83 Empathy Quotes To Inspire Compassion and Kindness

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A collection of inspirational empathy quotes that’ll inspire you to learn to understand other people and be compassionate and sensitive to other people’s feelings.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, empathy is defined as, the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.

Being compassionate and showing empathy is one of the most important and powerful traits we can have as human beings.

It allows us to be aware and sensitive to other people’s feelings, emotions, and what they are going through.

We don’t always have to go through the same things that they have gone through in order for us to show empathy and compassion.

Often, all it takes is for us to be there for them, be sensitive to what they are feeling, and really listen.

Most of the time, we are guilty of thinking that we are already listening, when in fact, we are not really hearing everything that they are saying because either our minds have already drifted or we are already too occupied formulating a reply to the conversation.

May these quotes on empathy below inspire you to practice empathy more and cultivate this trait to help you become a better person.

Empathy quotes and quotes about empathy 1

Empathy Quotes and Sayings

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

— Tahereh Mafi

Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.

— Mohsin Hamid

for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.

— Milan Kundera

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

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

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.

— Meryl Streep

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.

— Ernest Hemingway

empathy is like a universal solvent. Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble.

— Simon baron-cohen

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

— Max Carver

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

The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.

— Mehmet Oz

To perceive is to suffer.

— Aristotle

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

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 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

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

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

— Susan Sarandon

Famous Empathy Quotes

I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.

― Mahatma Gandhi

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.

— Maya Angelou

Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole.

— Brené Brown

Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.

— Seneca

Empathy is a special way of coming to know another and yourself.

— Carl R. Rogers

Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.

— Dalai Lama

The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.

— Rasheed Ogunlaru

Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.

— Alfred Adler

When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him.

— Euripides

You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.

— John Steinbeck

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

— Oprah Winfrey

Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people.

— C. Joybell

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

— Eric Zorn

Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.

— Brene Brown

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.

— Oprah Winfrey

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Inspiring Empathy Quotes

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these.

— George Washington Carver

Empathy quotes and quotes about empathy

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

Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.

— Dean Koontz

Every compassionate act makes large the world.

— Mary Anne Radmacher

Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.

— Joseph Fort Newton

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

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.

— Walt Whitman

Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug.

— Lawrence J

The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.

— Louis C.K.

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

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

Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?

— Harper Lee

It’s very difficult to design something for someone if you have no empathy.

— Stewart Butterfield

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

— Jacob A. Belzen

Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.

— Nora Roberts

Walk with me for a while, my friend, you in my shoes, I in yours, and then let us talk.

— Richelle E. Goodrich

…treat people with understanding when you can, and fake it when you can’t

until you do understand.

— Kim Harrison

Thought-provoking Quotes on Empathy

Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.

— H. Jackson Brown

Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.

— Malorie Blackman

Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work.

— Daniel Goleman

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

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.

— Roger Ebert

Stories teach us empathy. They reveal to us ourselves in the skins of others.

— Justin Simien

Empathy is the lovefire of sweet remembrance and shared understanding.

— John Eaton

Human morality is unthinkable without empathy.

— Frans de Waal

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

— Neil Gaiman

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

— Tarana Burke

A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.

— Daniel Goleman

True contentment comes with empathy.

— Tim Finn

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

— John Cunningham

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

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

We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.

— Graydon Carter

More Quotes About Empathy

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

It’s not so much the journey that’s important; as is the way that we treat those we encounter and those around us, along the way

— Jeremy Aldana

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

— George Mcgovern

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

— Mother Teresa

No one reaches out to you for compassion or empathy so you can teach them how to behave better. They reach out to us because they believe in our capacity to know our darkness well enough to sit in the dark with them.

— Brené Brown

If you look into someone’s face long enough, eventually you’re going to feel that you’re looking at yourself.

— Paul Auster

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.

— Steve Martin

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

It is true that I am endowed with an absurd sensitiveness, what scratches others tears me to pieces.

— Gustave Flaubert

All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy.

— Samantha Power

A child is not born with affection, adoration, and kindheartedness. A person accrues empathy and sympathy from experiencing our own pain.

— Kilroy J. Oldster

Each person you meet

is an aspect of yourself,

clamoring for love.

— Eric Micha’el Leventhal

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

— Eric Zorn

If you want more kindness in the world, put some there.

— Zero Dean

Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in.

— Ashly Lorenzana

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

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

Which of these empathy quotes inspired you the most?

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