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quotations about denial

Denial quote

Denial is a common tactic that substitutes deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning.


Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd.


At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonable says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger, since it is not a man's power to provide for everything and escape from the general march of events; and that it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

The speed of the human mind is remarkable. So is its inability to face the obvious.

SIMON MAWER, The Gospel of Judas

The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid.


Delay is the deadliest form of denial.


Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.


To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.

OSCAR WILDE, De Profundis

Clouds cannot cover secret places, nor denials conceal truth.

DEMOSTHENES, attributed, Day's Collacon

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.

JUDITH LEWIS HERMAN, Trauma and Recovery

Perhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification.


He that obstinately denieth the truth before men upon earth, wilfully refuseth his soul's health in heaven.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, attributed, Day's Collacon

Washington is the place where nobody believes a rumor until it has been officially denied.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Denial is a very normal coping mechanism and must be recognized as performing a genuine role in initiating the grieving process. As a protective device, it is designed to buffer the system from the trauma of an event to tragic to deal with all at once. It is important that those in supportive or helping roles recognize the value of this device. While in a state of denial the individual should be tolerated, not berated for his or her apparent unresponsiveness. No attempt should be made to change or modify the behavior of the griever. We certainly must never attempt to destroy someone's hold on denial.... It is important that this response run its course, since it is serving a purpose. All that may be needed is our supportive presence. Words may be nonessential and unimportant. As supporters and observers, perhaps our greatest responsibility is to be prepared to "catch" the individual when he or she collapses into the second stage of the grieving process.

RONALD J. KNAPP, Beyond Endurance

Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, A Game of Thrones

The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.

ISAAC ASIMOV, The Gods Themselves

Denial does not solve the problem. Denial does not make the problem go away. Denial does not give us peace of mind, which is what we are really seeking when we engage in it. Denial is a liar. It compounds the problem, because it keeps us from seeing a solution, and taking action to resolve it.

BILL KORTENBACH, Counterpredators


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