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92 Empathy Quotes For The Giver & Receiver

“I Do Not Ask The Wounded Person How He Feels, I Myself Become The Wounded Person.” - Walt Whitman

Empathy is defined in the dictionary as “The psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the emotions, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” In other words, empathy quotes are applied when you make a really solid connection with someone else’s feelings or thoughts.

In order to empathize with someone, you must be able to walk in their shoes. We are able to show empathy when we have experienced the same thing as another person. This allows us to know how they are feeling.

Empathy is often confused with sympathy which is feeling emotions of sorrow or compassion for another person. We don’t necessarily have to have experienced what the other person has gone through in order to show sympathy.

When we are going through a difficult time, we appreciate the sympathy that others may show us, but empathy provides a deeper connection and can therefore be more helpful, and can be more healing.

The following quotes are both for the empath - the person showing empathy towards another - as well as for those who are suffering.

The quotes give encouragement to people to show empathy towards others. This is helpful because being an empathic person is difficult; it can be draining. It requires strength to help another, but it also requires strength to help someone through what you have been through yourself. You may feel you do not have the emotional fortitude to go through this with someone as it may bring back many negative feelings for yourself.

This is where quotes can help. If you feel called upon to show empathy toward another, you may find encouragement and strength in many of these quotes.

As the person who is going through a tough time, you will find encouragement here in quotes from people who have suffered and who have wisdom to share with you.

40 Drained & Spiritual Empathy Quotes

1. “I think that listening to music or creating music is a spiritual undertaking. The process of creating music involves listening. It involves sensitivity. It involves humility. It’s something higher than words.” - Matisyahu

Empathy Quotes

2. “The agony of the empath is feeling their pain but being unable to save them from it.” - Donna Lynn Hope

3. “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

4. “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

5. “Empaths don’t act fake. They get quiet.” - Jane Lightworker

6. “Life has not been able to break me and it will not break you. Stand tall for you are loved, you are enough, you are able, and in the end we will survive.” - Donna G. Bourgeois

7. “Empathy is a creative act. It is the act of imagining ourselves not only in another’s shoes, but perhaps inhabiting their very heart and soul.” - Michele Jennae

8. “Create boundaries. Honor your limits. Say no. Take a break. Let go. Stay grounded. Nurture your body. Love your vulnerability. And if all else fails, breathe deeply.” - Aletheia Luna

9. “Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole.” - Brené Brown

10. “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” - Mahatma Gandhi

11. “I think recharging is important, absolutely. Now and then, you need a couple of weeks to just chill out and let your emotions balance themselves out.” - Malin Akerman

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12. “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

13. “I’m a passionate person; a lot is going on underneath my carousel of blazers: a cauldron of sensitivity and emotion.” - Sue Perkins

14. “Some say I’m too sensitive but the truth is I just feel too much. Every word, every action and every energy goes straight to my heart.” - Unknown

15. “Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.” - Andrew Boyd

16. “Empathy means understanding others on their own terms and bringing them into the orbit of one’s own experience.” - Jacob A. Belzen

17. "Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you" - Roger Ebert

18. “Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. ” - William Fritz

19. “Empathy nurtures wisdom. Apathy cultivates ignorance.” - Suzy Kassem

20. “Those who are sometimes described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world.” - Anthon St. Maarten

21. “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” - Roger Ebert

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

22. “As an empath, it’s vital that you learn how to hold space for your emotions, even the most painful ones. By anchoring yourself in your breath, you can learn how to witness the emotional energy of others within you, without attaching yourself to these sensations.” - Luna & Sol

23. “One of the greatest advantages of being an empath is that experiencing a spiritual awakening is virtually inevitable. In other words, spiritually awakening seems to be written into our DNA.” - Aletheia Luna

24. “She had a very inconvenient heart. It always insisted on feeling things ever so deeply.” - John Mark Green

empathy quotes

25. “Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” - Mohsin Hamid

26. “I’m a passionate person; there’s a lot going on underneath my carousel of blazers: a cauldron of sensitivity and emotion.” - Sue Perkins

