Empathy can be defined as the capacity to understand and share the feelings of others. It is the ability to be aware of other people’s emotions, experiences, and perspectives.
Empathy is one of the most important skills you can practice in life. It is crucial for our personal development, relationships and society as a whole.
We need empathy in order to form harmonious relationships, minimize stress and enhance emotional intelligence.
Although being empathic requires skill and can often be tricky, you can develop the skill by practicing some simple habits.
You can practice empathy by taking the time to observe others around you and genuinely caring about their well-being.
When you hold conversations with other people, take a moment to listen to them rather than simply rushing to reply.
This will help you understand their emotional state and the deeper motivations behind their statements.
Empathy is best built upon mutual understanding. So as much as you learn about other people’s experiences, it’s also important that you open up about your own feelings and experiences.
Although it can be easier said than done, being empathetic is one of the best ways to make use of your Everyday Power and make the world around you a better place.
Here are some powerful empathy quotes to highlight its importance and encourage you to practice it more.
Don’t forget to also check out our collection of quotes on giving that will inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others.
Compassionate empathy quotes
1. “All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” ― Tahereh Mafi
2. “I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” – Maya Angelou
3. “Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” – Brene Brown
4. “You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” – John Steinbeck
5. “The highest form of knowledge is empathy.” – Bill Bullard
6. “When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.” – Susan Sarandon
7. “It’s the hardest thing in the world to go on being aware of someone else’s pain.” ― Pat Barker
8. “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein
9. “Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss.” – Anderson Cooper
10. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
Also, read these insightful quotes about listening.
Empathy quotes to help you understand and share the feelings of others
11. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”― Ernest Hemingway
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Ernest Hemingway quotes from the iconic author.
12. “The struggle of my life created empathy – I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.” – Oprah Winfrey
13. “Empathy means both understanding others on their own terms and bringing them within the orbit of one’s own experience.” – Jacob A. Belzen
14. “I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.”― Mahatma Gandhi
15. “Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.” – Barbara Kingsolver
16. “Empathetic presence involves listening to someone’s pain with what I call the five A’s: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing.”— David Richo
17. “Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.” – Barack Obama
18. “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”― Shannon L. Alder
19. “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.”— Roger Ebert
20. “The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
Empathy quotes to inspire and teach
21. “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” – Marcus Aurelius
22. When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems. – Stephen Covey
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of positive energy quotes about the power of good vibes.
23. “The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.” – Mehmet Oz
24. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald
25. “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
26. “Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole” – Brené Brown
27. “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler
28. “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” – Jesse Jackson
29. “Empathy requires knowing that you know nothing.” – Leslie Jamison
30. “Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act.” – Eric Zorn
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Empathy quotes to encourage you to display it often
31. “Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.”― Roy T. Bennett
32. “Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug.” – Lawrence J
33. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” – Meryl Streep
34. “When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him.” – Euripides
35. “The state of empathy, or being empathic, is to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person.” – Carl Rogers
36. “Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg
37. “There is no small act of kindness.
Every compassionate act makes large the world.”― Mary Anne Radmacher
38. “Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change.”
— Max Carver
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of community quotes about the power of connecting with others.
39. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – HARPER LEE
40. “If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void.” – Karen Armstrong
Empathy quotes that will make you a better person
41. “Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” – Mohsin Hamid
42. “We have to teach empathy as we do literacy.” – Bill Drayton
43. “Empathy is a special way of coming to know another and yourself.” – Carl R. Rogers
44. “When good people consider you the bad guy, you develop a heart to help the bad ones. You actually understand them.”― Criss Jami
45. “Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work.” – Daniel Goleman
46. “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
47. “If we can get man to the moon, we can get man to walk in each other’s shoes.”— Mary Gordon
48. The nature of humanity, its essence, is to feel another’s pain as one’s own, and to act to take that pain away,. There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.” – John Connolly
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of grace quotes that will change your life.
