150 Sigmund Freud Quotes to Change Your Life

Sigmund Freud, born in Freiberg, Moravia, was the founder of psychoanalysis, developing his theories primarily in Vienna.

Freud proposed that unconscious motivations, largely derived from childhood experiences, greatly influence human behavior.

He likened the impact of his ideas, challenging the notion of self-mastery, to Copernicus’ astronomical revelations.


Authoring influential works such as “The Interpretation of Dreams” and “Civilisation and its Discontents,” Freud’s groundbreaking yet controversial theories fostered substantial dialogue and challenged societal norms.

He fled from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and passed away in London the following year.

Related: Deepak Chopra Quotes and Robert Frost Quotes.

Below you will find the top quotes by Sigmund Freud.

Best Sigmund Freud Quotes

1. “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).


2. “The goal of all life is death.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

3. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

4. “Love is a state of temporary psychosis.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

5. “Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the deepest despair.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

6. “We choose not randomly each other. We meet only those who already exists in our subconscious.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

7. “Love and work, work and love… that’s all there is.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

8. “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

9. “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

10. “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).

11. “Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

12. “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

13. “Where does a thought go when it’s forgotten?” ~ (Sigmund Freud).


14. “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

15. “Psychiatry is the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on couches.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

16. “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

17. “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

18. “We are what we are because we have been what we have been.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

19. “In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

20. “Not all men are worthy of love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

Wise Sigmund Freud Quotes

21. “The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

22. “There are no mistakes.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

23. “Religion is a universal obsessional neurosis.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

24. “Without love we fall ill.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

25. “Where id was, there ego shall be.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

26. “From error to error one discovers the entire truth.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

27. “I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans. Certainly, a wild animal is cruel. But to be merciless is the privilege of civilized humans.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).


28. “Maturity is the ability to postpone gratification.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

29. “The sexual life of adult women is a “dark continent” for psychology.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

30. “How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

31. “The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

32. “The voice of reason is small, but very persistent.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

33. “The paranoid is never entirely mistaken.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

34. “It is not attention that the child is seeking, but love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

35. “All family life is organized around the most damaged person in it.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

36. “The first requisite of civilization is that of justice.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

37. “If youth knew; if age could.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

38. “There is a powerful force within us, an un-illuminated part of the mind – separate from the conscious mind that is constantly at work molding our thoughts, feelings, and actions.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

39. “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

40. “A strong egoism is a protection.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

Top Sigmund Freud Quotes

41. “If you can’t do it, give up!” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

42. “I’ve been a fortunate man in life. Nothing has come easily.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

43. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

44. “The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was the greatest before there was any civilization.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

45. “Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

46. “Loneliness and darkness have just robbed me of my valuables.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

47. “If you want your wife to listen to you, then talk to another woman; she will be all ears.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

48. “The madman is a dreamer awake.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

49. “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).

50. “It might be said of psychoanalysis that if you give it your little finger it will soon have your whole hand.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

51. “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).


52. “Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

53. “A piece of creative writing, like a day-dream, is a continuation of, and a substitute for, what was once the play of childhood.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

54. “The aim of psychoanalysis is to relieve people of their neurotic unhappiness so that they can be normally unhappy.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

55. “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).

56. “Humor is a means of obtaining pleasure in spite of the distressing effects that interface with it.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

57. “The poets and philosophers before me discovered the unconscious; what I discovered was the scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

58. “What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

59. “Talk therapy turns hysterical misery to mundane unhappiness.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

60. “In the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

61. “Once again, only religion can answer the question of the purpose of life. One can hardly be wrong in concluding that the idea of life having a purpose stands and falls with the religious system.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

62. “The price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

63. “Toward the person who has died we adopt a special attitude: something like admiration for someone who has accomplished a very difficult task.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

64. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

65. “Religion belonged to the infancy of humanity. Now that humanity had come of age, it should be left behind.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

66. “Yes, America is gigantic, but a gigantic mistake.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

67. “A strong egoism is a protection against disease, but in the last resort we must begin to love in order that we may not fall ill, and must fall ill if, in consequence of frustration, we cannot love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

68. “The only unnatural sexual behavior is none at all.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

69. “We know less about the sexual life of little girls than of boys. But we need not feel ashamed of this distinction; after all, the sexual life of adult women is a ‘dark continent’ for psychology.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

70. “If the truth of religious doctrines is dependent on an inner experience that bears witness to the truth, what is one to make of the many people who do not have that experience?” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

71. “Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why this illness was bound to come upon you and perhaps you will thenceforth avoid falling ill.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

72. “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).

73. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

74. “When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

75. “A hero is a man who stands up manfully against his father and in the end victoriously overcomes him.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

76. “Religion is the process of unconscious wish fulfillment, where, for certain people, if the process did not take place it would put them in self-danger of coming to mental harm, being unable to cope with the idea of a godless, purposeless life.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

77. “Creativity is an attempt to resolve a conflict generated by unexpressed biological impulses, such that unfulfilled desires are the driving force of the imagination, and they fuel our dreams and daydreams.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

78. “No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

79. “The most complicated achievements of thought are possible without the assistance of consciousness.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

80. “When someone abuses me I can defend myself, but against praise I am defenceless.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

Famous Sigmund Freud Quotes

81. “If children could, if adults knew.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

82. “Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea they become powerless when they oppose it.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

83. “Even if all parts of a problem seem to fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, one has to remember that the probable need not necessarily be the truth and the truth not always probable.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

84. “It is easy to see that the ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

85. “There is little that gives children greater pleasure than when a grown-up lets himself down to their level, renounces his oppressive superiority and plays with them as an equal.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

86. “The Devil would be the best way out as an excuse for God; in that way he would be playing the same part as an agent of economic discharge as the Jew does in the world of the Aryan ideal. But even so, one can hold God responsible for the existence of the Devil just as well as for the existence of the wickedness which the Devil embodies.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

87. “The Mosaic religion had been a Father religion; Christianity became a Son religion. The old God, the Father, took second place; Christ, the Son, stood in His stead, just as in those dark times every son had longed to do.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).


88. “A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

89. “Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds, loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

90. “I have found little ‘good’ about human beings. In my experience, most of them are trash…” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

91. “Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

92. “We may say that hysteria is a caricature of an artistic creation, a compulsion neurosis a caricature of a religion, and a paranoiac delusion a caricature of a philosophic system.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

93. “Sexuality is the key to the problem of the psychoneuroses and of the neuroses in general. No one who disdains the key will ever be able to unlock the door.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

94. “A woman should soften but not weaken a man.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

95. “Religion originates in the child’s and young mankind’s fears and need for help. It cannot be otherwise.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

96. “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

97. “Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

98. “America is a mistake, admittedly a gigantic mistake, but a mistake nevertheless.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

99. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

100. “A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

Short Sigmund Freud Quotes

101. “Just as no one can be forced into belief, so no one can be forced into unbelief.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

102. “Crystals reveal their hidden structures only when broken.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

103. “Anxiety in children is originally nothing other than an expression of the fact they are feeling the loss of the person they love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).


104. “History is just new people making old mistakes.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

105. “The only shame in masturbation is the shame of not doing it well.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

106. “A father’s death is the most important event, the more heartbreaking and poignant loss in a man’s life.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

107. “Two hallmarks of a healthy life are the abilities to love and to work. Each requires imagination.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

108. “Were we to fully understand the reasons for other people’s behavior, it would all make sense.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

109. “Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

110. “Dreams are constructed from the residue of yesterday.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

111. “To be completely honest with oneself is the very best effort a human being can make.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

112. “The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three harsh masters, and it has to do its best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three… The three tyrants are the external world, the superego, and the id.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

113. “The Irish are the one race for which psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever… because they already live in a dream world.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

114. “All that matters is love and work.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

115. “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).

116. “Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

117. “Writers write for fame, wealth, power and the love of women.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

118. “In mourning it is the world which has become poor and empty; in melancholia it is the ego itself.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

119. “Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

120. “The news that reaches your consciousness is incomplete and often not to be relied on… Turn your eyes inward, look into your own depths, learn first to know yourself!” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

Inspiring Sigmund Freud Quotes

121. “When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

122. “All giving is asking, and all asking is an asking for love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

123. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

124. “Only the real, rare, true scientific minds can endure doubt, which is attached to all our knowledge.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

125. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

126. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

127. “The ego is not master in its own house.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

128. “The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

129. “Desire presses ever forward unsubdued.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

130. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

131. “My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

132. “My boy! Smoking is one of the greatest and cheapest enjoyments in life, and if you decide in advance not to smoke, I can only feel sorry for you.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

133. “Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

134. “Knowledge is the intellectual manipulation of carefully verified observations.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

135. “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).

Profound Sigmund Freud Quotes

136. “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).

137. “I have never doubted that religious phenomena are only to be understood on the pattern of the individual neurotic symptoms familiar to us.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

138. “One is very crazy when in love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

139. “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

140. “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.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

141. “Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

142. “Humanity is in the highest degree irrational, so that there is no prospect of influencing it by reasonable arguments. Against prejudice one can do nothing.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

143. “Might we not say that every child at play behaves like a creative writer, in that he creates a world of his own, or, rather, rearranges the things of his world in a new way which pleases him?” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

144. “The pleasure of satisfying a savage instinct, undomesticated by the ego, is uncomparably much more intense than the one of satisfying a tamed instinct. The reason is becoming the enemy that prevents us from a lot of possibilities of pleasure.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

145. “When we attempt to imagine death, we perceive ourselves as spectators.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

146. “The different religions have never overlooked the part played by the sense of guilt in civilization. What is more, they come forward with a claim… to save mankind from this sense of guilt, which they call sin.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

147. “The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

148. “Smoking is indispensable if one has nothing to kiss.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

149. “My way of working was different years ago. I used to wait until an idea came to me. Now I go half-way to meet it, though I don’t know whether I find it any the quicker.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

150. “The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions.” ~ (Sigmund Freud).

