Whatever I possessed of personal sensitiveness was blunted in those years, to my advantage. But I was saved from becoming embittered by a circumstance that does not come to the assistance of all lonely discoverers. Such a one usually frets himself to find out the cause of the lack of sympathy or of the rejection he receives from his contemporaries, and perceives them as a painful contradiction against the certainty of his own conviction. That did not trouble me, for the psychoanalytic fundamental principles enabled me to understand this attitude of my environment as a necessary sequence. If it was true that the associations discovered by me were kept from the knowledge of the patient by inner affective resistances, then this resistance must manifest itself also in normal persons as soon as the repressed material is conveyed to them from the outside. It was not strange that these latter knew how to give intellectual reasons for their affective rejections of my ideas. This happened just as often with the patients, and the arguments advanced—arguments are as common as blackberries, to borrow from Falstaff's speech—were the same and not exactly brilliant. The only difference was that in the case of patients one had the means of bringing pressure to bear, in order to help them recognize and overcome their resistances, but in the case of those seemingly normal, such help had to be omitted. To force these normal people to a cool and scientifically objective examination of the subject was an unsolved problem, the solution of which was best left to time. In the history of science it has often been possible to verify that the very assertion which, at first, called forth only opposition, received recognition a little later without the necessity of bringing forward any new proofs.
That I have not developed any particular respect for the opinion of the world or any desire for intellectual deference during those years, when I alone represented psychoanalysis, will surprise no one.