Title Image - Quotes by Author Sigmund FreudPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Sigmund Freud. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud ( FROYD; German: [ˈziːk.mʊnt ˈfʁɔʏt]; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.

Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. He qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1881 at the University of Vienna. Upon completing his habilitation in 1885, he was appointed a docent in neuropathology and became an affiliated professor in 1902. Freud lived and worked in Vienna, having set up his clinical practice there in 1886. In 1938, Freud left Austria to escape Nazi persecution. He died in exile in the United Kingdom in 1939.

In founding psychoanalysis, Freud developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process. Freud's redefinition of sexuality to include its infantile forms led him to formulate the Oedipus complex as the central tenet of psychoanalytical theory. His analysis of dreams as wish-fulfillments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the underlying mechanisms of repression. On this basis, Freud elaborated his theory of the unconscious and went on to develop a model of psychic structure comprising id, ego and super-ego. Freud postulated the existence of libido, sexualised energy with which mental processes and structures are invested and which generates erotic attachments, and a death drive, the source of compulsive repetition, hate, aggression, and neurotic guilt. In his later works, Freud developed a wide-ranging interpretation and critique of religion and culture.

Though in overall decline as a diagnostic and clinical practice, psychoanalysis remains influential within psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy, and across the humanities. It thus continues to generate extensive and highly contested debate concerning its therapeutic efficacy, its scientific status, and whether it advances or hinders the feminist cause. Nonetheless, Freud's work has suffused contemporary Western thought and popular culture. W. H. Auden's 1940 poetic tribute to Freud describes him as having created "a whole climate of opinion under whom we conduct our different lives."

I suppose that romantic love was invented as a brilliant means of seduction.

--Sigmund Freud

No matter how much restriction civilization imposes on the individual, he nevertheless finds some way to circumvent it. Wit is the best safety valve modern man has evolved; the more civilization, the more repression, the more need there is for wit.

--Sigmund Freud

Longer Version:

No matter how much restriction civilization imposes on the individual, he nevertheless finds some way to circumvent it. Wit is the best safety valve modern man has evolved; the more civilization, the more repression, the more need there is for wit.".


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 in their object-relations.

--Sigmund Freud

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

Dreams are the royal road to the unconcious.

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

Anatomy is destiny.

--Sigmund Freud

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

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

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man.

--Sigmund Freud

The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions.

--Sigmund Freud

We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast.

--Sigmund Freud

Crystals reveal their hidden structures only when broken.

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

Our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says.

--Sigmund Freud

An unrestricted satisfaction of every need presents itself as the most enticing method of conducting one's life, but it means putting enjoyment before caution, and soon brings its own punishment.

--Sigmund Freud

The facts which have caused us to believe in the dominance of the pleasure principle in mental life also find expression in the hypothesis that the mental apparatus endeavours to keep the quantity of excitation present in it as low as possible or at least to keep it constant.

--Sigmund Freud

I may now add that civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind.

--Sigmund Freud

Conscience is the internal perception of the rejection of a particular wish operating in us.

--Sigmund Freud

Dreams are the guardians of sleep and not its disturbers.

--Sigmund Freud

The defense against childish helplessness is what lends its characteristic features to the adult's reaction to the helplessness which he has to acknowledge -- a reaction which is precisely the formation of religion.

--Sigmund Freud

A hero is a man who stands up manfully against his father and in the end victoriously overcomes him.

--Sigmund Freud

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

Talk therapy turns hysterical misery to mundane unhappiness.

--Sigmund Freud

I do not doubt that it would be easier for fate to take away your suffering than it would for me. But you will see for yourself that much has been gained if we succeed in turning your hysterical misery into common unhappiness.

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

I take up the standpoint that the tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man, and I come back now to the statement that it constitutes the most powerful obstacle to culture.

--Sigmund Freud

One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be 'happy' is not included in the plan of Creation.' ... We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things.

--Sigmund Freud

Sexual morality -- as society in its extreme form, the American, defines it -- is contemptible. I advocate an incomparably freer sexual life.

--Sigmund Freud

We are so constituted that we can gain intense pleasure only from the contrast, and only very little from the condition itself.

--Sigmund Freud

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

Cruelty and intolerance to those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion.

--Sigmund Freud

Perhaps the gods are kind to us, by making life more disagreeable as we grow older. In the end death seems less intolerable than the manifold burdens we carry.

--Sigmund Freud

There is to my mind no doubt that the concept of beautiful had its roots in sexual excitation and that its original meaning was sexually stimulating.

--Sigmund Freud

All who seek to be nobler than their constitution permits succumb to neurosis; they would have been better in health if they had found it possible to be morally worse.

--Sigmund Freud

Intelligence will be used in the service of the neurosis.

--Sigmund Freud

The delusions of paranoiacs have an unpalatable external similarity and internal kinship to the systems of our philosophers.

--Sigmund Freud

In human beings pure masculinity or femininity is not to be found either in a psychological or biological sense.

--Sigmund Freud

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

Civilization runs a greater risk if we maintain our present attitude to religion than if we give it up.

