140 Compassionate Empathy Quotes

These excellent empathy quotes will broaden your understanding of others.

These empathy quotes will remind you why it is important to practice, both in our personal and professional relationships.

Tell us your favorite empathy quotes in the comment section below.

We can define empathy 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. 

We need empathy 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.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation.

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

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

empathy quotes on knowledge

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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

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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

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Empathy quotes to help you understand and share the feelings of others

11. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”― Ernest Hemingway
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12. “The struggle of my life created empathy – I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.” – Oprah Winfrey

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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

empathy quotes on understanding the suffering of others

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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

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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
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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

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26. “Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole”  – Brené Brown

empathy quotes about connection

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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

empathy quotes on what it's like

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

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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

empathy quotes on caring

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
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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

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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

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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

Compassionate Empathy Quotes To Show Care For Others

111. “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” ― Albert Schweitzer

112. “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” ― Dolly Parton

113. “Compassion, empathy, and love are the real pillars we need to build within ourselves to become human.” ― Loknath

114. “An empathic person is a good listener, patient, understanding, and kind.” ― Laura Raskin

115. “Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”― Abraham Lincoln

116. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ― Plato

117. “There’s nothing that inspires that deep sense of belonging like shared empathy!” ― Brene Brown

118. “Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.” ― Seneca

119. “Leading with integrity and empathy requires vision and a connection to your deepest self.” ― Karla McLaren

120. “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” ― Simone Weil

Compassionate Empathy Quotes When You Feel for Someone

121. “At the end of the day, love and compassion will win.” ― Terry Waite

122. “By compassion, we make others’ misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also.” ― Thomas Browne

123. “There is a great deal of empathy between people who are not only of the same age but genetically identical.” ― Gordon Randall Garett

124. “If we revision human nature to include our innate capacity for empathy, then acting on behalf of others lead to self-fulfillment, rather than personal privation.” ― Tom Hurley

125. “Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people.” ― C. JoyBell C.

126. “Empathy feels these thoughts; your hurt is in my heart, your loss is in my prayers, your sorrow is in my soul, and your tears are in my eyes.” ― William Arthur Ward

127. “I feel like songwriting is an experiment in empathy.” ― Zooey Deschanel

128. “Empathy is not merely the basic principle of artistic creation. It is also the only path by which one can reach the truth about life and society.” ― Nagai Kafu

129. “We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.” ― Carl Rogers

130. “I’m hopeful for a world with more love, acceptance, and compassion for others.” ― Lily Alridge

Compassionate Empathy Quotes to Spread Kindness and Understanding

131. “Empathy frequently informs our earliest days with our infants as we try to figure out what they need, how to comfort and satisfy them.” ― Katherine Ellison

132. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.” ― Neil Gaiman

133. “Look what scares you in the face and try to understand it. Empathy is revolutionary.” ― Jane Fonda

134. “I want us to organize, to tell the personal stories that create empathy, which is the most revolutionary emotion.” ― Gloria Steinem

135. “Empathy is the most radical of human emotions.” ― Gloria Steinem

136. “Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person.” ― William Fritz

137. “Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.” ― Stephen Covey

138. “As we learn to have compassion for ourselves, the circle of compassion for others – what and whom we can work with, and how – becomes wider.” ― Pema Chodron

139. “Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people.” ― Jen Knox

140. “Love is that enviable state that knows no envy or vanity, only empathy and a longing to be greater than oneself.” ― Joe McMahon

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 to 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.

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  1. Eileen

    October 13, 2018 at 10:29 PM

    Favorite quote on Empathy
    Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug

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