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Karen Horney Quotes

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Karen Horney Quote: “If you want to be proud of yourself, then do things in which you can take pride.”

If you want to be proud of yourself, then do things in which you can take pride.

— Karen Horney



Karen Horney Quote: “If I couldn’t be pretty, I decided I would be smart.”

If I couldn’t be pretty, I decided I would be smart.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Like all sciences and all valuations, the psychology of women has hitherto been considered only from the point of view of men.”

Like all sciences and all valuations, the psychology of women has hitherto been considered only from the point of view of men.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “To search for truth about self is as valuable as to search for truth in other areas of life.”

To search for truth about self is as valuable as to search for truth in other areas of life.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “We may feel genuinely concerned about world conditions, though such a concern should drive us into action and not into a depression.”

We may feel genuinely concerned about world conditions, though such a concern should drive us into action and not into a depression.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The most comprehensive formulation of therapeutic goals is the striving for wholeheartedness: to be without pretense, to be emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feelings, one’s work, one’s beliefs.”

The most comprehensive formulation of therapeutic goals is the striving for wholeheartedness: to be without pretense, to be emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feelings, one’s work, one’s beliefs.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Rationalization may be defined as self-deception by reasoning.”

Rationalization may be defined as self-deception by reasoning.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “To find a mountain path all by oneself gives a greater feeling of strength than to take a path that is shown.”

To find a mountain path all by oneself gives a greater feeling of strength than to take a path that is shown.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.”

Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “There is no such thing as a normal psychology that holds for all people.”

There is no such thing as a normal psychology that holds for all people.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Concern should drive us into action, not into a depression.”

Concern should drive us into action, not into a depression.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The view that women are infantile and emotional creatures, and as such, incapable of responsibility and independence is the work of the masculine tendency to lower women’s self-respect.”

The view that women are infantile and emotional creatures, and as such, incapable of responsibility and independence is the work of the masculine tendency to lower women’s self-respect.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “There is no good reason why we should not develop and change until the last day we live.”

There is no good reason why we should not develop and change until the last day we live.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Is not the tremendous strength in men of the impulse to creative work in every field precisely due to their feeling of playing a relatively small part in the creation of living beings, which constantly impels them to an overcompensation in achievement?”

Is not the tremendous strength in men of the impulse to creative work in every field precisely due to their feeling of playing a relatively small part in the creation of living beings, which constantly impels them to an overcompensation in achievement?

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Because it corresponds to a vital need, love is overvalued in our culture. It becomes a phantom – like success – carrying with it the illusion that it is a solution for all problems.”

Because it corresponds to a vital need, love is overvalued in our culture. It becomes a phantom – like success – carrying with it the illusion that it is a solution for all problems.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The perfect normal person is rare in our civilization.”

The perfect normal person is rare in our civilization.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Through the eclipse of large areas of the self, by repression and inhibition as well as by idealization and externalization, the individual loses sight of himself; he feels, if he does not actually become, like a shadow without weight and substance.”

Through the eclipse of large areas of the self, by repression and inhibition as well as by idealization and externalization, the individual loses sight of himself; he feels, if he does not actually become, like a shadow without weight and substance.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Life as a therapist is ruthless; circumstances that are helpful to one neurotic may crush another.”

Life as a therapist is ruthless; circumstances that are helpful to one neurotic may crush another.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “That many-faceted thing called love succeeds in building bridges from the loneliness on this shore to the loneliness on the other one. These bridges can be of great beauty, but they are rarely built for eternity, and frequently they cannot tolerate too heavy a burden without collapsing.”

That many-faceted thing called love succeeds in building bridges from the loneliness on this shore to the loneliness on the other one. These bridges can be of great beauty, but they are rarely built for eternity, and frequently they cannot tolerate too heavy a burden without collapsing.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The conception of what is normal varies not only with the culture but also within the same culture, in the course of time.”

The conception of what is normal varies not only with the culture but also within the same culture, in the course of time.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “There’s still such chaos in me. Still so little firmly outlined. Just like my face: a formless mass that only takes on shape through the expression of the moment. The searching for our selves is the most agonizing.”

There’s still such chaos in me. Still so little firmly outlined. Just like my face: a formless mass that only takes on shape through the expression of the moment. The searching for our selves is the most agonizing.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “If a person has had sufficient courage to discover an unpleasant truth about himself, one may safely trust his courage to be strong enough to carry him through.”

