Fritz Perls Quotes

Books by Fritz Perls


Best 49 Quotes by Fritz Perls – Page 1 of 2

“A thousand plastic flowers don't make a desert bloom. A thousand empty faces don't fill an empty room.”

“Anxiety is the gap between now and later.”

“Awareness in itself is healing.”

“Don't push the river, it flows by itself.”

“Have a dialogue between the two opposing parts and you will find that they always start out fighting each other until we come to an appreciation of difference.”

“I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.”

“I have one aim only: to impart a fraction of the meaning of the word now.”

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“If you are bored, you are not paying attention.”

“If you take responsibility for what you are doing to yourself, how you produce your symptoms, how you produce your illness, how you produce your existence-the very moment you get in touch with yourself-growth begins, integration begins.”

“It feels much nobler to feel guilty than resentful, and it takes more courage to express resentment than guilt. With expressing guilt you expect to pacify your opponent; with expressing resentment you might stir up hostility in him.”

“Learning is discovering that somethinkg is possible.”

“Man transcends himself only via his true nature, not through ambition and artificial goals.”

“Nobody can stand truth if it is told to him. Truth can be tolerated only if you discover it yourself because then, the pride of discovery makes the truth palatable.”

“Nothing changes until it becomes what it is.”

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“Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.”

“So if you find out how you prevent yourself from growing, from using your potential, you have away of increasing this, making life richer, making you more and more capable of mobilizing yourself. And our potential is based upon a very peculiar attitude: to live and review every fresh second.”

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“Everybody needs a place where they feel protected, secure, and welcome. Everybody yearns for a place where they can relax and be fully themselves.

Ideally, the childhood home was one such place. For those of us who felt accepted and loved by our parents, our home provided this warmth. It was a heartwarming place — the very thing that everybody yearns for.

And we internalize this feeling from childhood — that of being accepted and welcome — as a fundamental, positive attitude toward life that accompanies us through adulthood: we feel secure in the world and in our own life. We’re self-confident and trusting of others.

There’s the notion of basic trust, which is like a home within ourselves, providing us with internal support and protection. Many people, however, associate their childhood with largely negative experiences, some even traumatic.

Others had an unhappy childhood, but have repressed those memories. They can barely recall what happened. Then there are those who believe their childhood was 'normal' or even 'happy', only to discover, upon closer examination, that they have been deluding themselves.

And though people may attempt to repress or, as an adult, downplay childhood experiences of insecurity or rejection, there are moments in everyday life that will reveal how underdeveloped their basic trust remains.

They have self-esteem issues and frequently doubt that they are welcome and that their coworkers, romantic partner, boss, or new friend truly likes them. They don’t really like themselves all that much, they have a range of insecurities, and they often struggle in relationships.

Unable to develop basic trust, they therefore lack a sense of internal support. Instead, they hope that others will provide them with these feelings of security, protection, stability, and home.

They search for home with their partner, their colleagues, in their softball league, or online, only to be disappointed: other people can provide this feeling of home sporadically at best.

Those who lack a home on the inside will never find one on the outside. They can’t tell that they’re caught in a trap.”

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“Teaching means to show a person that something is possible.”

“The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that the wise man knows he's playing.”

“The person most in control is the person who can give up control.”

“There's always a possibility of richer maturation – of taking more and more responsibility for yourself and for your life. And this is what I hope, to make you understand how much you gain by taking re-sponsibility for every emotion, every movement you make, every thought you have. We touch each other by honestly being what we are, not intentionally making contact.”

“Those that fight don't listen, those that listen don't fight.”

“To mature means to take responsibility for your life, to be on your own. Psychoanalysis fosters the infantile state by considering that the past is responsible for the illness.”

“We are using most of our energies for self-destructive games, self-preventing games. We prevent ourselves from growing the very moment something unpleasant, something painful comes up. At that moment we become phobic, we run away, we desensitize ourselves. Neurotic suffering is suffering in imagination, suffering in fantasy.”

“We live in a house of mirrors and think we are looking out the windows.”

“You cannot achieve happiness. Happiness happens and is a transitory stage. Imagine how happy I felt when I got relief from bladder pressure. How long did that happiness last?”

Dreams and Existence Quotes

“All emotions are expressed in the muscular system. You cannot visualize anger without muscle movement. You cannot visualize joy, which is more or less identical to dancing, without muscle movements. In sorrow there are sobs and crying, and in sex there is also.”

Dreams and Existence

“And if you refuse to remember your dreams, you really refuse to face your own existence – to face what is wrong with your existence. One avoids struggling with unpleasant issues.”

Dreams and Existence

“Anguish is always the result of moving away from the now.”

Dreams and Existence

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“Being in the world with its ups and downs, alone or accompanied, is part of the same thing: existing in the here and now.”

Dreams and Existence

“Emotions are not nuisances that need to be discharged. Emotions are the most important drivers of our behavior: emotion in the broadest sense – waiting, enjoyment, hunger. These basic emotions or energy, this vital force, apparently differentiate in the organism by what I call differentiation.”

Dreams and Existence

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“We think that children act, whereas what they mostly do is react. Parents who realize this acquire a powerful tool. By noticing their own responses to the child, rather than fixating on the child’s responses to them, they free up tremendous energy for growth.”

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