150 Sigmund Freud Quotes on Psychoanalysis, Dreams, Love & More

Sigmund Freud Quote

In this post, we’ll read Sigmund Freud quotes who was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis.

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was born into a Jewish family and later moved to Vienna, Austria, where he spent most of his life. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and trained as a neurologist.

His most significant contributions to psychology came through his development of psychoanalysis and he believed that unconscious conflicts and desires played a key role in shaping human behavior and personality. He tried to uncover these hidden processes through techniques such as free association, dream analysis, etc.

Sigmund Freud also proposed the concept of Oedipus complex which means that the child unconsciously sees the parent of the opposite sex as a rival and has deep infatuation with the other parent to the possibility of having sexual relations with them.

Let’s read some of the most famous Sigmund Freud quotes about psychoanalysis, love, neurosis and more.

Famous Sigmund Freud Quotes

Famous Sigmund Freud Quote

1. “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.”

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

3. “The weakness of my position does not imply a strengthening of yours.”

4. “The words which we use in our everyday speech are nothing other than watered-down magic.”

5. “Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.”

6. “Where does a thought go when it’s forgotten?”

7. “Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss.”

8. “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.”

9. “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.”

10. “If you can’t do it, give up!”

11. “It sounds not only disagreeable but also paradoxical, yet it must nevertheless be said that anyone who is to be really free and happy in love must have surmounted his respect for women and have come to terms with the idea of incest with his mother or sister.”

Best Sigmund Freud Quotes

Best Sigmund Freud Quote

1. “Nothing that is mentally our own can ever be lost.”

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

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

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

5. “We can never give up; we only exchange one thing for another.”

6. “When one does not have what one wants, one must want what one has.”

7. “From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.”

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

9. “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”

10. “Maturity is the ability to postpone gratification.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud Quote on Psychoanalysis

1. “Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.”

2. “This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.” [speaking about the Irish]

3. “It is a predisposition of human nature to consider an unpleasant idea untrue, and then it is easy to find arguments against it.”

4. “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.”

5. “The psychoanalysis of neurotics has taught us to recognize the intimate connection between wetting the bed and the character trait of ambition.”

6. “Incidentally, why was it that none of all the pious ever discovered psycho-analysis? Why did it have to wait for a completely godless Jew?”

7. “Analysis does not set out to make pathological reactions impossible, but to give the patient’s ego freedom to decide one way or another.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Love

Sigmund Freud Quote on Love

1. “Love is a state of temporary psychosis.”

2. “Love and work… work and love, that’s all there is.”

3. “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.”

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

5. “It is that we are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love.”

6. “One is very crazy when in love.”

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

8. “How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.”

9. “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.”

10. “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.”

11. “A certain degree of fetishism is habitually present in normal love.”

12. “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 Quotes on Dreams

Sigmund Freud Quote on Dreams

1. “Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.”

2. “Those dreams best fulfil their function about which one knows nothing after waking.”

3. “Dreams are never concerned with trivia.”

4. “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.”

5. “Obviously one must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one’s dreams. In what other way can one deal with them? Unless the content of the dream rightly understood is inspired by alien spirits, it is part of my own being.”

6. “The madman is a dreamer awake.”

7. “The dream is the (disguised) fulfillment of a (suppressed, repressed) wish.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on The Unconscious Mind

Sigmund Freud Quote on The Unconscious Mind

1. “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

2. “The psychical, whatever its nature may be, is itself unconscious.”

3. “The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.”

4. “Our unconscious will murder even for trifles; it knows no other punishment for crime than death.”

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

6. “For there is a way back from imagination to reality and that is—art.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Civilization

Sigmund Freud Quote on Civilization

1. “The first requisite of civilization is that of justice.”

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

3. “It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct.”

4. “The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.”

5. “Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.”

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

7. “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.”

8. “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.”

9. “What we know to be useless, but expect civilization to value, is beauty.”

10. “Civilized society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards one another.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Religion

Sigmund Freud Quote on Religion

1. “Immorality, no less than morality, has at all times found support in religion.”

2. “Where the questions of religion are concerned people are guilty of every possible kind of insincerity and intellectual misdemeanor.”

3. “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.”

4. “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.”

5. “Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.”

6. “The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.”

7. “Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.”

8. “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 Quotes on Sexuality

Sigmund Freud Quote on Sexuality

1. “In matters of sexuality we are at present, every one of us, ill or well, nothing but hypocrites.”

2. “It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and a cruelty too.”

3. “People do not show their sexuality freely, but to conceal it they wear a heavy overcoat woven of a tissue of lies, as though the weather were bad in the world of sexuality.”

4. “Men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved, and who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness. As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him.”

5. “The exclusive sexual interest felt by men for women is also a problem that needs elucidating and not a self-evident fact.”

6. “It seems probable that the sexual drive is in the first instance independent of its object.”

7. “According to the prevailing view human sexual life consists essentially in an endeavor to bring one’s own genitals into contact with those of someone of the opposite sex.”

8. “The only shame in masturbation is the shame of not doing it well.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Life

Sigmund Freud Quote on Life

1. “The goal of all life is death.”

2. “Homo homini lupus [man is wolf to man]. Who in the face of all his experience of life and of history, will have the courage to dispute this assertion?”