27. “Empaths feel more deeply, more intensely, and more persistently than those around us. We even feel what other people are afraid to feel within themselves.” - Mateo Sol

28. “There’s beauty everywhere. Amazing things are happening everywhere, you just have to be able to open your eyes and witness it. Some days, that’s harder than others.” - Sarah McLachlan

29. “It’s the hardest thing in the world to go on being aware of someone else’s pain.” - Pat Barker

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30. “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

31. “I know a beautiful soul when I feel one. The empath in me honors the authentic in you.” - Melody Lee

32. “Empaths who feel like old souls that have lived for many lifetimes are known as Indigo Children.” - Aletheia Luna

33. “I am an empath. I can hear what you are not saying.” - Unknown

34. “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” - Emily Post

35. “Empathy is the door to wisdom.” - Suzy Kassem

Empathy words

36. “I had always been a sensitive person with tons of little cracks and as strong and self-reliant as I could act, it took very little for someone to enter those cracks and hurt me.” - Jacqueline Simon Gunn

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

38. “It’s okay to be sensitive. That’s what happens when you have magic in your heart.” - Unknown

39. “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” - Mahatma Gandhi

40. “Empathy is the door to wisdom.”

15 Long Empathy Quotes

41. “Empaths as a group tend to be caretakers because we feel relief when we help others to find relief. We sense the distress and feel drawn to help. When we alleviate discomfort, we feel better too. Of course, we want to do this. It makes so much more sense when you recognize that the reason you, as an empath, want to help, fix, and change other people is because you feel their feelings so intensely.” - Jennifer Elizabeth Moore

empathy quote

42. “I am an empath – Watching certain types of movies can become unbearable. The energy of TV and Radio can be maddening. I know your feelings better than you do. I know when you lie. I crave solitude. I need to order, or I can’t think straight. Complete strangers tell me their life stories. – I am a healer”. - Sandra Cooze

43. “Dear empath: You are a being of immense depth, wisdom, and compassion. You are a pioneer and trailblazer of humanity, a model for others on how to be sensitive and powerful. All the strength and love you need is already within you, waiting to be discovered.” - Mateo Sol


44. “Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.” - Andrew Boyd

45. “Resisting, identifying with, and suppressing emotions is the number one reason why we become so sick and overwhelmed as empaths. But the more embracing and accommodating you are towards the emotions you feel, without identifying with them, the more quickly they leave.” - Aletheia Luna

46. “Because empaths can see the world through their partner’s point of view, they frequently tend to completely mesh with the viewpoints of their abusers. So when an empath is told that he or she is uncaring of a narcissistic partner, the empath will genuinely feel as though they are a horrible person due to the fact that they can feel and embody the emotions of their partners.” - Aletheia Luna

47. “Many people confuse empaths for weak people who are nothing but scared. The opposite is true. When surrounded by positive energy they flourish into lovely creatures that are so much fun to hang around.” - Katya Ki

48. “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” - Anthon St. Maarten

49. “Why is sensitivity perceived as being dangerous? When we’re sensitive, we feel things we were taught not to feel. When we’re sensitive, we are completely open to attack. When we’re sensitive, we are awake and in touch with our hearts – and this can be very threatening to the status quo indeed.” - Aletheia Luna

empathy quotes

50. “Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us – a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain – it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always rise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.” - Leslie Jamison

51. “Never underestimate the empowered empath. Our kindness and compassion is too often mistaken for weakness or naivety, while we are, in fact, highly calibrated human lie detectors…and fearless warriors for truth and justice.” - Anthon St. Maarten

52. “Empaths have to be careful not to internalize others’ feelings, as this can cause them to feel anxious, sad, or even depressed. It can leave the empath feeling drained or exhausted. They must learn to set boundaries so as not to let toxic people drain them dry.” - Donna G. Bourgeois