--Sigmund Freud

The religions of mankind must be classed among the mass-delusions of this kind. No one, needless to say, who shares a delusion ever recognizes it as such.

--Sigmund Freud

I regard myself as one of the most dangerous enemies of religion.

--Sigmund Freud

Trying to be completely sincere with yourself is a good exercise.

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

I think that in general it is a good plan occasionally to bear in mind the fact that people were in the habit of dreaming before there was such a thing as psychoanalysis.

--Sigmund Freud

It might be said of psychoanalysis that if you give it your little finger it will soon have your whole hand.

--Sigmund Freud

The aim of psychoanalysis is to relieve people of their neurotic unhappiness so that they can be normally unhappy.

--Sigmund Freud

But the repressed merges into the id as well, and is merely a part of it. The repressed is only cut off sharply from the ego by the resistances of repression; it can communicate with the ego through the id.

--Sigmund Freud

The patient cannot remember the whole of what is repressed in him, and what he cannot remember may be precisely the essential part of it.. He is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of remembering it as something in the past.

--Sigmund Freud

The price of civilization is instinctual renunciation.

--Sigmund Freud

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

The child is brought up to know its social duties by means of a system of love-rewards and punishments, and in this way it is taught that its security in life depends on its parents (and, subsequently, other people) loving it and being able to believe in its love for them.

--Sigmund Freud

This transmissibility of taboo is a reflection of the tendency, on which we have already remarked, for the unconscious instinct in the neurosis to shift constantly along associative paths on to new objects.

--Sigmund Freud

No other technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure place in a portion of reality, in the human community.

--Sigmund Freud

Longer Version:

No other technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure place in a portion of reality, in the human community. The possibility it offers of displacing a large amount of libidinal components, whether narcissistic, aggressive or even erotic, on to professional work and on to the human relations connected with it lends it a value by no means second to what it enjoys as something indispensable to the preservation and justification of existence in society.


When the wayfarer whistles in the dark, he may be disavowing his timidity, but he does not see any the more clearly for doing so.

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

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

--Sigmund Freud

The only unnatural sexual behavior is none at all.

--Sigmund Freud

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

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

I do not in the least underestimate bisexuality... I expect it to provide all further enlightenment.

--Sigmund Freud

Our unconscious, then, does not believe in its own death; it behaves as if it were immortal. It knows nothing that is negative; in it contradictories coincide. This may be the secret of heroism.

--Sigmund Freud

When a man has once brought himself to accept uncritically all the absurdities that religious doctrines put before him and even to overlook the contradictions between them, we need not be greatly surprised at the weakness of his intellect.

--Sigmund Freud

Our fascination with gold is related to the fantasies of early childhood.

--Sigmund Freud

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


Whatever fosters the growth of civilization works at the same time against war.

--Sigmund Freud

Our philosophy has preserved essential traits of animistic modes of thought such as the over-estimation of the magic of words and the belief that real processes in the external world follow the lines laid down by our thoughts.

--Sigmund Freud

It is a mistake to believe that science consists in nothing but conclusively proved propositions, and it is unjust to demand that it should. It is a demand made by those who feel a craving for authority in some form to replace the religious catechism by something else, even a scientific one.

--Sigmund Freud

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead.

--Sigmund Freud

Longer Version:

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.


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

There is no doubt that the resistance of the conscious and unconscious ego operates under the sway of the pleasure principle: it seeks to avoid the unpleasure which would be produced by the liberation of the repressed.

--Sigmund Freud

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

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

--Sigmund Freud

A strong experience in the present awakens in the creative writer a memory of an earlier experience (usually belonging to his childhood) from which there now proceeds a wish which finds its fulfilment in the creative work.

--Sigmund Freud

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

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.

--Sigmund Freud

I cannot face with comfort the idea of life without work; work and the free play of the imagination are for me the same thing, I take no pleasure in anything else.

--Sigmund Freud

Two hallmarks of a healthy life are the abilities to love and to work. Each requires imagination.

--Sigmund Freud

It is not so much that man is a herd animal, but that he is a horde animal led by a chief.

--Sigmund Freud

The time comes when each of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he pinned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will.

--Sigmund Freud

The transformation of object-libido into narcissistic libido which thus takes place obviously implies an abandonment of sexual aims, a desexualization -- a kind of sublimation, therefore.

--Sigmund Freud

I consider it a good rule for letter-writing to leave unmentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new.

--Sigmund Freud

Now it is nothing but torture.

--Sigmund Freud

Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor.

--Sigmund Freud

We should picture the instrument that carries our mental functioning as resembling a compound microscope or photographic apparatus.

--Sigmund Freud

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

You can always make a lot of people love one another so long as there are a smaller number outside the group for them to kick.

--Sigmund Freud

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

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

The unconscious of one human being can react upon that of another without passing through the conscious.

--Sigmund Freud

Know a quote that we are missing? Please use our suggest a quote form below and let us know. Thank YOU for visiting -- we wish you a perfect day!