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50 Compassionate Empathy Quotes

empathy quotes

Our latest collection of empathy quotes on Everyday Power Blog.

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 wellbeing.

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.


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


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


11.) “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”― Ernest Hemingway


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


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


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


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


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


Other inspirational empathy quotes


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


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


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.

1 Comment

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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