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Compassionate Empathy Quotes

These excellent empathy quotes will broaden your understanding of others.

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.

empathy quotes

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

empathy quotes on knowledge

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
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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

13. “Empathy means both understanding others on their own terms and bringing them within the orbit of one’s own experience.” – Jacob A. Belzen

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14. “I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.”― Mahatma Gandhi

empathy quotes on understanding the suffering of others

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

empathy quotes about connection

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

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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

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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

More empathy quotes and sayings

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

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.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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1 Comment
  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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