105 Empathy Quotes That Demonstrate Compassion for Others

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Kindness is such a beautiful thing. It brightens up the world and brings humanity closer together.

And along with kindness comes empathy: the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Though the walk may not be easy, taking it, and feeling the pain they face, brings both understanding and compassion.

While sympathy is often appreciated, empathy goes much further. It’s the umbrella that shelters us from the dark storm, standing strong, as we wait for the sunshine to reappear. Because having someone by our side brings clarity and the strength to carry on.

As seen with these 105 empathy quotes, sharing such an emotional experience brings us closer together. It forms a tight bond that wraps around and holds us safe, bringing hope and the promise that we are not alone.

Why Is Empathy For Others Such A Positive Thing?

We’ve all come across people who we feel sorry for; the homeless guy on the street corner, the mum who forgot her bank card at the till. In the right situation, sympathy comes easily. Even with loved ones, pity is nothing more than a wave that washes over the moment.

But to feel, and become completely absorbed in another person’s emotional state is so much more. By being the one who says “I get it” and actually getting it, you build connections, anchored by trust and familiarity.

Like many things, empathy is not a skill we’re born with. Many people develop it while growing up; by noticing how people around them act and, in turn, applying those taught habits.

For others, being empathetic comes as a challenge. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be learned.

By looking for that alternative perspective, one that you can relate to from something in your past, you can start to imagine how that person is feeling. Because empathy is all about putting yourself in that person’s shoes.

Refrain from judgment and try to recognize the emotions felt. Be kind to yourself as you learn to open both your heart and your mind. Though your experiences may not be exactly the same, take the raw emotions felt and find ways to communicate them.

This collection of 105 empathy quotes that demonstrate compassion for others, can help you understand how an empathetic mindset can be positive for both you and the person you’re reaching out to.

So let’s get started.

105 Empathy Quotes That Demonstrate Compassion for Others

  1. “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
  2. “See the light in each other. Be the light for each other.” – Unknown
  3. “Empathy is a special way of coming to know another and yourself.” – Carl R. Rogers
  4. “Let’s put “kind” back into “humankind”.” – John Mark Green
  5. “If you want more kindness in the world, put some there.” – Zero Dean
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  1. “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
  2. “Extend sympathy, empathy and compassion to others.” – Vishnu
  3. “Each day is not to be wasted but to be valued and used to make situations more bearable for others, to show sympathy or empathy for others, to contribute to someone else’s skills or to help change a behavior.” – Byron Pulsifer
  4. “The little things you do can be very significant to others.” – Wayne Gerard Trotman
  5. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” – Meryl Streep
  6. “Like many things in life, your compassion is a skill that can be exercised.” – Simeon Lindstrom
  7. “What you don’t realize is that the world does not need more perfection. It needs more compassion and empathy.” – Tessa Dare
  8. “First of all, if you 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 into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.'
  9. “Empaths did not come into this world to be victims we came to be warriors.” – Anthon St. Maarten
  10. “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’” – Brené Brown

Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’” – Brené Brown

  1. “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
  2. “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know when it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. “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
  4. Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learned how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” – Nelson Mandela
  5. “An empathic person is a good listener, patient, understanding, and kind.” – Laura Raskin
  6. “Empathy is the gateway; compassion is the way.” – Scott Perry
  7. “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
  8. “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” – Dalai Lama
  9. “Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.” – Nora Roberts
  10. “All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” – Tahereh Mafi
  11. “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
  12. “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
  13. “People need people who show that they care.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
  14. “…treat people with understanding when you can, and fake it when you can’t until you do understand.” – Kim Harrison
  15. “Empathy, sympathy, love, and justice create a place only in such character, where humanity fragrances and tongue stays sober.” – Ehsan Sehgal
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  1. “Compassion is about giving all the love that you’ve got.” – Cheryl Strayed
  2. “Empathy is a skill like any other human skill. If you get a chance to practice, you can get better at it.” – Simon Baron Cohen
  3. “Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan
  4. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
  5. “Empathy is important, openness, honesty, and an understanding for others.” – Niko Kovac
  6. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes
  7. “There is no greater intelligence than kindness and empathy.” – Bryant H. McGill
  8. “There is no small act of kindness. Every compassionate act makes large the world.”- Mary Anne Radmacher
  9. “Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.” – Arundhati Ray
  10. “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

