Alfred Adler Quotes | Quotes by Alfred Adler

1We must never neglect the patient's own use of his symptoms.

2It is well known that those who do not trust themselves never trust others.

3Every therapeutic cure, and still more, any awkward attempt to show the patient the truth, tears him from the cradle of his freedom from responsibility and must therefore reckon with the most vehement resistance.

4It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is fro+m among such individuals that all human failures spring.

5In this case, the neurotic resembles a human being who looks up to God, commends himself to His ways, and then religiously awaits how the Lord will guide him; he is nailed to the cross of his fiction.

6What person, confined in a small room with nothing but a tea-cosy, will not eventually put the tea-cosy on their head?

7The Adlerians, in the name of "individual psychology," take the side of society against the individual. ... Adler's later thought succumbs to the worst of his earlier banalization. It is conventional, practical, and moralistic. "Our science ... is based on common sense." Common sense, the half-truths of a deceitful society, is honored as the honest truths of a frank world.

8To all those who walk the path of human cooperation war must appear loathsome and inhuman.

9God who is eternally complete, who directs the stars, who is the master of fates, who elevates man from his lowliness to Himself, who speaks from the cosmos to every single human soul, is the most brilliant manifestation of the goal of perfection.

10Everything can always be different!

Alfred Adler Quotes

11Every pampered child becomes a hated child.... There is no greater evil than the pampering of children.

12Mathematics is pure language - the language of science. It is unique among languages in its ability to provide precise expression for every thought or concept that can be formulated in its terms.

13My psychology belongs to everyone.

14In a country of such recent civilization as ours, whose almost limitless treasures of material wealth invite the risks of capital and the industry of labor, it is but natural that material interests should absorb the attention of the people to a degree elsewhere unknown.

15Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. Hector Berlioz It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

16seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.

17It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

18The human mind shows an urge to capture into fixed forms through unreal assumptions, that is, fictions, that which is chaotic, always in flux, and incomprehensible. Serving this urge, the child quite generally uses a scheme in order to act and to find his way. We proceed much the same when we divide the earth by meridians and parallels, for only thus do we obtain fixed points which we can bring into a relationship with one another.

19To see with the eyes of another, to hear with the ears of another, to feel with the heart of another. For the time being, this seems to me an admissible definition of what we call social feeling.

20Each generation has its few great mathematicians, and mathematics would not even notice the absence of the others. They are useful as teachers, and their research harms no one, but it is of no importance at all. A mathematician is great or he is nothing.

Alfred Adler Quotes

21Violence as a way of gaining power... is being camouflaged under the guise of tradition, national honor [and] national security.

22What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - what do you find? That you can swim? Well - life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!

23It is the patriotic duty of every man to lie for his country.

24War is not the continuation of politics with different means, it is the greatest mass-crime perpetrated on the community of man.

25No experience is a cause of success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences, so-called trauma - but we make out of them just what suits our purposes.

26All failures - neurotics, psychotics, criminals, drunkards, problem children, suicides, perverts, and prostitutes - are failures because they are lacking in social interest

27Every neurotic is partly in the right.

28The mathematical life of a mathematician is short. Work rarely improves after the age of twenty-five or thirty. If little has been accomplished by then, little will ever be accomplished.

29Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations.

30A simple rule in dealing with those who are hard to get along with is to remember that this person is striving to assert his superiority; and you must deal with him from that point of view.

Alfred Adler Quotes

31Death is really a great blessing for humanity, without it there could be no real progress. People who lived for ever would not only hamper and discourage the young, but they would themselves lack sufficient stimulus to be creative.

32Far more unwaveringly, the neurotic keeps before his eye his God, his idol, his ideal of personality and clings to his guiding principle, losing sight in the meanwhile of reality, whereas the normal person is always ready to dispense with this crutch, this aid, and reckon unhampered with reality.

33There is a law that man should love his neighbor as himself. In a few hundred years it should be as natural to mankind as breathing or the upright gait; but if he does not learn it he must perish.

34It is easy to believe that life is long and one's gifts are vast -- easy at the beginning, that is. But the limits of life grow more evident; it becomes clear that great work can be done rarely, if at all.

35We cannot say that if a child is badly nourished he will become a criminal. We must see what conclusion the child has drawn.

36We only regard those unions as real examples of love and real marriages in which a fixed and unalterable decision has been taken. If men or women contemplate an escape, they do not collect all their powers for the task. In none of the serious and important tasks of life do we arrange such a "getaway." We cannot love and be limited.

37We are not determined by our experiences, but are self-determined by the meaning we give to them; and when we take particular experiences as the basis for our future life, we are almost certain to be misguided to some degree. Meanings are not determined by situations. We determine ourselves by the meanings we ascribe to situations.

38Every individual acts and suffers in accordance with his peculiar teleology, which has all the inevitability of fate, so long as he does not understand it.

39The widespread belief that Yuppies as a class would perish from Brie-cheese poisoning turned out to be over-optimistic.

40You can be healed of depression if every day you begin the first thing in the morning to consider how you will bring a real joy to someone else.

Alfred Adler Quotes

41It is very obvious that we are not influenced by "facts" but by our interpretation of the facts.

42An educator's most important task, one might say his holy duty, is to see to it that no child is discouraged at school, and that a child who enters school already discouraged regains his self-confidence through his school and his teacher. This goes hand in hand with the vocation of the educator, for education is possible only with children who look hopefully and joyfully upon the future.

43The feeling of inferiority rules the mental life and can be clearly recognized in the sense of incompleteness and unfulfillment, and in the uninterrupted struggle both of individuals and humanity.

44To be human means to feel inferior.

45Our modern states are preparing for war without even knowing the future enemy.

46The self-bound individual always forgets that his self would be safeguarded better and automatically the more he prepares himself for the welfare of mankind, and that in this respect no limits are set for him.

47To be a human being means to possess a feeling of inferiority which constantly presses towards its own conquest. The greater the feeling of inferiority that has been experienced, the more powerful is the urge for conquest and the more violent the emotional agitation.

48The striving for significance, this sense of yearning, always points out to us that all psychological phenomena contain a movement that starts from a feeling of inferiority and reach upward. The theory of Individual Psychology of psychological compensation states that the stronger the feeling of inferiority, the higher the goal for personal power.

49Tears and complaints - the means which I have called water power - can be an extremely useful weapon for disturbing cooperation and reducing other to a condition of slavery.

50The only worthwhile achievements of man are those which are socially useful.

Alfred Adler Quotes

51More important than innate disposition, objective experience, and environment is the subjective evaluation of these. Furthermore, this evaluation stands in a certain, often strange, relation to reality.

52The science of the mind can only have for its proper goal the understanding of human nature by every human being, and through its use, brings peace to every human soul.

53Distorted history boasts of bellicose glory... and seduces the souls of boys to seek mystical bliss in bloodshed and in battles.

54It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

55The truth is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder, with the truth.

56It is one of the most effective attitudes of the neurotic to measure thumbs down, so to speak, a real person by an ideal, since in doing so he can depreciate him as much as he wishes.

57There is no such thing as talent. There is pressure.

58Follow your heart but take your brain with you.

59The style of life is a unity because it has grown out of the difficulties of early life and out of the striving for a goal.

60Life is just the same as learning to swim. Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!