Albert Ellis Quotes

Who is Albert Ellis?

Albert Ellis was an American psychologist who developed the concept of 'Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy'.

Ellis is considered the second most influential psychotherapist in history after Carl Rogers and before Sigmund Freud, but then again, who isn't?

Albert Ellis was a big fan of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus.

Born September 27, 1913
Died July 24, 2007

Books by Albert Ellis


Best 98 Quotes by Albert Ellis

“Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they're alive and human.”

Albert Ellis

“As a result of my philosophy, I wasn't even upset about Hitler. I was willing to go to war to knock him off, but I didn't hate him. I hated what he was doing.”

Albert Ellis

“Be yourself for a while, even if it hurts.”

Albert Ellis

“Being assertive does not mean attacking or ignoring others feelings. It means that you are willing to hold up for yourself fairly-without attacking others.”

Albert Ellis

“By not caring too much about what people think, I'm able to think for myself and propagate ideas which are very often unpopular. And I succeed with them because, again, I don't care too much what other people think.”

Albert Ellis

“Convince yourself that worrying about many situations will make them worse rather than improve them.”

Albert Ellis

“Eating is always a decision, nobody forces your hand to pick up food and put it into your mouth.”

Albert Ellis

“Even injustice has it's good points. It gives me the challenge of being as happy as I can in an unfair world.”

Albert Ellis

“Even injustice has it's good points. It gives me the challenge of being as happy as I can in an unfair world.”

Albert Ellis

“Even when people act nastily to you, don't condemn them or retaliate.”

Albert Ellis

“Failure doesn't have anything to do with your intrinsic value as a person.”

Albert Ellis

“For that again, is what all manner of religion essentially is: childish dependency.”

Albert Ellis

“Freud had a gene for inefficiency, and I think I have a gene for efficiency.”

Albert Ellis

“I think the future of psychotherapy and psychology is in the school system. We need to teach every child how to rarely seriously disturb himself or herself and how to overcome disturbance when it occurs.”

Albert Ellis

“If something is irrational, that means it won't work. It's usually unrealistic.”

Albert Ellis

“If the Martians ever find out how human beings think, they'll kill themselves laughing.”

Albert Ellis

“In fact most of what we call anxiety is overconcern about what someone thinks of you.”

Albert Ellis

“Let's suppose somebody abused you sexually. You still had a choice, though not a good one, about what to tell yourself about the abuse.”

Albert Ellis

“Most people would have given up when faced with all the criticism I've received over the years.”

Albert Ellis

“Most things worth having require some sacrifice, usually more than you expect.”

Albert Ellis

“Neurosis is just a high-class word for whining.”

Albert Ellis

Products by Albert Ellis

“People don't just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness.”

Albert Ellis

“People have motives and thoughts of which they are unaware.”

Albert Ellis

“Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world.”

Albert Ellis

“Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world.”

Albert Ellis

“Reality is not so much what happens to us; rather, it is how we think about those events that create the reality we experience. In a very real sense, this means that we each create the reality in which we live.”

Albert Ellis

“Religious creeds encourage some of the craziest kinds of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and favor severe manifestations of neurosis, borderline personality states, and sometimes even psychosis.”

Albert Ellis

“Self-esteem is the greatest sickness known to man or woman because it's conditional.”

Albert Ellis

“Spirit and soul is horseshit of the worst sort. Obviously there are no fairies, no Santa Clauses, no spirits. What there is, is human goals and purposes as noted by sane existentialists. But a lot of transcendentalists are utter screwballs.”

Albert Ellis

“Stop 'shoulding' on yourself.”

Albert Ellis

“Strong feelings are fine; it's the overreactions that mess us up.”

Albert Ellis

“The art of love is largely the art of persistence.”

Albert Ellis

“The best years of your life are 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

“The emotionally mature individual should completely accept the fact that we live in a world of probability and chance, where there are not, nor probably ever will be, any absolute certainties, and should realize that it is not at all horrible, indeed—such a probabilistic, uncertain world.”

Albert Ellis

“The goal of all life is to have a ball.”

Albert Ellis

“The great majority of the things we now make ourselves panicked about are self-created 'dangers' that exist almost entirely in our own imaginations.”

Albert Ellis

“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well . And the world must be easy.”

Albert Ellis

“There's no evidence whatsoever that men are more rational than women. Both sexes seem to be equally irrational.”

Albert Ellis

“To err is human; to forgive people and yourself for poor behavior is to be sensible and realistic.”

Albert Ellis

“We can actually put the essence of neurosis in a single word: blaming - or damning.”

Albert Ellis

“We can't change the past, so we change how people are thinking, feeling and behaving today.”

Albert Ellis

“Whatever may be, I am still largely the creator and ruler of my emotional destiny.”

Albert Ellis

Products by Albert Ellis

“When people change their irrational beliefs to undogmatic flexible preferences, they become less disturbed.”

Albert Ellis

“Whenever you avoid alarming situations, you almost always increase your anxiety about them.”