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

  1. “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
  2. “Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change.” – Max Carver
  3. “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
  4. “Look for a way to lift someone up. And if that’s all you do, that’s enough.” – Elizabeth Lesser
  5. “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
  6. “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
  7. “Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.” – Unknown
  8. “Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” – Mohsin Hamid
  9. “Kindness can manifest as compassion, as generosity, as paying attention.” – Sharon Salzberg
  10. “Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third.” – Marge Piercy
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  1. “Empathy is the love fire of sweet remembrance and shared understanding” – John Eaton
  2. “Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.” – Robert Frost
  3. “We have to teach empathy as we do literacy.” – Bill Drayton
  4. “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler
  5. “The most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us. Then we will suffer less.” – Nhat Hanh
  6. “Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay, but acknowledging that it is not.” – Sheryl Sandberg
  7. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
  8. “Empathy is a muscle, so it needs to be exercised” – Satya Nadella
  9. “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
  10. “Empathy is a choice that we can make to step out of our own egos and into the shoes of another person” – Ronald Rolheiser
  11. “Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” – Brene Brown
  12. “Empathy allows us to treat others as we would like to be treated” – Stephen Covey
  13. “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
  14. “Empathy is like a bridge that connects one mind to another” – Kevin Breel
  15. “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

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

  1. “Emotional empathy is what motivates us to help others.” – Brian Goldman
  2. “Empathy allows you to meet cruelty with compassion” – Toni Morrison
  3. “The struggle of my life created empathy – I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.” – Oprah Winfrey
  4. “Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug.” – Lawrence J.
  5. “Empathetic presence involves listening to someone’s pain with what I call the five A’s: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing.” – David Richo
  6. “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” – Dolly Parton
  7. “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
  8. “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
  9. “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” – Shannon L. Alder
  10. “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein
  11. “If you share in a heart-felt sorrow, you can lighten the load of a friend. Sometimes facing the burden together can mend two broken hearts in the end.” – Wes Fessler
  12. “Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people.” – C. Joy Bell
  13. “If we can’t see eye to eye lets try heart to heart.” – Unknown
  14. “We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
  15. “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler
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  1. “I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” – Maya Angelou
  2. “I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” – Maya Angelou
  3. “Proactive responding is the ability to listen to the other person’s feelings and empathise without taking responsibility for those feelings.” – Clive Harman
  4. “Looking at various means of developing compassion, I think empathy is an important factor: the ability to appreciate others’ suffering.” – Dalai Lama
  5. “Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss.” – Anderson Cooper
  6. “You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” – John Steinbeck
  7. “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” – Roger Ebert
  8. “Listening has the ability of the wizard’s alchemy. It has the power to melt the armor and to produce beauty in the midst of hatred.” – Brian Muldoon
  9. “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
  10. “The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.” – Mehmet Oz
  11. “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
  12. “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
  13. “Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole.” – Brené Brown
  14. “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
  15. “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

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

  1. “Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.” – Stephen Covey
  2. “Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg
  3. “A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.” – Daniel Goleman
  4. “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” – Jesse Jackson
  5.  “Exposure promotes understanding, understanding promotes empathy, and empathy promotes compromise.” – F. Allen Davis
  6. “One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.” – Charles M. Blow
  7. “Empathy requires knowing that you know nothing.” – Leslie Jamison
  8. “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” – Walt Whitman
  9. “Give Compassion: Every day the average person fights epic battles never told just to survive.” – Ken Poirot
  10. “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Final Thoughts on Feeling Empathy for Others

It can be hard to understand how another person feels. Without being in the situation ourselves, the troubled waters can be hard to comprehend.

But by finding a way to relate to the person, we bring empathy and relief from their sinking feeling. No longer do they feel alone or unheard. Remember, compassion is a great healer.

And these 23 ways to show compassion are the perfect way to start your journey to a more empathetic mindset.

And if you want more inspirational quotes, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.

Rebel Jones has been writing from a young age. She first used poetry to organise words – the rhythm and flow brought peace to her chaos. But as she developed (both as a person and as a writer), she embraced her offbeat thought process and found her own style and tone. Writing is definitely her happy place and one that she’s happy to share with the world.

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