ about human beings. In my experience, most of them are trash.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

Of course, it’s untrue that every human being is intrinsically evil or “trash,” as Freud said. There are people who are compassionate, empathetic and strive to do good in the world. 

However, perhaps Freud’s opinion reflects his experience as a psychoanalyst, where he likely saw firsthand the darker aspects of human nature.

But even outside of a clinical environment, it’s easy to see examples that support Freud’s argument. Look at how people treat one another on the internet, hiding behind anonymity to express hate. Over the years, I have experienced it firsthand. And this is just one example.

And while Freud’s statement seems pessimistic, it’s a reminder that we all have work to do. It is important for us to be the best version of ourselves because as Scott Sorrel said “You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person.”

The madman is a dreamer awake

The madman is a dreamer awake.

Sigmund Freud
Properly speaking the unconscious is the real psychic its inner nature is just as unknown to us as the reality of the external world

Properly speaking, the unconscious is the real psychic; its inner nature is just as unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly reported to us through the data of consciousness as is the external world through the indications of our sensory organs.

Sigmund Freud
History is just new people making old mistakes

History is just new people making old mistakes.

Sigmund Freud
The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master

The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

When we learn to control our mind, it can be a powerful tool that helps us achieve our goals and dreams. But it can be a terrible master, leading us down a path of anxiety, stress, and self-doubt when it takes control.

Think about it: how often do we let our thoughts and emotions control us? How many times have we become paralyzed by fear and doubt?

In a way, this Sigmund Freud quote about the mind says that if we don’t learn to control our thoughts and emotions, they will control us. We will be at their mercy, reacting to everything around us instead of taking control of our own lives.

The good thing is that we can control our thoughts, emotions, and reactions, and use them to create the life we want. We will then be able to cope with whatever challenges come our way, and we can accomplish our goals more quickly and effectively.

The mind is powerful and it is only by understanding and harnessing its power that we can truly live our lives to the fullest

The mind is powerful, and it is only by understanding and harnessing its power that we can truly live our lives to the fullest.

Sigmund Freud
He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret

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
Just as no one can be forced into belief so no one can be forced into unbelief

Just as no one can be forced into belief, so no one can be forced into unbelief.

Sigmund Freud
The only person with whom you have to compare ourselves is that you in the past. And the only person better you should be this is who you are now

The only person with whom you have to compare ourselves, is that you in the past. And the only person better you should be, this is who you are now.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

We live in a world where comparisons are widespread. But practically, the benchmark of our progress should only exist within ourselves.

By comparing ourselves to our past selves, we can see how much we have grown over time. It is an effective motivational tool for continued self-improvement and personal development. We try to be better today than yesterday, not better than anyone else.

This is because we all are on our own unique journey, which is different for every single one of us. After all, there’s no one quite like you in this world, so why try to be anyone else?

Moreover, if we compare ourselves to others, this often results in dissatisfaction and negativity. On the other hand, when we strive to improve ourselves for ourselves, we identify our strengths and weaknesses and make positive changes to improve our lives.

Thought is action in rehearsal

Thought is action in rehearsal.

Sigmund Freud
In the small matters trust the mind in the large ones the heart

In the small matters, trust the mind,
in the large ones, the heart.

Sigmund Freud
We choose not randomly each other. We meet only those who already exists in our subconscious

We choose not randomly each other. We meet only those who already exists in our subconscious.

Sigmund Freud

9 Sigmund Freud Quotes About Personality & Human Nature

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies quite unlike people who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

We humans struggle to experience pure love without introducing negative elements, such as hatred or mixed emotions.

And this Sigmund Freud quote on human nature is essentially a critique of relationships between people and their capacity for unconditional love.

For example, dogs display simplicity and purity in their emotional responses. They love their friends passionately and fiercely defend them against threats.

On the other hand, a duality of emotions is inherent in human nature, which reflects our complex combination of unconscious feelings and conflicts.

The scope of ones personality is defined by the magnitude of that problem which is capable of driving a person out of his wits

The scope of one’s personality is defined by the magnitude of that problem which is capable of driving a person out of his wits.

Sigmund Freud
We are what we are because we have been what we have been

We are what we are because we have been what we have been.

Sigmund Freud
When inspiration does not come to me I go halfway to meet it

When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it.

Sigmund Freud
When we attempt to imagine death we perceive ourselves as spectators

When we attempt to imagine death, we perceive ourselves as spectators.

Sigmund Freud

Brief Analysis

Whenever we think of death, we maintain a psychological distance, as if we are observing the idea rather than fully experiencing it.

This distancing mechanism allows us to cope with the existential enormity of our mortality without being overwhelmed.

This view aligns with Freud’s broader view of the human mind’s defense mechanisms, where he argued that people use various strategies to protect themselves from anxiety and discomfort.

Overall, Freud’s quote gives readers a glimpse into the complex dynamics of the human psyche when faced with death, which is one of the most unsettling aspects of our lives.

None believes in his own death. In the unconscious everyone is convinced of his own immortality

None believes in his own death. In the unconscious everyone is convinced of his own immortality.

Sigmund Freud
The tendency to aggression is an innate independent instinctual disposition in man. it constitutes the powerful obstacle to culture

The tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man… it constitutes the powerful obstacle to culture.

Sigmund Freud
Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea they become powerless when they oppose it

Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea, they become powerless when they oppose it.

Sigmund Freud
When I am criticized I can defend myself but Im powerless against the praise

When I am criticized, I can defend myself, but I’m powerless against the praise.

Sigmund Freud

When someone criticizes us, we often feel a natural inclination to defend ourselves. We can analyze the criticism, assess its validity, and come up with a response.

In a way, criticism invites us to engage our intellect and resilience, giving us a sense of control over the situation.

Unlike criticism, when praised, we are less likely to critically evaluate the positive words we hear. It’s as if the warmth of approval disarms our usual analytical defenses.

All in all, this Sigmund Freud quote on human personality shows that the ability to defend against criticism empowers us, but the lack of a defense mechanism against praise puts us at risk for blind acceptance of things.

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Published on May 14, 2023
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Admin - Art of Poets
Admin - Art of Poets

I'm a former writer with a bachelor's degree in English literature. I’ve always believed that words are a powerful medium for personal growth and transformation.

That’s why I founded Art of Poets on Instagram back in 2018 to share meaningful, motivational words with others. Today, it inspires a community of over 2.4 Million readers on Instagram, Facebook, Threads, and this website which I launched in March 2023.

While I choose to remain anonymous, my passion for sharing inspiring quotes and blog posts on personal growth will always be fueled by the belief that words can truly transform our lives.