Psychology not only helps us to understand ourselves better, but also to live better. When you meet yourself you can change what you do not like and take charge of your destiny. When you do not know the person who lives in you, you become someone who goes through life reacting to circumstances, someone who does not have full control over his decisions, so it is much easier to assume a pessimistic attitude and fall into the claws of despair.
Since the Scientific Psychology was originated, back in 1879, many great psychologists have addressed these issues, leaving us excellent psychology quotes to think about how the world we build with our mental tools ends up becoming a reality into which we can remain imprisoned or, on the contrary, find the balance and inner peace that we need.
Quotes of Psychology to think about the world we create
1. “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow
This American psychologist of humanistic current alerts us of a reality we often overlook: our knowledge, expectations and attitudes determine the way we face problems. If we do not worry about enriching our backpack of psychological tools for life, we will end up having a very limited vision that will probably lead us to make bad decisions.
2. “The only normalpeople are the ones you don’t knowvery well.” – Alfred Adler
The founder of Individual Psychology encourages us to reflect on the concept of normality. We are all unique and different, which also means that we are not “normal”, at least in the most restrictive sense of the term. Being different, moving away from the norm, is not a negative thing, it is simply a sign of identity.
3. “Remembering is the best way to forget.” – Sigmund Freud
The father of Psychoanalysis was referring to many traumatic events that remain latent, so they will continue to cause damage until we process them from the emotional point of view and incorporate them into our biographical history. That’s why sometimes, to keep going, you have to look back.
4. “Through others we become ourselves.” – Lev. S. Vygotsky
This Russian psychologist of the historical-cultural current emphasizes the importance of the relationships with others in the construction of the personality. According to his theory, everything intrapsychological, first was interpsychological. This psychological quote leaves us with a great lesson: we must be very careful with the environment that we create around us and the people we allow to enter, because we can end up assuming their attitudes and ways of seeing life, which can sometimes be “toxic”.
5. “Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” – William James
A phrase of Psychology to think about the complexity that encloses all communicative situation. This psychologist, a pioneer of Scientific Psychology, reminds us that our communication is always mediated by many factors, from our expectations and values to the image we want to project and, of course, the image we have of our interlocutor.
6. “The greater the crowd, the more insignificant the person.” – Carl Gustav Jung
This psychological quote emphasizes the importance of understanding the influence of the group on our behavior. Jung, who was psychoanalytically oriented, understood that the group’s points of view and norms exert such pressure on each of its members that they can practically erase the person as an individual. Being aware of this phenomenon will allow us to maintain our freedom of decision even when we are part of a group.
7. “When we can no longer change the situation, we can only change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
The founder of the Logotherapy gives us a great lesson, especially considering the story of his life since he was a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps, where he dedicated himself helping other prisoners like him. Frankl explains that although we cannot change certain situations because we do not have control over the elements that compose them, we can always decide how to deal with them since we have control over our thoughts, attitudes and feelings.
8. “Only a person who has faith in himself can be faithful to other.” – Erich Fromm
This psychologist, who devoted much of his life investigating love, tells us about the importance of cultivating inside ourselves what we will project to the world. He encourages us to look inside ourselves, to understand that many times our reactions are not mediated by external events but by our thoughts and emotional states. It is a radical change of perspective because when we understand it, we stop blaming the others and begin to take responsibility. Then the real inner change occurs.
9. “The disappearance of the sense of responsibility is the greatest consequence of submission to authority.” – Stanley Milgram
This psychologist, who contributed significantly to the development of Social Psychology with his research on obedience to authority, warns us of a great danger: when we submit to authority figures we give up control and get rid of responsibility for our actions. When we let the others impose their authority, they will end up deciding for us.
10. “You’ve never been taught how to talk with your gestures, but you were taught to speak with words.” – Paul Ekman
This phrase of Psychology puts us in front of one of the great deficiencies of our education: the mastery of emotions and verbal language. In fact, Paul Ekman is a pioneer in the study of emotions and facial expression. However, we must not forget that pretty often we say much more with our body than with words, so we should pay more attention to our extraverbal language.
