127 Empathy Quotes and Sayings

If only we care for others in the same level that we care for ourselves, then the world would be a place of comfort to us all. And to express genuine care for other people, we need to practice empathy. So let your empathic self reach the hearts and minds that need it the most with these 127 empathy quotes.

Empathy Quotes

1. Empathy is an important and valuable skill to have in many aspects in life. Not only does it contribute to strong bonds and general trust, but it allows us to gain insight of the emotions and thoughts of other people. In a sense, it offers you a chance to experience life the way someone else does. – Tuan Luu

2. Empathy is understanding the sorrow or loss of another person. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine how you would feel. – Byron Pulsifer

3. Learning to give empathy to myself and others as often as I can each day has rendered astounding benefits…. Empathy leads to compassion and compassion to forgiveness and connection. – Judith Hanson Lasater

4. Emotional empathy is what motivates us to help others. – Brian Goldman

5. My third piece of advice is to cultivate a sense of empathy – to put yourself in other people’s shoes – to see the world from their eyes. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world. – Barack Obama

6. Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding. – Bill Bullard

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

8. One of the most important aspects of being a human being, is being able to be in a relationship. Being able to successfully form and maintain a relationship. And at the heart of that capability is the capacity to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, to see the world how they see it. That capacity is empathy. – Bruce Perry

9. I think people believe empathy to be compassion, that compassion is an inner sense (a sense of the soul). But empathy is a sense, while compassion isn’t a sense. Empathy is an affinity, a communion, a comprehension. They say that empathy is compassion, but I think that the two are independent of each other. You see, through empathy you will feel what another is feeling, including all those plans for manipulation and persuasion. You will feel everything, not just the parts that make you take compassion for the person, but also all the red flags! You see, empathy is a sense that works with the other senses such as foresight and intuition. So, we can feel compassion but we have to move with empathy. – C. JoyBell C.

10. 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

11. Empathy depends not only on one’s ability to identify someone else’s emotions but also on one’s capacity to put oneself in the other person’s place and to experience an appropriate emotional response. – Charles G. Morris

12. If you find yourself saying ‘But I’m just being honest’, chances are you’ve just been unkind. Honesty doesn’t heal. Empathy does. – Dan Waldschmidt

13. Empathy is forgetting oneself in the joys and sorrows of another, so much so that you actually feel that the joy or sorrow experienced by another is your own joy and sorrow. Empathy involves complete identification with another. – Dada Vaswani

14. Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work. – Daniel Goleman

15. 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

16. We find that with more empathy, with more of a human-centered approach, people are able to do that more easily. They are more motivated and become more effective in their lives. – David Kelley

17. Empathy is putting yourself in another’s shoes to find out what exactly that person is feeling or going through at the given time. It basically refers to being at a common wavelength with someone. – Deepa Kodikal

18. Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act. – Eric Zorn

19. Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction ‘Love the neighbor as thyself.’ – George McGovern

20. 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

Empathy Quotes

21. Empathy is the most revolutionary emotion. – Gloria Steinem

22. Empathy is the capacity to think and feel oneself into the inner life of another person. – Heinz Kohut

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

24. The most important quality we must all strengthen in ourselves is that of deep human empathy, for that will provide the most hope of all, and the foundation for our collective survival. – Jacqueline Novogratz

25. I think empathy is really important and I think only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our full potential. – Jane Goodall

26. Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people. – Jen Knox

27. Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self. – Jonathan Franzen

28. Empathy is full presence to what’s alive in the other person at this moment. – John Cunningham

29. Empathy is the love fire of sweet remembrance and shared understanding. – John Eaton

30. Empathy is an antidote to righteousness, although it’s very difficult to empathize across a moral divide. – Jonathan Haidt

31. There is also a natural and very, very strong empathy with the underdog, with people who have suffered, people who have been pushed around by foreigners in particular, but also by their own people. – Lakhdar Brahimi

32. A focus on empathy is just what is needed to make the world a better place for all animals, humans, and nonhuman alike. – Marc Bekoff

33. We need empathy to give empathy. When we sense ourselves being defensive or unable to empathize, we need to (a) stop, breathe, give ourselves empathy, (b) scream nonviolently, or (c) take time out. – Marshall B. Rosenberg

34. 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

35. The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy. – Mehmet Oz

36. The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other. – Meryl Streep

37. I think empathy is a beautiful thing. I think that’s the power of film though. We have one of the most powerful, one of the greatest communicative tools known to man. – Michelle Rodriguez

38. Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself. – Mohsin Hamid

39. The discoveries of how we can grow and the insights we need to have really come from the inside out. To have genuine empathy, not as a make-nice tool but as an understanding, is essential to the next step. – Patricia Su

