Adolescents need freedom to choose, but not so much freedom that they cannot, in fact, make a choice.

— Erik Erikson

The most charming Erik Erikson quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

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


The richest and fullest lives attempt to achieve an inner balance between three realms: work, love and play.


There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding.


Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.


Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. Others have called this deepest quality confidence, and I have referred to trust as the earliest positive psychosocial attitude, but if life is to be sustained hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.


The sense of identity provides the ability to experience one's self as something that has continuity and sameness, and to act accordingly.


Play is the most natural method of self-healing that childhood affords.


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


The playing adult steps sideward into another reality;

the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.


Babies control and bring up their families as much as they are controlled by them; in fact ... the family brings up baby by being brought up by him.


The fact that human conscience remains partially infantile throughout life is the core of human tragedy.


Do not mistake a child for his symptom.


About Erik Erikson

Quotes 34 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Psychologist
Birthday October 16

The growing child must derive a vitalizing sense of reality from the awareness that his individual way of mastering experience (his ego synthesis) is a successful variant of a group identity and is in accord with its space-time and life plan.


You've got to learn to accept the law of life, and face the fact that we disintegrate slowly.


The American feels too rich in his opportunities for free expression that he often no longer knows what he is free from. Neither does he know where he is not free; he does not recognize his native autocrats when he sees them.


Hope is the enduring belief in the attainability of fervent wishes, in spite of the dark urges and rages which mark the beginning of existence. Hope is the ontogenetic basis of faith, and is nourished by the adult faith which pervades patterns of care.


When established identities become outworn or unfinished ones threaten to remain incomplete, special crises compel men to wage holy wars, by the cruelest means, against those who seem to question or threaten their unsafe ideological bases.


Will, therefore, is the unbroken determination to exercise free choice as well as self-restraint, in spite of the unavoidable experience of shame and doubt in infancy.


If one sees the personality not as an apparatus that is essentially constructed by the time childhood is over, but as always in its essence developing, then life at 25 or 30 or at the gateway to middle age will stimulate its own intrigue, surprise, and exhilaration of discovery.


Mans true taproots are nourished in the sequence of generations, and he loses his taproots in disrupted developmental time, not in abandoned localities.


Nobody likes to be found out, not even one who has made ruthless confession a part of his profession. Any autobiographer, therefore, at least between the lines, spars with his reader and potential judge.


Doubt is the brother of shame.


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


When we looked at the life cycle in our 40s, we looked to old people for wisdom.

At 80, though, we look at other 80-year-olds to see who got wise and who not. Lots of old people don't get wise, but you don't get wise unless you age.


Personality, too, is destiny.


If there is any responsibility in the cycle of life it must be that one generation owes to the next that strength by which it can come to face ultimate concerns in its own way.


Let us face it: 'deep down' nobody in his right mind can visualize his own existence without assuming that he has always lived and will live hereafter.


In America nature is autocratic, saying, "I am not arguing, I am telling you.


You can actively flee, then, and you can actively stay put.


If life is to be sustained, hope must remain.


In the evaluation of the dominant moods of any historical period it is important to hold fast to the fact that there are always islands of self-sufficient order — on farms and in castles, in homes, studies, and cloisters — where sensible people manage to live relatively lusty and decent lives: as moral as they must be, as free as they may be, and as masterly as they can be. If we only knew it, this elusive arrangement is happiness.


Children cannot be fooled by empty praise and condescending encouragement.

They may have to accept artificial bolstering of their self-esteem in lieu of something better, but what I call their accruing ego identity gains real strength only from wholehearted and consistent recognition of real accomplishment, that is, achievement that has meaning in their culture.


Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit; for such mutilation undercuts the life principle of trust, without which every human act, may it feel ever so good and seem ever so right is prone to perversion by destructive forms of conscientiousness.