The Best Erich Fromm quotes

Erich Fromm quotes thumbnail

Erich Fromm was born in 1900 and died in 1980. He is an influential psychologist, sociologist, philosopher and humanistic thinker. His theories on how to live a fulfilled life are still relevant today. In this blog post we will discuss the quotes compilation of Erich Fromm and his thoughts on living a fulfilling life.
Discover the deepest sentences from Erich Fromm.

Discover the most inspiring Love, Feelings, Faith, Human Beings, Individual, Society, Life, Freedom quotes from Erich Fromm, and much more.


Test your habit in 4-mins


stop digital addiction course
This Course Breaks Your Digital Habits

About Erich Fromm

birth of the author

March 23, 1900

death of the author

March 18, 1980

college of the author

Alma Mater:
Heidelberg University

date of the author

20Th Century Philosophy

country of the author

Western Philosophy

movement of the author

Continental Philosophy, Frankfurt School, Psychoanalysis, Marxist Humanism, Humanistic Judaism And More.

occupation of the author

Main Interests:
Humanism, Social Theory, Marxism

knownfor of the author

Notable Ideas:
Being And Having As Modes Of Existence, Security Versus Freedom, Social Character, Character Orientation


One cannot fall in love, really; one has to be in love. — Erich Fromm

Exclusive love is a contradiction in itself. — Erich Fromm

Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you. — Erich Fromm

I love in you everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself. — Erich Fromm

one cannot fall in love really one has to be in love Erich Fromm quote

If one is not productive in other spheres, one is not productive in the love either. — Erich Fromm

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. — Erich Fromm

It takes a moment to tell someone you love them, but it takes a lifetime to prove it. — Erich Fromm

Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. — Erich Fromm

Love is the child of freedom, never that of domination. — Erich Fromm

exclusive love is a contradiction in itself Erich Fromm quote

While every human being has a capacity for love, its realization is one of the most difficult achievements. — Erich Fromm

People think that to love is simple, but that to find the right object to love–or to be loved by–is difficult. — Erich Fromm

Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. — Erich Fromm

Love is a power which produces love. — Erich Fromm

True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match. — Erich Fromm

i love in you everybody i love through you the world i love in you also myself Erich Fromm quote

Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. — Erich Fromm

Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love. — Erich Fromm


Test your habit in 4-mins

The affirmation of one’s own life, happiness, growth and freedom, is rooted in one’s capacity to love. — Erich Fromm

Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love. — Erich Fromm

To love somebody is not just a strong feeling–it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. — Erich Fromm

if one is not productive in other spheres one is not productive in the love either Erich Fromm quote

Mobilizing the love of life is the only force that can defeat the love for the dead. — Erich Fromm

In love the paradox occurs that two beIngs become one and yet remaIn two. — Erich Fromm

I only wish to be the fountain of love from which you drink, every drop promising eternal passion. — Erich Fromm


Freedom does not mean license. — Erich Fromm

There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail. — Erich Fromm

freedom does not mean license Erich Fromm quote

Human history begins with man’s act of disobedience which is at the same time the beginning of his freedom and the development of his reason. — Erich Fromm

Freedom is the fundamental condition for any growth. — Erich Fromm

Can freedom become a burden, too heavy for man to bear, something he tries to escape from?..Is there not also, perhaps, besides an innate desire for freedom, an instinctive wish for submission? — Erich Fromm


Destructiveness is the outcome of an unlived life. — Erich Fromm

Only in being productively active can man make sense of his life. — Erich Fromm

destructiveness is the outcome of an unlived life Erich Fromm quote

There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself. — Erich Fromm

Independent of others and in concert with others, your main task in life is to do what you can best do and become what you can potentially be. — Erich Fromm

Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want. — Erich Fromm

Hate is a product of the unfulfilled life. — Erich Fromm

The aim of life is to be fully born, though its tragedy is that most of us die before we are thus born. — Erich Fromm

only in being productively active can man make sense of his life Erich Fromm quote