Albert Ellis

“Whining about your own, others', or the world's failings is a main element in what we usually call neurosis.”

Albert Ellis

“Worrying about dying will hardly help you live.”

Albert Ellis

“You have considerable power to construct self-helping thoughts, feelings and actions as well as to construct self-defeating behaviors. You have the ability, if you use it, to choose healthy instead of unhealthy thinking, feeling and acting.”

Albert Ellis

“You have considerable power to construct self-helping thoughts, feelings and actions as well as to construct self-defeating behaviors. You have the ability, if you use it, to choose healthy instead of unhealthy thinking, feeling and acting.”

Albert Ellis

“You have only to exist as you do and to live your life as best you can.”

Albert Ellis

“You largely constructed your depression. It wasn't given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it.”

Albert Ellis

“You mainly feel the way you think.”

Albert Ellis

“You never truly need what you want. That is the main and thoroughgoing key to serenity.”

Albert Ellis

“People and things do not upset us, rather we upset ourselves by believing that they can upset us.”

Albert Ellis

"How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You" Quotes

“Anger can be likened to an architect’s blueprint. The availability of a blueprint does not cause a building to be constructed, but it does make construction easier.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“Anger is the only negative emotion that people all over the world usually want to keep.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“Another major difference between anger and other emotions results in what we call the angry person’s paradox. When we experience depression, guilt, shame, or anxiety, we usually upset ourselves about something that we think we did or some characteristic we have that we think is the cause of our disturbed emotion. As a result we try to change ourselves. However, anger usually involves the externalizing of blame. When we become angry, we usually consider the source of our anger to be outside ourselves. We would not be angry if other people did not do the stupid things they do. If we think the causes of anger are outside ourselves, the solution to our anger problems appears to us to be changes other people have to make. If the external cause of our anger is not going to change, we remain trapped in our rage.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“By forcefully telling nasty people off, or performing other cathartic acts, you will supposedly stop your aggressive energy from building to harmful levels.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“For if you damn others for their errors, how can you not also damn yourself — your entire being or personhood — for your failings? Give some thought to that dilemma! Your hating others as persons, in other words, borders much too close on self-hatred.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“People often want to remain angry. This represents a very important difference between anger and other troublesome emotions.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“The next time you feel angry, try to become aware of some of the physical sensations and changes that are occurring in your body. Remember that physical reactions accompanying your chronic anger can lead to damage, illness, and possibly premature death.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“The relationships that are damaged are often your best.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“Try to remember the last time you felt extremely angry. Recall what you focused upon and how you acted. Were you able to reasonably consider good courses of action? Were you able to look at all your options? Did you make the best decision? Do you regret something you said or did? If you are like most people, you will see that you hardly think and behave at your best when you feel enraged.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

“When your heart begins to pound, your face gets hot, your thoughts race, your blood pressure skyrockets, and adrenaline surges through your body, you will seldom act in a rational way. Your rage may lead to a constant struggle to control your actions. Your fury itself may feel very uncomfortable and be a constant reminder that you are not dealing effectively with the world around you.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

Products by Albert Ellis

"How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You" Quotes

“Choice gives you doubts and uncertainties. Therefore, you are always somewhat anxious.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You

“Evolution is arranged so that a species survives, not so that it will be happy while it survives.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You

“Having some support and the reassurance that my family, friends, or others will help me when I am anxious will often reduce my anxiety and panic. But because such support and reassurance may not exist or may not continue, I’d better not rely on it solely. I also had better gain self-confidence and self-support.”

Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You

"How To Make Yourself Happy" Quotes

“A part of you will die if you continue to avoid those actions that you find 'terrible'.
Stop doing the 'easy' things that you do on purpose to avoid what scares you.
Do what you are afraid to do, and it is better to try it over and over again. It won't be a panacea for all your problems, but I'm sure it will help you greatly.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“Do not stop searching for, identifying and refuting irrational convictions over and over until you have intellectual and psychological immunity, just as you develop muscles with regular exercise.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“Do not stop searching for, identifying and refuting irrational convictions over and over until you have intellectual and psychological immunity, just as you develop muscles with regular exercise.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“Do the boring, but necessary or useful tasks first and quickly, any day! And if your hesitation is the same, try to reward yourself with food, reading, or social relations with others, after doing what you are trying to avoid. And if that doesn't work, punish yourself like talking to a boring person for an hour each time you put off what you have to do.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“Hesitating and procrastinating will not make it easier for me to do a boring or difficult task. I will try to postpone the delay!”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“I will never be able to remain unmoved by harassment unless I am dead. How can I now be less affected by harassment while I'm alive?”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“If you constantly identify stressful thoughts and immediately refute them, you will not live a happy or stress-free life, but the quality of life will be better.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“Telling yourself effective philosophical ideas is not enough, you must actually be convinced of them. As a human being, you are able to repeat it to yourself without actual conviction and at the same time be deeply convinced of its opposite. It is also possible to utter any self-help mantras but still not be convinced even if you repeat them to yourself several times. Why? Because people probably have strong desires and habits that sometimes disrupt logical thinking.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“You are the main source of your stress and therefore the key to happiness is in your hand.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“You can choose if you can stay away from them, but stop complaining that they are doing what they are not supposed to. If you have the power to stop them, use it wisely. But if it is out of your control, do not pretend that you are in control and accept that people will often behave as they like and not as you want. It's unfortunate, but not terrible!”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“You have to show yourself - even if you don't like it at first to do what you are trying to avoid - that it is possible to live with and adapt to this discomfort.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