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Short Biography of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist born in 1856, pioneered psychoanalysis, a method focusing on resolving psychic conflicts through dialogue between patient and analyst.

Sigmund Freud

Freud introduced influential theories, including the Oedipus complex and the roles of the id, ego, and super-ego.

His concepts of the unconscious and the libido shaped modern psychology.

Full Name Sigismund Schlomo Freud
Born 6 May 1856 Freiberg in Mähren, Moravia, Austrian Empire (now Czech Republic)
Died 23 September 1939 (aged 83) Hampstead, London, England
Alma mater University of Vienna (MD, 1881)
Known for Psychoanalysis, including The Theories of id, Ego and Super-Ego, Oedipus Complex, Repression, Defence Mechanism, Stages of Psychosexual Development
Spouse Martha Bernays ​(m. 1886)​
Children Mathilde, Jean-Martin, Oliver, Ernst, Sophie, and Anna
Parents Jacob Freud (father), Amalia Nathanson (mother)
Awards Goethe Prize (1930)
Fields Neurology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis
Institutions University of Vienna; International Psychoanalytical Association
Academic advisors Franz Brentano, Ernst Brücke, Carl Claus

Although psychoanalysis’s popularity has waned, its impact persists in psychology, humanities, and Western culture.

Freud fled Nazi persecution in 1938 and died in the UK in 1939.

Quick Facts about Sigmund Freud

  • Dr. Sigmund Freud is known as the father of psychoanalysis.
  • Freud developed the influential concept of the unconscious mind.
  • His theory of the Oedipus complex explores childhood sexual desires towards opposite-sex parents.
  • Freud emphasized dream analysis as a window into the unconscious.
  • He introduced the structural model of the mind, consisting of the id, ego, and superego.
  • Freud’s work highlighted the impact of early childhood experiences on adult behavior.
  • He explored defense mechanisms like repression and denial.
  • Freud’s views on female sexuality, including the idea of “penis envy,” sparked controversy.
  • His theories received mixed reactions, ranging from praise to criticism for lack of empirical evidence.
  • Freud was an avid collector of ancient artifacts, enriching his personal and professional environment.
  • Nazi persecution led to the banning and burning of his work; Freud fled to London for safety.
  • Beyond psychology, Freud influenced literature, art, and popular culture.
  • Freud’s theories revolutionized how we understand human thoughts and behaviors.
  • He believed dreams are crucial for understanding repressed desires.
  • Freud’s psychosexual development theory suggests adult personalities are shaped by early childhood.
  • He proposed that our behavior is influenced by primal, instinctual desires (id).
  • The ego, according to Freud, mediates desires and the external world.
  • The superego in Freud’s model embodies internalized moral standards.
  • Freud identified various psychological defense mechanisms to cope with anxiety.
  • His legacy persists in various fields, demonstrating the enduring impact of his ideas on modern thought.

Top Questions about Sigmund Freud

Q: What is Sigmund Freud’s main theory?

A: Sigmund Freud’s main theory revolves around the concept of the unconscious mind. He believed that much of human behavior is influenced not by conscious decisions, but by past experiences and underlying desires hidden within the unconscious mind.

Q: What is the significance of psychoanalysis in Freud’s work?

A: Psychoanalysis, a therapeutic technique devised by Freud, is significant because it seeks to reveal and address unconscious thoughts and feelings. By bringing these to the conscious level, psychoanalysis aids in understanding and resolving psychological conflicts, forming a core part of Freud’s contributions to psychology.

Q: How did Freud’s views on sexuality differ from conventional beliefs at the time?

A: Freud’s views on sexuality were groundbreaking as he considered sexual desires, even from early childhood, as pivotal in personality development. This was in stark contrast to the conservative norms of his era, which often regarded sexuality as either taboo or negligible.

Q: What is considered Freud’s greatest work?

A: Freud’s greatest work is often considered to be “The Interpretation of Dreams,” published in 1900. This seminal book argued that dreams are deeply connected to the unconscious and can provide insights into hidden desires and motivations.

Q: Are Freud’s theories still relevant today?

A: Yes, many of Freud’s theories continue to influence modern psychology. Although some aspects have been challenged or refined, his ideas, especially those concerning the unconscious mind and the importance of early childhood experiences, still contribute significantly to psychological practices and therapies today.

Q: How did Freud’s work influence the field of psychology?

A: Freud’s theories profoundly shaped the field of psychology. His focus on the unconscious mind and the role of childhood experiences in personality development opened new avenues for psychological research and therapy. His work led to the development of various psychological theories and methods, influencing subsequent generations of psychologists and therapists.

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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