11. “If an individual is intellectually passive, he will not be free morally.” – Jean Piaget
This psychologist, creator of constructivism, encourages us to pose ourselves moral dilemmas, to question our most ingrained values. Only when we question things and try to find them a meaning we can be morally free, truly. Without intelligence, without that ability to ask ourselves questions, we just follow the moral rules imposed by society, we become mere sponges that absorb values that we do not understand and are the cause of psychological disorders and/or a rigid behavior.
12. “Never think that you already know all. However highly you are appraised, always have the courage to say to yourself-I am ignorant.”- Ivan Pavlov
This Russian psychologist, who developed the Classical Conditioning, encourages us to be humble and keep learning every day. There is nothing worse than be excessively proud of ourselves thinking that we have reached the perfection, because in that very moment we will begin to die a little each day, finding nothing that motivates us to continue searching and discovering. Humility is the best tool to learn.
13. “The objectives transform a random walk into a chase.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
This psychological reflection is particularly illuminating because it allows us to glimpse that on many occasions, setting objectives and following a goal takes away from the activities in which we engage the pleasure, satisfaction and happiness that could have been generated. This psychologist who has studied the state of the flow, encourages us to enjoy more the present moment, like children, forgetting a little of the goals that make us fall into the trap of conclusionism.
14. “I am not in this life to fulfill the expectations of other people, nor do I feel that the world should comply with mine.” – Fritz Perls
This psychologist, creator of Gestalt Therapy, with this psychological quote gives us a very interesting starting point, because each person must take responsibility for his decisions and his life. He teaches us that connecting with others is wonderful, but also that we should not submit to their expectations, let alone live according to what others expect from us.
15. “A prejudice, unlike a wrong idea, is actively resistant to all the tests that try to deny it.” – Gordon W. Allport
This psychologist, who always emphasized the uniqueness of each person and the importance of living in the present, gives us a great lesson: when we are victims of the confirmation bias, it is very difficult for us to get rid of a prejudice since we will only take note of the facts that confirm our beliefs and discard the rest.
16. “If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.” – Kurt Lewin
This psychologist, creator of the Field Theory, reminds us that to understand the situations, we must actively involve ourselves in them. When we try to change something, we are really forced to understand the different factors that are influencing that situation, so we acquire a more global perspective. This Psychology quote encourages us to assume a proactive role instead of sitting on the edge of the path to criticize or complain.
17. “Follow your heart, but carry your brain with you.” – Alfred Adler
This psychologist, famous for his concept of the inferiority complex, encourages us to balance logic and emotions. This psychological reflection is very important because it shows us that emotions are not our enemies, but powerful allies that give us the necessary passion, while reason is what guides us on the way to take the most appropriate steps.
18. “Knowledge is an antidote to fear.” – Gerd Gigerenzer
This psychologist who developed multiple investigations on reason and decision making, gives us a great advice: often fear comes from ignorance, the reason why the best antidote is to get informed. We must not forget that we tend to fear and criticize everything we do not understand, out of simple ignorance. That is the basis of the rigid thinking that reject what is different, only because we do not understand it.
19. “People tend to evaluate themselves by comparing themselves with the others, not using absolute standards.” – Leon Festinger
This psychologist, creator of the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, summarizes with this psychological phrase our tendency to evaluate ourselves according to the standards of the others, which becomes the main cause of our dissatisfactions and tensions. The simple fact of being aware of this phenomenon allows us to detach a bit from its influence and analyze our self-image from a more personal perspective, based on our authentic aspirations and values.
20. “The best yearsof your lifeare the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”- Albert Ellis
With this phrase about the role we play in our life, the creator of the Rational Emotive Therapy encourages us not to look for external excuses or guilty. Assuming responsibility for our decisions gives us enormous power, because we pass from being a passive spectator of our life to being the real protagonists.