You want to better understand empathy and how to apply it in your life.
And one of the best ways to do this is to read quotes about empathy from those who understand it better than you do.
Maybe they’ve learned to make the most of their ability to empathize with others.
Or maybe they’ve learned to empathize without feeling perpetually overwhelmed.
A single empathy quote can provide just the insight you need at this moment.
We hope you find more than one of these in this list of 51 quotes.
1. “I learn from my own daughter that you don’t have to be awake to cry.” ― Jodi Picoult
2. “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” ― Walt Whitman
3. “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.” ―Barak Obama
4. “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
5. “Help someone, you earn a friend. Help someone too much, you make an enemy.” ― Erol Ozan
6. “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
7. “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler
8. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
9. The opposite of anger is not calmness. It’s empathy.” – Mehmet Oz
11. “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” – Dolly Parton
12. “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.” ― Joseph Fort Newton
13. “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer
14. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus
16. “Don’t cast shadows on anyone unless you are providing shade.” – Terri Guillemets
17. “There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.” – Frank Tyger
18. “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.’” – Brene Brown
19. “When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.” – Abraham Lincoln
20. “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.” – Gautama Buddha
22. “Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance.” – Arundhati Ray
23. “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
24. “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau
25. “Have you ever been surfing? Imagine you’re on your surfboard now, waiting for the big one to come. Get ready to get carried with that energy. Now, here it comes. That’s empathy. No words – just being with that energy. When I connect with what’s alive in another person, I have feelings similar to when I’m surfing.” – Marshall Rosenberg
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26. “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”- Simone Weil
27. “Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.” ― Nora Roberts
28. “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
29. “One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.” —Charles M. Blow
30. “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
31. “The death of human empathy is one of the earliest and most telling signs of a culture about to fall into barbarism.” —Hannah Arendt
32. “It’s the hardest thing in the world to go on being aware of someone else’s pain.” ― Pat Barker
33. There is no small act of kindness. Every compassionate act makes large the world.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
34. “Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in.” ― Ashly Lorenzana
35. “How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.” ― Margaret Atwood
36. “Empaths did not come into this world to be victims, we came to be warriors. Be brave. Stay strong. We need all hands on deck.” ― Anthon St. Maarten
37. “Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.” —Seneca
38. Stay connected to feel empathy, compassion, and understanding for yourself and others.” —-Vanessa Tucker
39. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Plato
40. “Empathy is a skill like any other human skill. If you get a chance to practice, you can get better at it.” —Professor Simon Baron Cohen
41. “The functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.” —Dean Koontz
43. “Only by examining our personal biases can we grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we grow as people.” ― Jen Knox
44. “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
45. “Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” — Malorie Blackman
46. “Human nature is complex. Even if we do have inclinations toward violence, we also have inclination to empathy, to cooperation, to self-control.”—- Steven Pinker
47. “You don’t teach morals and ethics and empathy and kindness in the schools. You teach that at home, and children learn by example.” — Judy Sheindlin
48. “A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.” —-Daniel Goleman
49. “All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy.” —-Samantha Power
50. “Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.” — Neil Gaiman
51. “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
Now that you’ve looked through these 51 quotes on empathy, which ones spoke directly to you? Which quote are you most likely to repeat to yourself?
Or which quote reminds you of an empathetic soul you care about? Find a way to share those words with them today. You never know what good they might do.
With all the negative feelings you might pick up on, quotes that remind you of the bigger picture can provide the stability you need. Savor one of them today.