71 Powerful Empathy Quotes to Foster Understanding and Connection

Empathy and compassion have the power to unite people and promote kindness and understanding.

Great thinkers, leaders, and philosophers throughout history have given us deep insights into the virtues of being compassionate human beings. 

Empathy goes beyond sympathy. 

Empathy is about seeing things through the other person's eyes, walking in their shoes, and trying to feel what they feel. 

Sharing an emotional experience with someone creates a strong bond that wraps around us and reinforces our need for each other.

As you'll see from our list of quotes, practicing empathy and compassion brightens the world and gives us hope during tough times. 

Importance of Practicing Empathy

All healthy relationships are built on empathy, which is essential in working through conflicts and misunderstandings.

We all look at the world through our own personal lens so learning to practice empathy enables us to view situations from another person’s viewpoint, which helps build deeper connections with others.

A single empathy quote can provide just the insight you need at this moment.

May these quotes awaken you to the profound importance of being empathetic in your daily interactions with others.

71 Powerful Empathy Quotes

Deep Powerful Empathy Quotes

1. “Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It's the impetus for creating change.” – Max Carver

2. “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

3. “Empathy is like a universal solvent. Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble.” – Simon Baron-Cohen

4. “Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it.” – Cornel West

5. “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

6. “We use a term called ‘empowerment through empathy.’ And ‘Me Too’ is so powerful, because somebody had said it to me — right? — and it changed the trajectory of my healing process once I heard that.” — Tarana Burke

7. “Empathy is a constant awareness of the fact that your concerns are not everyone’s concerns and that your needs are not everyone’s needs.” — Roman Krznaric

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. “Empathy is choosing to see ourselves in another despite our differences. It’s recognizing that the same humanity — the same desire for meaning, fulfillment and security — exists in each of us, even if it’s expressed uniquely.” — Dr. Vivek Murthy

10. “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 Fesler

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

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

13. “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.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

14. “Looking at various means of developing compassion, I think empathy is an important factor: the ability to appreciate others’ suffering.” — Dalai Lama

15. “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

16. “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

Empathy Quotes for Kids

17. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” – Meryl Streep

18. “Empathy is not just a feeling, it is a skill that can be learned and practiced.” – Mary Gordon

19. “You should not judge; you should understand”. – Ernest Hemingway

20. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

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

22. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

23. “You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” – John Steinbeck

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. “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” – Shannon L. Alder

26. “Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg

27. “The little things you do can be very significant to others.” – Wayne Gerard Trotman

28. “Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan

29. “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” — Dolly Parton

30. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus


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Short Quotes about Empathy

31. “Empathy is a connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole.” – Brene Brown

32. “Empathy is how kind hearts breathe.” – Nitya Prakash

33. “Money is not the root of all evil. A lack of empathy is.” – Cole Todd

34. “There’s something in everyone only they know.” – Ben Harper

35. “It doesn’t hurt to show some empathy.” – John Cornyn

36. “Empathy is the gateway; compassion is the way.” – Scott Perry

37. “Empathy nurtures wisdom. Apathy cultivates ignorance.” – Suzy Kassem

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

39. “Each person you meet is an aspect of yourself, clamoring for love.” – Eric Micha’el Leventhal

40. “Empathy requires knowing that you know nothing.” – Leslie Jamison

41. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

42. “The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.” – Mehmet Oz

43. “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.” — Joseph Fort Newton

44. “I care. I care about it all. It takes too much energy not to care.” — Lorraine Hansberry

45. “Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable one.” — Brené Brown

Famous Quotes about Empathy

46. “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” – Roger Ebert

47. “Empathy is the most radical of human emotions.” – Gloria Steinem

48. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” — Nelson Mandela

49. “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

50. “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

51. “Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people.” – C. JoyBell C.

52. “If you look into someone’s face long enough, eventually you’re going to feel that you’re looking at yourself.” — Paul Auster

53. “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” — Walt Whitman

54. “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

55. “One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.” — Charles M. Blow

56. “The death of human empathy is one of the earliest and most telling signs of a culture about to fall into barbarism.” — Hannah Arendt

57. “Without suffering, there’d be no compassion.” — Nicholas Sparks

58. “The more we diminish our own pain, or rank it compared to what others have survived, the less empathetic we are to everyone.” — Brené Brown

59. “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” — Brené Brown

60. “Stay connected to feel empathy, compassion, and understanding for yourself and others.” — Vanessa Tucker

61. “Compassion, empathy, and love are the real pillars we need to build within ourselves to become human.” — Loknath

62. “Love is that enviable state that knows no envy or vanity, only empathy and a longing to be greater than oneself.” — Anonymous

63. “The functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.” — Dean Koontz

64. “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

65. “Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.” — Brené Brown

66. “Empathy, evidently, existed only within the human community, whereas intelligence to some degree could be found throughout every phylum and order including the arachnida.” — Philip K. Dick

67. “When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.” — Yann Martel

68. “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

69. “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

70.  “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer

71. “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

Final thoughts

In a world where understanding and connection are more important than ever, these quotes about empathy and compassion serve as a reminder of the power and beauty of this good character trait.

By practicing empathy and compassion with each other, we can make the world a brighter and kinder place for all.

Improve your understanding and be more empathetic as you read these empathy quotes we have collected in this post.