Loving becomes, and the ability to love, becomes one of the most important things in life. — Erich Fromm

For the most part, biophiliacs,lovers of life, are found among simple people, without pretensions. — Erich Fromm

Happiness does not exclude sadness–if a person responds to life, he’s sometimes happy and sometimes sad. What matters is he responds. — Erich Fromm

People seek a new orientation, a new philosophy, one which is centered on the priorities of life–physically and spiritually–and not on the priorities of death. — Erich Fromm

We talk about equality, about happiness, about freedom–and about the spiritual values of religion, and about God–and in our daily life, we act on principles which are different, and partly contradictory. — Erich Fromm

there is only one meaning of life the act of living itself Erich Fromm quote

There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives to his life by the unfolding of his powers. — Erich Fromm

The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. — Erich Fromm

The aim of sadism is to transform a man into a thng, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and absolute control The living loses one essential quality of life–freedom. — Erich Fromm

A new question hAs Arisen in modern mAn’s mind, the question, nAmely, whether life is worth living…no sensible Answer cAn be given to the question…becAuse the question does not mAke Any sense. — Erich Fromm

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality. — Erich Fromm

The average American has separated his private life from his existence as a member of his society, and leaves that to the specialists in the government to take care of. — Erich Fromm

To take the difficulties, setbacks and sorrows of life as a challenge to overcome makes us stronger, rather than unjust punishment which should not happen to us, requires faith and courage. — Erich Fromm


Even the most sadistic and destructive man is human, as human as the saint. — Erich Fromm

The deepest need of the human being is to overcome our separateness, to leave the prison of our loneliness. — Erich Fromm

Human history began with an act of disobedience and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience. — Erich Fromm

even the most sadistic and destructive man is human as human as the saint Erich Fromm quote

Man’s biological weakness is the condition of human culture. — Erich Fromm

In the development of both capitalism and communism, as we visualize them in the next fifty or a hundred years, the processes that encourage human alienation will continue. — Erich Fromm

The human passions transform man from a mere thing into a hero, into a being that in spite of tremendous handicaps tries to make sense of life. — Erich Fromm

While we teach knowledge, we are losing that teaching which is the most important one for human development: the teaching which can only be given by the simple presence of a mature, loving person. — Erich Fromm

The most beautiful as well as The most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed biologically given human nature, but result from The social process which creates man. — Erich Fromm


The duty to be alive is the same as the duty to become oneself, to develop into the individual one potentially is. — Erich Fromm

Redundant Thematics

In Erich Fromm Statements


If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself, too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all. — Erich Fromm

We are all equal in the sense that no man must mean–must be–the means for the purposes of another man; but each individual is an end in itself. — Erich Fromm

Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship. — Erich Fromm

When an individual is awake, almost all he does and says is inspired by the model of behavior that the society imposes,even without his being aware of it. — Erich Fromm

intellectuals are hindered on the way to being by their narcissism Erich Fromm quote

Religion and nationalism, as well as any custom and any belief however absurd and degrading, if it only connects the individual with others, are refuges from what man most dreads: isolation. — Erich Fromm

The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. — Erich Fromm

All genuine ideals have one thing in common: they express the desire for something which is not yet accomplished but which is desirable for the purpose of the growth and happiness of the individual. — Erich Fromm

Neurosis can be understood best as the battle between tendencies within an individual; deep character analysis leads, if successful, to the progressive solution. — Erich Fromm

The most important factor for the development of the individual is the structure and the values of the society into which he was born. — Erich Fromm

Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter. — Erich Fromm

All men are in need of help and depend on one another. Human solidarity is the necessary condition for the unfolding of any one individual. — Erich Fromm

The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born when we die. — Erich Fromm

The individual citizen has very little possibility of having any influence–of making his opinion felt in the decision–making. — Erich Fromm