If a person has had sufficient courage to discover an unpleasant truth about himself, one may safely trust his courage to be strong enough to carry him through.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The central inner conflict is one between the constructive forces of the real self and the obstructive forces of the pride system, between healthy growth and the drive to prove in actuality the perfection of the idealized self.”

The central inner conflict is one between the constructive forces of the real self and the obstructive forces of the pride system, between healthy growth and the drive to prove in actuality the perfection of the idealized self.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Pride in many diverse ways is the enemy of love.”

Pride in many diverse ways is the enemy of love.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The pride in intellect, or rather in the supremacy of the mind, is not restricted to those engaged in intellectual pursuits but is a regular occurrence in all neurosis.”

The pride in intellect, or rather in the supremacy of the mind, is not restricted to those engaged in intellectual pursuits but is a regular occurrence in all neurosis.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Even though godlike in his imagination, he still lacks the earthy self-confidence of a simple shepherd.”

Even though godlike in his imagination, he still lacks the earthy self-confidence of a simple shepherd.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Many such relations are carried on under the camouflage of love, that is, under a subjective conviction of attachment, when actually the love is only the person’s clinging to others to satisfy his own needs.”

Many such relations are carried on under the camouflage of love, that is, under a subjective conviction of attachment, when actually the love is only the person’s clinging to others to satisfy his own needs.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The fact that compulsive drives for success will arise only in a competitive culture does not make them any less neurotic.”

The fact that compulsive drives for success will arise only in a competitive culture does not make them any less neurotic.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “When he moves away from people, he wants neither to belong nor to fight, but keeps apart. He feels he has not much in common with them, they do not understand him somehow. He builds up a world of his own -with nature, with his dolls, his books, his dreams.”

When he moves away from people, he wants neither to belong nor to fight, but keeps apart. He feels he has not much in common with them, they do not understand him somehow. He builds up a world of his own -with nature, with his dolls, his books, his dreams.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “It is naturally a sign of inner liberation when a patient can squarely recognize his difficulties and take them with a grain of humor. But some patients at the beginning of analysis make incessant jokes about themselves, or exaggerate their difficulties in so dramatic a way that they will appear funny, while they are at the same time absurdly sensitive to any criticism. In these instances humor is used to take the sting out of an otherwise unbearable shame.”

It is naturally a sign of inner liberation when a patient can squarely recognize his difficulties and take them with a grain of humor. But some patients at the beginning of analysis make incessant jokes about themselves, or exaggerate their difficulties in so dramatic a way that they will appear funny, while they are at the same time absurdly sensitive to any criticism. In these instances humor is used to take the sting out of an otherwise unbearable shame.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “The tenacity with which the neurotic adheres to any attitude is a sure indication that the attitude fulfills functions which seem indispensable in the framework of his neurosis.”

The tenacity with which the neurotic adheres to any attitude is a sure indication that the attitude fulfills functions which seem indispensable in the framework of his neurosis.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “For the analyst it is a source of never-ending astonishment how comparatively well a person can function with the core of himself not participating.”

For the analyst it is a source of never-ending astonishment how comparatively well a person can function with the core of himself not participating.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Pride and self-hate belong inseparably together; they are two expressions of one process.”

Pride and self-hate belong inseparably together; they are two expressions of one process.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Others are responsible for the trouble I am in – so I am entitled to repair. And what kind of repair would it be, if I made all the effort! Naturally, only a person who has lost constructive interest in his life can argue that way. It is no longer up to him to do something about his life; it is up to “them,” or to fate.”

Others are responsible for the trouble I am in – so I am entitled to repair. And what kind of repair would it be, if I made all the effort! Naturally, only a person who has lost constructive interest in his life can argue that way. It is no longer up to him to do something about his life; it is up to “them,” or to fate.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Whether we forget something we are not proud of, or embellish it, or blame somebody else, we want to save face by not owning up to shortcomings.”

Whether we forget something we are not proud of, or embellish it, or blame somebody else, we want to save face by not owning up to shortcomings.

— Karen Horney


Karen Horney Quote: “Patients coming for consultation complain about headaches, sexual disturbances, inhibitions in work, or other symptoms; as a rule, they do not complain about having lost touch with the core of their psychic existence.”

Patients coming for consultation complain about headaches, sexual disturbances, inhibitions in work, or other symptoms; as a rule, they do not complain about having lost touch with the core of their psychic existence.

— Karen Horney

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