“You must know that your fears are part of the fears that everyone suffers from, and that others have irrational fears that paralyze them, even if they are not the same ones that hinder you.”

Albert Ellis
How To Make Yourself Happy

"How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything" Quotes

“Assume that most times when you feel anxious, depressed, or angry you are not only strongly desiring but also commanding that something go well and that you get what you want. Cherchez le should, cherchez le must! Look for your should, look for your must! Don’t give up until you find it.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“If you prefer to perform well and want to be accepted by others, you are concerned that you will fail and be rejected. Your healthy concern encourages you to act competently and nicely. But if you devoutly believe that you absolutely, under all conditions, must perform well and that you have to be accepted by others, you will then tend to make yourself—yes, make yourself—panicked if you don’t perform as well as you supposedly must.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“Insight is another name for awareness.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“Persist at using the scientific method of questioning and challenging your irrational beliefs until you begin to give them up, increase your effectiveness, and enjoy yourself more.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“The concept of deservingness for one’s 'sins' implies that certain acts are unquestionably under all conditions 'sinful'. And this is impossible to prove.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“The expense of making yourself panicked, enraged, and self-pitying is enormous. In time and money lost. In needless effort spent. In uncalled-for mental anguish. In sabotaging others’ happiness. In foolishly frittering away potential joy during the one life—yes, the one life—you’ll probably ever have.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

Products by Albert Ellis

“Unconditional Self-Acceptance (USA) instead of Conditional Self-Esteem (CSE). You rate and evaluate your thoughts, feelings, and actions in relation to your main goals of remaining alive and reasonably happy to see whether they aid these goals. When they aid them, you rate that as 'good' or 'effective', and when they sabotage your goals you rate that as 'bad' or 'ineffective'. But you always – yes, always — accept and respect yourself, your personhood, your being, whether or not you perform well and whether or not other people approve of you and your behaviors.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“We can choose to change ourselves remarkably.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“Whenever you have strong negative feelings because unfortunate things are actually happening to you or you imagine that they might occur, see whether these feelings healthfully follow from your wishes and desires to have better things occur. Or are you creating them by going beyond your preferences and inventing powerful shoulds, oughts, musts, demands, commands, and necessities? If so, you are turning concern and caution into overconcern, severe anxiety, and panic. Observe the real difference in your feelings!”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“you can try to be as good, or even as perfect, as you can—at any project or task. You can try to make it ideal. But you are not a good person if it is perfect. You are still a person who completed a perfect project, but never a good person for doing so.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“You create both healthy and unhealthy feelings when your goals and desires are blocked.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“You create severe anxiety when you jump from inclination to 'musturbation'.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

“You mainly make yourself needlessly and neurotically miserable by strongly holding absolutist irrational Beliefs (iBs), especially by rigidly believing unconditional shoulds, oughts, and musts.”

Albert Ellis
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything

"Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy" Quotes

“Men are not disturbed by things, but by the views which they take of them.”

Albert Ellis
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

“Too many people are unaware that it is not outer events or circumstances that will create happiness; rather, it is our perception of events and of ourselves that will create, or uncreate, positive emotions.”

Albert Ellis
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

"Rational Psychotherapy and Individual Psychology" Quotes

“If human emotions largely result from thinking, then one may appreciably control one's feelings by controlling one's thoughts - or by changing the internalized sentences, or self-talk, with which one largely created the feeling in the first place.”

Albert Ellis
Rational Psychotherapy and Individual Psychology

“Much of what we call emotion is nothing more or less than a certain kind - a biased, prejudiced, or strongly evaluative kind - of thought.”

Albert Ellis
Rational Psychotherapy and Individual Psychology

"The Art & Science of Rational Eating" Quotes

“Happiness is experienced largely in striving towards a goal, not in having attained things, because our nature is always to want to go on to the next endeavor.”

Albert Ellis
The Art & Science of Rational Eating

“Life is indeed difficult, partly because of the real difficulties we must overcome in order to survive, and partly because of our own innate desire to always do better, to overcome new challenges, to self-actualize.”

Albert Ellis
The Art & Science of Rational Eating

"The Road to Tolerance" Quotes

“For many years now I have had the quaint idea that all humans - yes, the whole six billion of them on this planet - are out of their fucking minds.”

Albert Ellis
The Road to Tolerance