53. “One of the rights and responsibilities we agree to as recovering empaths is to witness deep emotions and to behold profound suffering. We agree to be mindful of intense events but to allow them to simply be without attempting to fix them. We avoid trying to reconcile things. We stop trying to change what is not ours to change.” - Jennifer Elizabeth Moore

54. “A narcissist, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of an empath. Emotionally, narcissists are like brick walls who see and hear others but fail to understand or relate to them. As a result of their emotional shallowness, narcissists are essentially devoid of all empathy or compassion for other people. Lacking empathy, a narcissist is a very destructive and dangerous person to be around.” - Aletheia Luna

55. “If your child is a teenage empath, you might like to try introducing them to self-inquiry. As sensitive beings, empathic teenagers struggle greatly to differentiate their emotions from those around them. One of the best ways to help your child regulate their emotions is by teaching them to ask, “Is this feeling mine?” - Aletheia Luna

empathy quotes

20 Inspirational Empathy Quotes

56. “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” - Roger Ebert


57. “All empaths can feel if someone is genuine or not. Unaware empaths often disregard the red flags. Empowered empaths listen to their intuition right away.” - Jane Lightworker

58. “Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole.” - Brené Brown

59. “An empath hones in on the emotions of a person. Having Psychic abilities focuses on the communication of the soul. Not to be mistaken for a gut feeling-Instinct. Gut Instinct is the internal mechanism for survival.” - Serena Jade

60. “Derived from the Greek word “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), the term “empath” refers to a person who is able to “feel into” the feelings of others.” - Mateo Sol

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61. “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

62. “The struggle of my life created empathy – I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.” - Oprah Winfrey

63. “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” - Alfred Adler

64. “We empaths have many marvelous traits. We have huge hearts and the instinct to help others in need or who are less fortunate.” - Judith Orloff

65. “We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.” - Alan Watts

66. “It’s also selfish because it makes you feel good when you help others. I’ve been helped by acts of kindness from strangers. That’s why we’re here, after all, to help others.” - Carol Burnett

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

68. “Some people are far more cognizant than others but sensitivity has its own cross to bear and ample insight, in many cases, can bring on disquietude.” - Donna Lynn Hope

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

70. “The loving parts of your personality have no trouble loving. That is all they do. You experience the loving parts of as gratitude, appreciation, caring, patience, contentment and awe of life.” - Gary Zukav

71. “It is a blessing and a curse, to feel everything so deeply.” - Unknown

72. “Being an empath is like seeing with the soul.” - Dean Koontz

Empathy Quotes

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

74. "Empathetic presence involves listening to someone’s pain with what I call the five A’s: Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection, and Allowing.” - David Richo

75. “As empaths, our high level of sensitivity means that we are prone to feeling like eternal outsiders who are in the world but not quite of the world.” - Aletheia Luna

17 Intuitive Empathy Quotes

76. “All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” - Tahereh Mafi

77. “If we could look into each other’s heart and understand the unique challenge s each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” - Marvin J. Ashton

78. “Empaths travel the path of the heart. They are driven by the desire for transcendental love, connection, passion, and service to others.” - Sherrie Dillard

79. “Because of their sacred gift of translating and embodying energy, empaths are able to spot their soul mates or twin flames a mile away.” - Aletheia Luna

80. “If we could look into each other’s heart and understand the unique challenge s each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” - Marvin J. Ashton

81. “Be kinder to yourself, and then let your kindness flood the world.” - Pema Chodron

82. “Many empaths are diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, CFS, lupus, and various autoimmune diseases, as well as psychological disorders such as agoraphobia, social anxiety, ADHD, depression, and sensory processing disorder, among many others. - Aletheia Luna

83. "As emotional radars, empaths instantly pick up on the vibes around them and tend to gravitate the most towards those who are hurting – even if they’re not in a good place. Their intense desire to help and soothe the pain of others often results in a whole range of interpersonal and inner issues." - Mateo Sol

84. “The opposite of anger is not calmness. It’s empathy.” - Mehmet Oz

85. “Speaking the truth is often a struggle for an Empath. The last thing they want to do is cause pain or conflict for others.” - Judi Eisner


