In this guide, we will discuss the famous Sigmund Freud’s quote, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by fools.” and other quotes that are given by him.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and is the founder of psychoanalysis. He is considered the Father of Psychology and was one of the most influential intellectual psychologists of his age. Freud developed a set of therapeutic techniques that revolved around talk therapy and dream analysis.
We will now discuss some of the most famous quotes given by Sigmund Freud and provide an explanation about their meaning and how we can apply it to our lives, to lead healthies and happier lives.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by fools.
One of the very famous quotes of Freud is “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by fools.”
Where he means to let the reader know that the reason for your depression or low self-esteem can very well be the people around you. That people who are fools or mean can fill ones with so much sadness and despair that they might feel they have depression.
In a more serious context, Freud lays stress upon the environmental factors that are at play in causing symptoms of depression and low self-esteem in an individual. Rather than only genetics being the reason for depression, Freud points out that at times it is the people with whom we surround ourselves with are the reason for our depression.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
By the quote “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar“, Freud wants us to realize that sometimes there is no deeper meaning to a person’s actions, thoughts, or behaviors. The intentions behind their actions are just what it is and there are no hidden meanings behind them.
Similarly, not every cue we pick from our environment has a meaning behind it or is representative of something. Things are just what they seem to be.
We as individuals at times try to understand the reason behind a person’s behavior and start to overthink it, especially during depression or anxiety. But the person’s reason is simply what they show it to be and what they tell it to be. There is nothing to add or subtract to their behavior. It is exactly what we see it to be.
In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart.
When Freud states that ”In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart.”
He means to say that keep your reasons logical when deciding over minuscule things. But the big decisions in life should be based on the emotions and feelings we have towards them. These include what city we want to live in, or what job we want to do, or who we want to spend our life with. These decisions should be based on our feelings and emotions rather than by assessing the pros and cons of it.
One should not be looking for profits and loss when making crucial life-altering decisions. Only everyday life decisions like what to wear or eat should be done logically and be reason-based.
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
Freud via this quote, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” He provides hope to individuals who are suffering and are in pain right now. He provides them with the hope that today’s struggles will someday turn out to the foundation stones of something beautiful and worthwhile. He asks people to carry on and not let the struggle and pain defeat them today, because a happier tomorrow awaits them.
It is a message for those people who are about to give because they feel like nothing is going to get better and that their lives will continue like this. But they are wrong and that someday all their pain and worries will end and they will be living a happy and beautiful life.
We are what we are because we have been what we have been.
This quote is given by Freud, “We are what we are because we have been what we have been.” He means to say that our personality and the person we are right now is because of the person we have always been. Sometimes we may feel like we have changed and are no longer the same person. But that’s not true, you were always a person who could change and be the person you are today. It just took you time to reach here.
We are a creation of our past and a combination of every experience we have had. We are what we learned, saw, and felt during all these years. Our past molded us to be the version of us that we are today. We haven’t changed or are no longer the person we used to be. We are just a version of us that is formed because of our past interactions with others and our past experiences.
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength
In his quote, “We are what we are because we have been what we have been.” Freud brings focus to the point that our vulnerabilities at the end of the can become our strengths. It is within us to be able to master our vulnerabilities to the extent that they become our biggest supporters.
A person who may feel that they are extremely emotional, and see it as a vulnerability of theirs can turn it into their strength by being there emotionally for their friends and family members. We all can change our vulnerabilities into strengths. It is just that we lack at times the guidance on how to. A person who has very sensitive ears and who can pick up noises easily might feel troubled by it all their life, or they could join the music industry and use their ability there.
Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth in uglier ways.
The interpretation of Freud’s quote, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth in uglier ways.” is that one should not hide their emotions. If one is feeling an emotion it should be expressed to the other person. Otherwise, if emotions are kept inside, they tend to get bottled up and once the bottle is full it will explode.
The unexpressed emotions and feelings are buried deep inside our minds and once the lid blows they all come pouring out in a way that despite our best efforts we are unable to contain them.
For example, if we are angry and frustrated about something and rather than expressing it we keep bottling it up inside we will one day let out our anger and frustration on a small thing, probably on someone we love. Bottled up aggression can lead to us engaging in violent activities.
The goal of making human beings happy was not in the plans of the creation of the world.
The quote, “The goal of making human beings happy was not in the plans of the creation of the world.” by Freud, talks about how the functioning and set up of the world was not to provide us with happiness. The world is not responsible for making us happy or to function according to our happiness. It is our duty to find ways in this world to be happy.
It is within our reach to be happy and create an environment of happiness and liveliness. The world does not own us happiness or anything. The creation of this world was not done to suit our needs, it is we who need to mold ourselves according to it.
Every normal person is actually only partially normal.
Freud’s quote, “Every normal person is actually only partially normal.” means that every person in their life faces problems and has to struggle. This leads to their life being filled with sadness, despair, and pain. We all face rejections and hardships in life which can at times break us down.
By normal Freud meant a person whose life doesn’t have any sadness and the person can go about their life being sane. But that is not possible for anyone to live their life like that because we face different difficulties at different stages in life. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress are something everyone has felt once in their life at varying degrees.
We ignore most of what is real within us; and what we believe to be real is an illusion.
The quote given by Freud, “We ignore most of what is real within us; and what we believe to be real is an illusion.” implies that we as human beings sometimes forget our real self and believe only in the concept of our ideal self. The thing that is real within us comprises both good and bad traits and we tend to ignore our negative traits. We hold on to the idea of being perfect beings and in our strive to achieve that we start to believe in the illusionary us.
We need to accept our negative traits also if we are to recognize our true self otherwise we will just be focusing on the concept of an ideal that can never be truly achieved.
Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
Freud once stated that “Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” and by that, he meant that we should introspect and reflect on what is within. That a person should be aware of their true thought, feelings, and emotions about any and everything in the world. We should be lying to ourselves about our thoughts and feelings.
For when we are true to ourselves can we be true to our actions and be at peace with who we are. We need to be able, to be honest with ourselves, and once we can do that we’ll be able to better assess our strengths and weaknesses. And Freud has also said that soon our vulnerabilities can turn into our biggest strengths. But for that, we need to be able to recognize our vulnerabilities.
You can read more about Freud and his work in different books or online.
In this guide, we discussed the famous Sigmund Freud’s quote, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by fools.” and other quotes that are given by him.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.