Ideas become powerful only if they appear in the flesh; an idea which does not lead to action by the individual and by groups remains at best a paragraph or a footnote in a book. — Erich Fromm

The criterion of mental health is not one of individual adjustment to a given social order, but a universal one, valid for all men, of giving a satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. — Erich Fromm

I would say democracy once meant an organizational society and a state, in which the individual citizen is–feels–responsible, and acts responsibly, and participates in decision–making. — Erich Fromm

Today, we talk a lot about equality, but I think what most people mean by it is sameness–that everybody is the same–and they are afraid if they are not the same, they are not equal. — Erich Fromm

Intellectuals are hindered on the way to being, by their narcissism. — Erich Fromm


Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others. — Erich Fromm

only the person who 
has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others Erich Fromm quote

Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair. — Erich Fromm

Faith is not a weak form of belief or knowledge; it is not faith in this or that; faith is the conviction about the not yet proven, the knowledge of the real possibility, the awareness of pregnancy. — Erich Fromm

Our vitality, and the vitality of each nation, rests on the sincerity and depth of the faith in the ideas which it announces, or pronounces. — Erich Fromm


There are many who feel consciously hopeful and unconsciously hopeless, and there are few for whom it is the other way around. — Erich Fromm

I think our danger is that we talk one thing, and we feel and act another thing. — Erich Fromm

i think our danger is that we talk one thing and we feel and act another thing Erich Fromm quote

Man does not only sell commodities, he sells himself and feels himself to be a commodity. — Erich Fromm

There is nothing of which we are more ashamed than of not being ourselves. And there is nothing which brings us greater joy and happiness than to think, feel, and say what is ours. — Erich Fromm

If you take a salesman, who sells a useless commodity, he feels like a fraud. — Erich Fromm

If the handbag could think, it would have a terrific inferiority feeling, because, not having been bought, it would feel useless. — Erich Fromm

I feel worried, deeply worried, only about one thing–the possibility that we fall… that we cannot avoid an atomic war. — Erich Fromm

man does not only sell commodities he sells himself and feels himself to be a commodity Erich Fromm quote

The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. — Erich Fromm

The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity. — Erich Fromm

Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? — Erich Fromm

When people can see a vision and simultaneously recognize what can be done step by step in a concrete way to achieve it, they will begin to feel encouragement and enthusiasm instead of fright. — Erich Fromm

Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled to concentrate to accept conflict and tension to be born everyday to feel a sense of self. — Erich Fromm


I would say, compared with the 19th century, compared with most previous history, this is as good or better a society than any which man has ever made. But that doesn’t mean it is such a good one. — Erich Fromm

In the sleeping state, instead, one is much more oneself, even if society never ceases to intervene. — Erich Fromm

The revolutionary and critical thinker is in a certain way always outside of his society while of course he is at the same time also in it. — Erich Fromm

Chronic boredom compensated or uncompensated constitutes one of the major psychopathological phenomena in contemporary technotronic society, although it is only recently that it has found some recognition. — Erich Fromm

The average American never loses his sleep about affairs which relate to his society and to our whole country. — Erich Fromm

We are a society of notoriously unhappy people: lonely, anxious, depressed, destructive, dependent–people who are glad when we have killed the time we are trying so hard to save. — Erich Fromm

The average American is not concerned with his society. He talks about it, but you know if one speaks of being concerned, I mean something about which one loses one’s sleep, sometimes. — Erich Fromm

What is common to our societies is the development into a managed mass society, with big bureaucracy, managing people. The Russians do it by force. We do it by persuasion. — Erich Fromm

Society must be organized in such a way that mans social, loving nature is not separated from his social existence, but becomes one with it. — Erich Fromm

Our society is run by a managerial bureaucracy, by professional politicians; people are motivated by mass suggestion, their aim is producing more and consuming more, as purposes in themselves. — Erich Fromm

Wasting Life?


Test your habit in 4-mins