87 Erich Fromm Quotes on Love and Freedom

Erich Fromm was a German social psychologist connected to the Frankfurt School.

He believed freedom was essential to humans and questioned Sigmund Freud’s ideas.

Born in 1900 to Jewish parents in Frankfurt, the World War I impacted him, leading to interests in group behavior and thinkers like Freud and Marx.

He earned his doctorate in sociology in 1922 and studied psychoanalysis in Frankfurt and Berlin.

Erich Fromm

After a short marriage to his psychoanalyst, Frieda Reichmann, he helped establish the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute.

Due to the Nazis, the institute relocated to New York. In the U.S., he taught at various universities and critiqued Freud, causing disagreements.

In 1944, after remarrying, he moved to Mexico, taught there and founded a psychoanalysis institute.

He married again in 1953. Later, he moved to Switzerland, where he died in 1980.

I have listed below the best quotes by Erich Fromm.

Best Erich Fromm Quotes


In times of change, learners inherit the earth. ~ Erich Fromm.


The mature response to the problem of existence is love. ~ Erich Fromm.


Men are born equal but they are also born different. ~ Erich Fromm.


Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself. ~ Erich Fromm.


The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal. ~ Erich Fromm.


Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much. ~ Erich Fromm.

There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail. ~ Erich Fromm.


There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself. ~ Erich Fromm.

It takes a moment to tell someone you love them, but it takes a lifetime to prove it. ~ Erich Fromm.


Freedom is the fundamental condition for any growth. ~ Erich Fromm.

Robots do not rebel. ~ Erich Fromm.

Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before. ~ Erich Fromm.


Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love. ~ Erich Fromm.

Destructiveness is the outcome of an unlived life. ~ Erich Fromm.

Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies. ~ Erich Fromm.

To respect a person is not possible without knowing him; care and responsibility would be blind if they were not guided by knowledge. ~ Erich Fromm.

I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me. ~ Erich Fromm.

Famous Erich Fromm Quotes

Modern man thinks he loses something – time – when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains, except kill it. ~ Erich Fromm.

The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent. ~ Erich Fromm.

If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism. ~ Erich Fromm.


You have to stop in order to change direction. ~ Erich Fromm.

Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? ~ Erich Fromm.

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. ~ Erich Fromm.

The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born when we die. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. ~ Erich Fromm.

Man may be defined as the animal that can say “I,” that can be aware of himself as a separate entity. ~ Erich Fromm.

The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have. ~ Erich Fromm.

Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either. ~ Erich Fromm.

Man’s biological weakness is the condition of human culture. ~ Erich Fromm.

Top Erich Fromm Quotes

I love in you everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself. ~ Erich Fromm.

To be concentrated means to live fully in the present. ~ Erich Fromm.

Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. ~ Erich Fromm.


Exclusive love is a contradiction in itself. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice. ~ Erich Fromm.

Happiness is a man’s greatest achievement; it is the response of his total personality to a productive orientation toward himself and the world outside. ~ Erich Fromm.

The experience of separateness arouses anxiety; it is, indeed, the source of all anxiety. ~ Erich Fromm.

Tribes like this are the truly affluent societies – not because they are so wealthy but because they do not want more than they have. ~ Erich Fromm.

Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~ Erich Fromm.

The affirmation of one’s own life, happiness, growth and freedom, is rooted in one’s capacity to love. ~ Erich Fromm.

A dream is a microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul. ~ Erich Fromm.

Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’ ~ Erich Fromm.


Love is an act of faith. ~ Erich Fromm.

Independent of others and in concert with others, your main task in life is to do what you can best do and become what you can potentially be. ~ Erich Fromm.

When people can’t handle God any more, they turn to religion. ~ Erich Fromm.

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality. ~ Erich Fromm.

Popular Erich Fromm Quotes

Human history began with an act of disobedience and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience. ~ Erich Fromm.

Free man is by necessity insecure, thinking man by necessity uncertain. ~ Erich Fromm.


In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two. ~ Erich Fromm.

If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I? ~ Erich Fromm.

Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. ~ Erich Fromm.

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve. ~ Erich Fromm.

The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness. ~ Erich Fromm.

Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness. ~ Erich Fromm.

The ordinary man with extraordinary power is the chief danger for mankind – not the fiend or the sadist. ~ Erich Fromm.

I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice. ~ Erich Fromm.

The aim of life is to be fully born, though its tragedy is that most of us die before we are thus born. ~ Erich Fromm.

There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love. ~ Erich Fromm.

Great Erich Fromm Quotes

Productive work, love and thought are possible only if a person can be, when necessary, quiet and alone. To be able to listen to oneself is the necessary condition for relating oneself to others. ~ Erich Fromm.

Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self. ~ Erich Fromm.

Society must be organized in such a way that man’s social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. ~ Erich Fromm.


Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. ~ Erich Fromm.

Thus, the ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate. ~ Erich Fromm.

The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane. ~ Erich Fromm.

Erich Fromm Quotes on Love

In erotic love, two people who were separate become one. In motherly love, two people who were one become separate. The mother must not only tolerate, she must wish and support the child’s separation. ~ Erich Fromm.

We are a society of notoriously unhappy people: lonely, anxious, depressed, destructive, dependent – people who are glad when we have killed the time we are trying so hard to save. ~ Erich Fromm.

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. ~ Erich Fromm.

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before. ~ Erich Fromm.

I need you because I love you. ~ Erich Fromm.

As we ascend the social ladder, viciousness wears a thicker mask. ~ Erich Fromm.

One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision. ~ Erich Fromm.

The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers. ~ Erich Fromm.

That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love is a power which produces love. ~ Erich Fromm.

Beautiful Erich Fromm Quotes

The revolutionary and critical thinker is in a certain way always outside of his society while of course he is at the same time also in it. ~ Erich Fromm.

Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines. ~ Erich Fromm.

To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime. ~ Erich Fromm.

There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or to be acted out under the guise of virtue. ~ Erich Fromm.

The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. ~ Erich Fromm.

Boredom is nothing but the experience of a paralysis of our productive powers. ~ Erich Fromm.

To love somebody is not just a strong feeling – it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. ~ Erich Fromm.

Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. ~ Erich Fromm.

So these were the 87 top Erich Fromm quotes and sayings on love and freedom.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Erica Jong quotes and Ellen DeGeneres quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar