​The 30 Best Phrases By Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson is one of the most recognized psychologists for his contributions to the science of behavior His theory, called “psychosocial theory,” was developed from the reinterpretation of the phases of Sigmund Freud’s theory.

His theory consists of 8 stages and his ideas emphasize the understanding of the self and propose what the development of personality is like from childhood to old age. Erikson focused on the impact of culture and society on our development.

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Best quotes from Erik Erikson

If you want to delve deeper into his theory, you can read our article “Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development”. In this post, however, we have prepared a list with some of his best phrases. Quotes that exemplify what his thoughts were and represent his ideas. Do not miss it!

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1. We are what we like

This quote is similar to another well-known one: “We are what we think.” That is, our behavior is influenced by our thinking

2. Babies control and educate their families as much as they are controlled by them

When there is a new member in the home, that conditions the lives of the family members.

3. You have to learn to accept the law of life, and face the fact that it slowly disintegrates us

You have to accept things as they happen. This is synonymous with emotional health.

4. Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have enough integrity not to fear death

What parents teach children is a big part of their children’s future mental health.

5. A man’s conflicts represent what he “really” is.

If we overcome the stages and the problems that arise in each of them, we will grow as people.

6. In the social jungle of human existence, there is no sense of being alive without a sense of identity

This quote refers to one of its stages: “self-integrity vs. despair.”

7. Doubt is the brother of shame

The third stage of his theory is called “initiative vs. guilt.” The child grows rapidly. If parents react negatively to their initiative, they will generate a feeling of guilt in them.

8. There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous development, which constitutes a new hope and a new responsibility for all.

Hope motivates us to continue growing.

9. Life has no meaning without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we find out, the better for all of us.

Human beings are social beings We depend on others in a certain way to develop fully. That doesn’t mean we don’t have autonomy.

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10. When we look at the cycle of life in our 40s, we look to older people for wisdom. At 80, however, we look at other 80-year-olds to see who possesses wisdom and who does not. Many older people are not especially wise, but you get more right as you get older.

Over the years, one reasons differently. Experience makes us see life in a different way.

11. Every adult, whether a follower or a leader, a member of a mass or an elite, was once a child. It was once small. A feeling of smallness forms a substrate in his mind, indelibly. Your triumphs will be measured against this littleness; his defeats will substantiate it

One can become a leader, but once he was small.

12. You have to learn to accept the law of life, and face the fact that it slowly disintegrates

Life has a beginning and an end. You have to accept it.

13. Hope is the most indispensable virtue and inherent to the condition of being alive

Hope is what moves us to move forward.

14. The more you know yourself, the more patience you have towards what is seen in others

Self-knowledge is one of the keys to achieving emotional balance.

15. The only thing that can save us as a species is to see how we are not thinking about future generations in the same way we live.

Human beings carry out behaviors that can cause serious problems for future generations.

16. I am what survives of me

Development is cumulative. According to Erikson, we are going through phases to grow

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17. One must carve out one’s own biography

We overcome the stages as we overcome the different conflicts.

18. No one likes to be discovered, not even one who has made the implacable confession of a part of his profession. Any autobiographer, therefore, at least between the lines, shares everything with his potential reader and judge.

We all want to give the best image of ourselves and we keep things to ourselves.

19. Parents must not only have certain ways of guiding through prohibition and permission, but they must also be able to convey to the child a deep conviction that there is meaning in what they are doing.

Education should make children people who can be critical in the future.

20. Children love and want to be loved and much prefer the joy of achievement or triumph to the hatred of failure. A child should not be confused by his or her symptoms.

Deep down, we all want to be valued positively by others.

21. The concept of psychosocial development basically refers to how the interaction of the person with their environment is given by fundamental changes in their personality.

Erikson’s theory is based on the idea that society and culture shape our personality.

22. The way we understand history is also a way of making history

How we interpret facts and how we think determines our behavior

23. He who is ashamed would like to force the world not to look at him, not to realize his existence. He would like to destroy in the eyes of the world

A quote that refers to his stage: “autonomy vs shame and doubt” Shame inhibits us and affects our self-confidence.

24. Critical thinking requires courage more than intelligence

To face problems you have to have critical thinking. Otherwise, we may appear weak and avoid seeing difficult situations realistically.

25. The child becomes an adult not when he realizes that he has the right to be right, but when he realizes that he has the right to be wrong too.

True growth occurs when we accept ourselves in both victories and defeats.

26. When you follow your development, your behavior is affected

As you grow, your way of seeing the world changes.

27. The psychoanalytic method is essentially a historical method

Erikson was a psychoanalytic psychologist who paid attention to social and cultural processes in our development

28. The more you know yourself, the more patience you will have for what you see in others.

When you grow up, you value the really important things in life.

29. Men have always demonstrated a low knowledge of their best potentialities by paying homage to those leaders who taught the simplest and most inclusive rules to achieve a divided humanity

One tends to downplay their virtues.

30. Life follows a process and it is not forever. Understanding it is developing

Life has a beginning and an end. You have to accept it to be well.