40. Empathy is the only human superpower-it can shrink distance, cut through social and power hierarchies, transcend differences, and provoke political and social change. – Elizabeth Thomas

Empathy Quotes

41. Empathy. It’s the bedrock of intimacy and close connection; in its absence, relationships remain emotionally shallow, defined largely by mutual interests or shared activities. – Peg Streep

42. This capacity for empathy leads to a genuine encounter – we have to progress toward this culture of encounter – in which heart speaks to heart… – Pope Francis

43. 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

44. 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

45. I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization. – Roger Ebert

46. Empathy needs no genius. – Toba Beta

47. We need empathy, we need the eyes that still can weep. – Lydia Millet

48. Empathy is the crucible of intercultural relations. – Carolyn Calloway-Thomas

49. Empathy is a powerful behavior of nurturing. When it is given properly, the receiver can feel that the giver really cares about them, and that what they are going through is not trivial. – William E. Krill

50. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato

51. Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see. – Leslie Jamison

52. There is absolutely no single aspect of one’s personality that is more important to develop than empathy, which is not a skill at which men typically are asked to excel. I believe empathy is not only the core of art, literature and music, but should also be at the core of society, from ethics to economics. – Chris Ware

53. 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

54. Empathy nurtures wisdom. Apathy cultivates ignorance. – Suzy Kassem

55. Education leads to enlightenment. Enlightenment opens the way to empathy. Empathy foreshadows reform. – Derrick A. Bell

56. Empathy is my good friend, but she doesn’t allow me to be angry. – Yong Kang Chan

57. Money is not the root of all evil. A lack of empathy is. – Cole Todd

58. For a society to function successfully, perhaps there needs to be a level of empathy that cannot be corrupted. – Bernard Beckett

59. We cannot transform negativity into the positive without empathy, and we cannot truly understand empathy without experiencing it in our present life, in our past, and in our future. – Brian L. Weiss

60. 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

61. We need to have empathy. When we lose empathy, we lose our humanity. – Goldie Hawn

Empathy Quotes

62. Exposure promotes understanding, understanding promotes empathy, and empathy promotes compromise. – F. Allen Davis

63. 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

64. Empathy speaks to us in those silent moments, away from our wounded ego and our wondering heart, in those empty spaces where questions run riot like lost and rejected soldiers… it tells us that each soul is worthy, valued, loved and honoured and we only ever need to face our own shadows, our own pain… and to be our own mirror. – Christine Evangelou

65. 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

66. When your kids fail—and they will, no matter how bright or talented they are—you can meet them with empathy and understanding as well as help them learn how to treat themselves with their own inner voice of empathy and understanding. – Jim Marggraff

67. Empathy is the gateway; compassion is the way. – Scott Perry

68. It is the weak that expresses aggressiveness to show strength. But real strength, it’s in the gentle. – Nurudeen Ushawu

69. Until you truly let go, until you truly form humility, can you find empathy and in that empathy you find contact and in that contact you find out who you truly are, and who the people are around you. – Jimmy Nelson

70. Empathy–the ability to identify with someone else’s suffering–is certainly a prerequisite for a genuine apology. – Danielle Ofri

71. Empathy is the highest qualification one can obtain in order to genuinely love. – John Maiorana

72. Empathy is more powerful than sympathy. – Angie Thomas

73. No one’s ever sat me down and taught me what empathy is or why it matters more than power or patriotism or religious faith. But I learn it right there in the hallway: I cannot do what’s been done to me. – Zak Ebrahim

74. Life is neither a glorious highlight reel nor a monstrous tragedy. Every day is a good day to live and a good day to die. Every day is also an apt time to learn and express joy and love for the entire natural world. Each day is an apt time to make contact with other people and express empathy for the entire world. Each day is perfect to accept with indifference all aspects of being. – Kilroy J. Oldster

75. Critics are only concerned with what affects them. And feeling empathy is a gift not many possess. – Efrat Cybulkiewicz

76. Empathy is a hand thick with scars offering you a bandage. – Richelle E. Goodrich

Empathy Quotes

77. Empathy is a quality today that we need more than ever. Throughout his life Jesus showed empathy and care for others on a level never seen before. From him we learn that Gods ways of service to others before obsession with self is the path he wants us to walk on and deep down we know it. – Tim Crawshaw

78. Hurting someone will not impress them. Intelligence requires empathy to work. Water is wet. The sky is pink through these rose-tinted glasses. – F.K. Preston

79. Choose empathy over apathy. – Mango Wodzak

80. True empathy is not about waiting to understand another person; it is about proactively seeking to do so. It takes effort to give another person your full time and attention; to ask others how they are feeling and if they coping well with things. And don’t overlook those closest to you. Never take anyone for granted. Avoid being too preoccupied to sit down and talk with your children, partners and colleagues. – Nigel Cumberland

