Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.

— Alice Miller

The most irresistibly Alice Miller quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Sadism is not an infectious disease that strikes a person all of a sudden.

It has a long prehistory in childhood and always originates in the desperate fantasies of a child who is searching for a way out of a hopeless situation.

70

Regression to the stage of early infancy is not a suitable method in and of itself. Such a regression can only be effective if it happens in the natural course of therapy and if the client is able to maintain adult consciousness at the same time.

70

Wherever I look, I see signs of the commandment to honor one's parents and nowhere of a commandment that calls for the respect of a child.

66

What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress.

It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.

65

The victimization of children is nowhere forbidden; what is forbidden is to write about it.

64

someday we will regard our children not as creatures to manipulate or to change but rather as messengers from a world we once deeply knew, but which we have long since forgotten, who can reveal to us more about the true secrets of life, and also our own lives, than our parents were ever able to.

63

It is very difficult for people to believe the simple fact that every persecutor was once a victim. Yet it should be very obvious that someone who was allowed to feel free and strong from childhood does not have the need to humiliate another person.

61

For the human soul is virtually indestructible, and its ability to rise from the ashes remains as long as the body draws breath.

58

Child abuse is still sanctioned — indeed, held in high regard — in our society as long as it is defined as child-rearing. It is a tragic fact that parents beat their children in order to escape the emotions from how they were treated by their own parents.

57

Disrespect is the weapon of the weak

52

The reason why parents mistreat their children has less to do with character and temperament than with the fact that they were mistreated themselves and were not permitted to defend themselves.

52

All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection

42

About Alice Miller

Quotes 74 sayings
Nationality Swiss
Profession Psychologist
Birthday October 16

Society chooses to disregard the mistreatment of children, judging it to be altogether normal because it is so commonplace.

27

That probably greatest of narcissistic wounds -- not to have been loved just as one truly was -- cannot heal without the work of mourning.

27

The free expression of resentment against one's parents represents a great opportunity. It provides access to one's true self, reactivates numbed feelings, opens the way for mourning and - with luck - reconciliation.

22

The abused children are alone with their suffering, not only within the family, but also within themselves. They cannot crate a place in their own soul where they could cry their beart out.

22

We are still barely conscious of how harmful it is to treat children in a degrading manner. Treating them with respect and recognizing the consequences of their being humiliated are by no means intellectual matters; otherwise, their importance would long since have been generally recognized.

21

The truth about childhood, as many of us have had to endure it, is inconceivable, scandalous, painful. Not uncommonly, it is monstrous. Invariably, it is repressed. To be confronted with this truth all at once and to try to integrate it into our consciousness, however ardently we may wish it, is clearly impossible.

20

Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse.

19

The only possible recourse a baby has when his screams are ignored is to repress his distress, which is tantamount to mutilating his soul, for the result is an interference with his ability to feel, to be aware, and to remember.

18

The commandment to refrain from placing blame on our parents, deeply imprinted in us by our upbringing, skillfully performs the function of hiding essential truths from us.

15

Without realizing that the past is constantly determining their present actions, they avoid learning anything about their history. They continue to live in their repressed childhood situation, ignoring the fact that is no longer exists, continuing to fear and avoid dangers that, although once real, have not been real for a long time.

15

The grandiose person is never really free;

first because he is excessively dependent on admiration from others, and second, because his self-respect is dependent on qualities, functions, and achievements that can suddenly fail.

14

The results of any traumatic experience, such as abuse, can only be resolved by experiencing, articulating, and judging every facet of the original experience within a process of careful therapeutic disclosure.

13

The true opposite of depression is not gaiety or absence of pain, but vitality: the freedom to experience spontaneous feelings.

13

Clinging uncritically to traditional ideas and beliefs often serves to obscure or deny real facts of our life history.

11

It is possible to resolve childhood repression safely and without confusion - something that has always been disputed by the most respected schools of thought.

9

Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood.

9

Children who are respected learn respect.

Children who are cared for learn to care for those weaker than themselves. Children who are loved for what they are cannot learn intolerance. In an environment such as this, they will develop their own ideals, which can be nothing other than humane, since they grew out of the experience of love.

9

One of the best ways of keeping your temper in an argument, as most of us know only too well, is not to listen to anything the other person has to say.

8

The father receives his power from God (and from his own father).

The teacher finds the soil already prepared for obedience, and the political leader has only to harvest what has been sown.

6

Genuine feelings are never the product of conscious effort.

They are quite simply there, and they are there for a very good reason, even if that reason is not always apparent.

5

It is precisely because a child's feelings are so strong that they cannot be repressed without serious consequences. The stronger a prisoner is, the thicker the prison walls have to be, which impede or completely prevent later emotional growth.

4

Where there had been only fearful emptiness or equally frightening grandiose fan­tasies, an unexpected wealth of vitality is now discovered. This is not a homecoming, since this home has never before existed. It is the creation of home.

4

Don't ever dare to take your college as a matter of course - because, like democracy and freedom, many people you'll never know have broken their hearts to get it for you.

3

I sincerely believe that we not only have the right to know what is good and what is evil; we have the duty to acquire that knowledge if we hope to assume responsibility for our own lives and those of our children. Only by knowing the truth can we be set free.

3

I was not out to paint beautiful pictures;

even painting good pictures was not important to me. I wanted only to help the truth burst forth.

3

Every child has a legitimate narcissistic need to be noticed, understood, taken seriously, and respected by his mother. In the first weeks and months of life he needs to have the mother at his disposal, must be able to use her and to be mirrored by her.

2

Anyone who has ever been a mother or father and is at all honest knows from experience how difficult it can be for parents to accept certain aspects of their children. It is especially painful to have to admit this if we really love our child and want to respect his or her individuality yet are unable to do so.

2

There are people who have benefited from therapy without being confronted with the past at all.

1

It is not true that evil, destructiveness , and perversion inevitably form part of human existence, no matter how often this is maintained. But it is true that we are daily producing more evil and, with it, an ocean of suffering for millions that is absolutely avoidable. When one day the ignorance arising from childhood repression is eliminated and humanity has awakened, an end can be put to this production of evil.

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Empathy grows as we learn.

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Emotional access to the truth is the indispensable precondition of healing.

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If we do not work on all three levels -- body, feeling, mind -- the symptoms of our distress will keep returning, as the body goes on repeating the story stored in its cells until it is finally listened to and understood.

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You gotta keep that in check - you got to.

0

For some years now, there has been proof that the devastating effects of the traumatization of children take their inevitable tollon society--a fact that we are still forbidden to recognize. This knowledge concerns every single one of us, and--if disseminated widely enough--should lead to fundamental changes in society; above all, to a halt in the blind escalation of violence.

0

Depression leads him close to his wounds, but only the mourning for what he has missed, missed at the crucial time, can lead to real healing.

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The attempt to be an ideal parent, that is, to behave correctly toward the child, to raise her correctly, not to give to little ortoo much, is in essence an attempt to be the ideal child--well behaved and dutiful--of one's own parents. But as a result of these efforts the needs of the child go unnoticed. I cannot listen to my child with empathy if I am inwardly preoccupied with being a good mother; I cannot be open to what she is telling me.

0

If a mother respects both herself and her child from his very first day onward, she will never need to teach him respect for others.

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