49. “We need empathy, we need the eyes that still can weep.” – LYDIA MILLET
50. “Empathy comes from the Greek empatheia – em (into) and pathos (feeling) – a penetration, a kind of travel. It suggests you enter another person’s pain as you’d enter another country, through immigration and customs, border crossing by way of query: What grows where you are? What are the laws? What animals graze there?” – Leslie Jamison
Other inspirational empathy quotes
51. “Empathy is one of humankind’s prized possessions. Acts of consideration and kindness are inevitable when a person can mentally step into someone else’s shoes. Even if it’s just for a moment.”― Izey Victoria Odiase
52. “Experiencing terrible pain opens our hearts and minds to express compassion for other people and communion with ourselves.”― Kilroy J. Oldster
53. “Wearing another’s skin is the most effective way to learn sympathy.”― A G Howard
54. “Those who are governed by reason desire nothing for themselves which they do not desire for the rest of humankind.”― Baruch Spinoza
55. “The seeds of care and empathy are built into every human being and a variety of soils and fertilizers will allow those same seeds to grow and flourish.”― Gudjon Bergmann
56. “The little things you do can be very significant to others.”― Wayne Gerard Trotman
57. “What you don’t realize is that the world does not need more perfection. It needs more compassion and empathy.”― Tessa Dare
58. “If you want more kindness in the world, put some there.”― Zero Dean
59. “It is true that I am endowed with an absurd sensitiveness, what scratches others tears me to pieces.”― Gustave Flaubert
60. “Whether it is rational or empirical, your approach to life must always be empathetic. Emotional intelligence is acquired when knowledge and empathy are combined and applied to situations regularly in everyday life.”― Stewart Stafford
61. “A child is not born with affection, adoration, and kindheartedness. A person accrues empathy and sympathy from experiencing our own pain.”― Kilroy J. Oldster
62. “Every day you need to take some actions – actions to improve your life and actions to improve someone else’s life.”― Amit Ray
63. “It is the weak that expresses aggressiveness to show strength. But real strength, it’s in the gentle.”― Nurudeen Ushawu
64. “Practicing kindness increases our ability to be empathetic. It helps keep our hearts open. And that, truly, is the best way to live.”― Kristi Bowman
65. “Empathy is the gateway; compassion is the way.”― Scott Perry
Empathy quotes to inspire you
66. “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” – Walt Whitman
67. “I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him… The land of tears is so mysterious.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
68. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” – Brené Brown
69. “Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.” – Nora Roberts
70. “There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love.” – Gregory Boyle
71. “To embrace suffering culminates in greater empathy, the capacity to feel what it is like for the other to suffer, which is the ground for unsentimental compassion and love.” – Stephen Batchelor
72. “Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you do not have to fight.” – Traci Lea Larussa
73. “People need people who show that they care.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
74. “If you have never suffered through it, then you don’t understand it. There are no exceptions.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
75. “Empathy, sympathy, love, and justice create a place only in such character, where humanity fragrances and tongue stays sober.” – Ehsan Sehgal
76. “Have compassion and empathy in your heart. Many people are suffering deep emotional anguish beneath the surface of their lives, and smile even as they hurt inside.” – Jim Palmer
77. “One does not remember one’s own pain. It is the suffering of others that undoes us.” – Anna Funder
78. “Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan
79. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes
80. “Compassion is about giving all the love that you’ve got.” – Cheryl Strayed
More empathy quotes and sayings
81. “Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.” – Arundhati Ray
82. “No matter who we are, no matter how successful, no matter what our situation, compassion is something we all need to receive and give.” – Catherine Pulsifer
83. “One friend, one person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem, can change our whole outlook on the world.” – E. H. Mayoli
84. “Like many things in life, your compassion is a skill that can be exercised.” – Simeon Lindstrom
85. “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.” – Henry Ford
86. “Kindness can manifest as compassion, as generosity, as paying attention.” – Sharon Salzberg
87. “Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe.” – Homer
88. “Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering.” – Buddha
89. “Leadership is about empathy.”– Oprah Winfrey
90. “Compassion is not just sympathy. It is empathy. Genuine compassion is first able to feel their pain.” – Mary Southerland
The power and impact of empathy quotes
91. “All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy.” — Samantha Power
92. “Empathy, humanity and support for each other is more important than revenue, than growth.” — Eric Yuan
93. “An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like.” — Tarana Burke
94. “Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.” — Sterling K. Brown
95. “No human heart is denied empathy. No religion can demolish that by indoctrination. No culture, no nation and nationalism – nothing can touch it because it is empathy.” — Dayananda Saraswati
96. “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.” — Daniel H. Pink
97. “If you aren’t humble, whatever empathy you claim is false and probably results from some arrogance or the desire to control. But true empathy is rooted in humility and the understanding that there are many people with as much to contribute in life as you.” — Anand Mahindra
98. “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
99. “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” — Daniel Goleman
100. “Humans aren’t as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were ‘reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.”” — Neil deGrasse Tyson
Walk in another’s shoes with these compassionate empathy quotes
101. “Stories teach us empathy. They reveal to us ourselves in the skins of others.” -Justin Simien
102. “We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them.” -Theodore C. Sorensen
103. “In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It’s when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it’s almost incomprehensible.” -Sarah McBride
104. “You don’t teach morals and ethics and empathy and kindness in the schools. You teach that at home, and children learn by example.” -Judy Sheindlin
105. “It’s got to do with putting yourself in other people’s shoes and seeing how far you can come to truly understand them. I like the empathy that comes from acting.” -Christian Bale
106. “The more empathy you have and the more connected you are to society, the better off you’ll be.” -Jasmila Zbanic
107. “Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it’s accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another’s eyes or heart.” -Sue Monk Kidd
108. “My own feeling is we need more compassion, we need more empathy, we need more togetherness, in terms of working together.” -Cindy McCain
109. “Empathy is the faculty to resonate with the feelings of others. When we meet someone who is joyful, we smile. When we witness someone in pain, we suffer in resonance with his or her suffering.” -Matthieu Ricard
110. “The arts bridge cultures; they’re good for the economy, and they’re good for fostering empathy and decency.” -Julie Andrews
Which of these empathy quotes is your favorite?
Empathy implies truly understanding, relating to, or imagining the depth of another person’s emotional state or circumstance.
When you try and experience other people’s realities, it will help you get along better and feel better.
Hopefully, these quotes have inspired and motivated you to practice empathy and be the best person you can be.
Did you enjoy these empathy quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? We would love to hear all about it in the comment section below.
April 19, 2022 6:12 AM EST