81. I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it. – Maya Angelou

82. When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you. – Susan Sarandon

83. The struggle of my life created empathy – I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me. – Oprah Winfrey

84. Empathetic presence involves listening to someone’s pain with what I call the five A’s: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing. – David Richo

85. Empathy is how kind hearts breathe. – Nitya Prakash

Empathy Quotes

86. Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug. – Lawrence J

87. Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change. – Max Carver

88. We have to teach empathy as we do literacy. – Bill Drayton

89. Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up. – Jesse Jackson

90. 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

91. You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself. – John Steinbeck

92. If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. – Atticus Finch

93. Empathy grows as we learn. – Alice Miller

94. Don’t cast shadows on anyone unless you are providing shade. – Terri Guillemets

95. Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance. – Arundhati Ray

96. Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant? – Henry David Thoreau

97. 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

98. 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

99. Because a human being is endowed with empathy, he violates the natural order if he does not reach out to those who need care. Responding to this empathy, one is in harmony with the order of things, with dharma; otherwise, one is not. – Dayananda Saraswati

100. I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person. – Walt Whitman

Empathy Quotes

101. An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like. – Tarana Burke

102. We need to teach our children empathy and care and love and communication and social responsibility in preparation for adulthood. – Maya Soetoro-Ng

103. 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

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

105. The greater good is achieved by not only telling people what they need to know, but also filling them with a sense of empathy and love. – Abigail Disney

106. The more you learn about someone, how could you not want to protect them and their rights? The more you learn about a culture or a certain identity, it’s hard to not feel empathy. – Yara Shahidi

107. We need to understand the other side to impact the other side. We become much more effective as humans and leaders when we engage in hearty conversations with those who are different from us, not necessarily to change our opinions, but to build the empathy muscle. – Daniel Lubetzky

108. I know it might sound weird, but empathy is one of the greatest creators of energy. It’s counterintuitive because it’s selfless. – Angela Ahrendts

109. This precious thing of empathy and love and understanding is something we have to hold and appreciate and protect. – Kamasi Washington

110. I don’t know whether your heart ever necessarily changes, but time changes the way that you perceive the world. And you just hope it gives you more empathy and all those other things. – Mark Knopfler

111. True contentment comes with empathy. – Tim Finn

112. Human morality is unthinkable without empathy. – Frans de Waal

113. Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don’t have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can’t stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there’s too much stimulation. – Temple Grandin

114. We must broaden the definition of who our neighbors are, and extend the boundaries of our interest and empathy. – Wendy Kopp

115. If the only people we are able to extend empathy to are those who are like us, who come from the same country we do, or who share our faith, then we misunderstand what empathy is. – Clint Smith

116. I’ve been fascinated by the idea that evil is the absence of empathy. – John Connolly

117. Empathy seems to be seen as a weakness. We condition people to withdraw it to succeed. But really, it needs to be re-seen as a strength again if there is to be any kind of hope in the world. – Matt Bellamy

118. Change begins with understanding and understanding begins by identifying oneself with another person: in a word, empathy. The arts enable us to put ourselves in the minds, eyes, ears and hearts of other human beings. – Richard Eyre

119. The empathy I found reading ‘Heidi’ and ‘Little Women’ is empathy we have as human beings that can feed all of our souls. We have our differences, but we’re all so similar in our humanness. So those stories about young girls overcoming meant a lot to me and gave me hope. – Jewell Parker Rhodes

120. Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another. – Alfred Adler

121. You should not judge; you should understand. – Ernest Hemingway

122. For me, it’s common sense to treat other people like you would like to be treated. Empathy is a broad concept, but how do you get there? People get there differently. I get there by truly building a little trust and connection. You’ll tell me something, I’ll act on it, and then that builds on itself. – Oscar Munoz

123. I always think that if you look at anyone in detail, you will have empathy for them because you recognize them as a human being, no matter what they’ve done. – Andrea Arnold

124. Empathy goes a long way, for sure. We cannot have healthy, loving, mutually respectful relationships without it. But we’re not psychic. At least I’m not. And intuition can only take you so far, especially when a person’s sense of safety, comfort, and self-worth hangs in the balance. – Tony Goldwyn

125. Affliction equips the suffering to empathize with others in anguish and not only does it strengthen them, it enables them to be consoling comforters in a world full of hurt. – Donna Lynn Hope

126. The more empathy you have and the more connected you are to society, the better off you’ll be. – Jasmila Zbanic

127. It doesn’t hurt to show some empathy. – John Cornyn

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