3. “Everyone owes nature a death.”

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

5. “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.”

6. “Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks.”

7. “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.”

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

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Women

Sigmund Freud Quote on Women

1. “Woman … what does she want?”

2. “It is popularly believed that a human being is either a man or a woman.”

3. “A woman should soften but not weaken a man.”

4. “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?’”

5. “The woman who refuses to see her sexual organs as mere wood chips, designed to make the man’s life more comfortable, is in danger of becoming a lesbian–an active, phallic woman, an intellectual virago with a fire of her own …. The lesbian body is a particularly pernicious and depraved version of the female body in general; it is susceptible to auto-eroticism, clitoral pleasure and self-actualization.”

6. “The sexual life of adult women is a “dark continent” for psychology.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Human Nature

Sigmund Freud Quote on Human Nature

1. “I have found little that is ‘good’ about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.”

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

3. “Dark, unfeeling and unloving powers determine human destiny.”

4. “Human life should not be considered as the proper material for wild experiments.”

5. “Who lacks sex speaks about sex, hungry talks about food, a person who has no money – about money, and our oligarchs and bankers talk about morality.”

6. “Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.”

7. “In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow-men, with a few exceptions, are worthless.”

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

9. “Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Children

Sigmund Freud Quote on Children

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

2. “How far back into childhood do our memories reach?”

3. “The creative writer does the same as the child at play; he creates a world of fantasy which he takes very seriously.”

4. “What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.”

5. “Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them.”

6. “The torments caused by the reproaches of conscience correspond precisely to a child’s fear of loss of love.”

7. “It is not attention that the child is seeking, but love.”

8. “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.”

9. “A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Id, Ego & Superego

Sigmund Freud Quote on Id, and ego

1. “Where id is, there shall ego be.”

2. “The ego is not master in its own house.”

3. “A strong egoism is a protection.”

4. “Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent.”

5. “The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface.”

6. “We have learned, for example, that the more virtuous a man is the more severe is his super-ego, and that he blames himself for misfortunes for which he is clearly not responsible.”

7. “The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the id, which contains the passions.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Marriage

Sigmund Freud Quote on Marriage

1. “A great marriage doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning but how well you continue building love until the end.”

2. “If there are quarrels between the parents or if their marriage is unhappy, the ground will be prepared in their children for the severest predisposition to a disturbance of sexual development or to neurotic illness.”

3. “If you want your wife to listen to you, then talk to another woman; she will be all ears.”

4. “When it comes to the small matters in life one should think long and hard, but when it comes to the big ones -whether or not to marry, whether to have children- one should just go ahead and do it”

5. “The story is told of a famous German chemist that his marriage did not take place, because he forgot the hour of his wedding and went to the laboratory instead of to the church. He was wise enough to be satisfied with a single attempt and died at a great age unmarried.”

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

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Neurosis

Sigmund Freud Quote on Neurosis

1. “Neurosis is no excuse for bad manners.”

2. “Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.”

3. “Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to talking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young.”

4. “Religion is a universal obsessional neurosis.”

5. “In so doing, the idea forces itself upon him that 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.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Illusions

Sigmund Freud Quote on Illusions

1. “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.”

2. “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.”

3. “No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.”

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

5. “The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.”

6. “Observe the difference between your attitude to illusions and mine. You have to defend the religious illusion with all your might. If it becomes discredited – and indeed the threat to it is great enough – then your world collapses. There is nothing left for you but to despair of everything, of civilization and the future of mankind. From that bondage I am, we are, free. Since we are prepared to renounce a good part of our infantile wishes, we can bear it if a few of our expectations turn out to be illusions.”

7. “Like the physical, the psychical is not necessarily in reality what it appears to us to be.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on America

Sigmund Freud Quote on America

1. “America is a mistake, a giant mistake.”

2. “America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.”

3. “Yes, America is gigantic, but a gigantic mistake.”

4. “Life is impoverished, it loses in interest, when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked. It becomes as shallow and empty as, let us say, an American flirtation.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Cocaine

Sigmund Freud Quote on Cocaine

1. “I had thought about cocaine in a kind of day-dream.”

2. “I was making frequent use of cocaine at that time … I had been the first to recommend the use of cocaine, in 1885, and this recommendation had brought serious reproaches down on me.”

3. “Woe to you, my Princess, when I come. I will kiss you quite red and feed you till you are plump. And if you are forward, you shall see who is the stronger, a gentle little girl who doesn’t eat enough, or a big wild man who has cocaine in his body.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Happiness

Sigmund Freud Quote on Happiness

1. “Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the deepest despair.”

2. “What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree.”

3. “Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone.”

4. “The intention that man should be happy is not in the plan of Creation.”

5. “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.”

Sigmund Freud Quotes on Emotions

Sigmund Freud Quote on Emotions

1. “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”

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

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

4. “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.”

These Sigmund Freud quotes reflect his proposed theories and they have been the subject of controversy and criticism, mainly because of their lack of evidence.

Despite the controversies surrounding his work, he is an influential figure in psychology, psychiatry, and Western culture as his ideas have shaped our understanding of the mind, human behavior, and mental illnesses.

Which of these Sigmund Freud quotes left an impact on you?

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