86. “As empaths, one of the quickest ways to completely losing our grounding in reality is by deferring our needs and wants in relationships.” - Mateo Sol

87. “Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength.” - Brigitte Nicole

88. “As empaths, we are not here to be sponges or enablers. We are here to be helpers, guides, and supporters.” - Aletheia Luna

89. “You will never say goodbye to the past, until you understand why the flashbacks haunt you.” - Shannon L. Alder

90. “When you’re deeply sensitive, love is ecstasy. Music is godlike. Heartache is a wide, somatic wound. Visual natural beauty is jewel-drenched, wild bliss. Tension and conflict are muscle tightening and toxic, straight down to the cells.” - Victoria Erickson

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

92. “You cannot make everyone think and feel as deeply as you do. This is your tragedy as an empath. Because you understand them, but they do not understand you.” - Daniel Saint

Why Are Quotes Important?

Quotes take feelings, ideas, and thoughts and reflect their depth and complexity in one phrase or a few brief sentences. The best quotes do this skillfully, and manage to relay a thought or feeling in such a way that it hits home with people.

The fact that quotes are short means we are more likely to remember them. If we can remember them, they are always with us, to inspire, motivate, encourage, cheer, and help us.

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Next Steps

There are concrete steps that you can take to make the quotes that have resonated with you serve you well.

Here are some ideas that you can use so that those quotes that you’ve read and want to retain, really help you.

  • Take the time to reread the quotes that have struck a chord with you, and make sure they are really saying what you need them to say.
  • Once you have made your decision, you want to get that message displayed in different places and in different ways so you will be reminded of it often, and easily.
  • Think about where you spend time during the day. Do you leave the house to work? If so, is there a place you can put a sticky with the quote so you will see it throughout the work day? Where are the key places you want to see your quote when you are at home? Perhaps an encouraging quote in the kitchen, or in your bedroom would be helpful.
  • Put that quote on a mug, inscribe it on the inside of a favorite bracelet, have your crafty neighbor embroider it so you can hang it on the wall.
  • Set aside a few minutes when you wake up and a few minutes at bedtime to reflect on your quote. This will set you up for success when you start your day, and will help you to end your day on a peaceful note.
  • Be aware if you have outgrown your quote at some point. If a quote stops serving you for whatever reason - maybe you’ve dealt with the challenge and you are moving forward - then let it go.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can You Show Empathy In The Workplace?

It is important to show empathy with co-workers, but how do you do that? If you’re part of a team that works together on assignments, or you are a boss directing others, you will build a more effective workplace if you can create an empathic environment where employees know they are supported.

There is a model that you can follow that will help you to be an empathic person at work.

  • Affirm - Let the person know they are on the right track.
  • Acknowledge - State that you know they are feeling frustrated with how things went.
  • Appreciate - Let the person know that they did a good job in some aspect of their work so they know they are appreciated.
  • Assure - Let them know that they are not alone, and you have their back.

If you apply these rules for developing and practicing empathy in the workplace, you will soon have a collegial, supportive, and confident staff who are happy to come to work, and will work optimally because they feel valued and supported.

I Have Heard The Term Empathic Listening. What Exactly Is That?

Empathic listening is an effective tool that is helpful when someone is upset and they need to talk.

There are seven aspects of empathic listening: 1. Be non-judgemental; 2. Give the person your undivided attention; 3. Listen carefully; 4. Show you are listening carefully; 5. Don’t be afraid of silence; 6. Restate and paraphrase; 7. Follow Up.

Be Non-Judgemental

  • It is absolutely necessary that you do not pass judgment on the person talking to you. You may be shocked at something they did, or feel that they did not make the right decisions, but this is not the time to be judgmental.

Give The Person Your Undivided Attention

  • It’s best to have the conversation somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. The person needs to know that you are listening fully and are completely engaged in what they are telling you.

Listen Carefully

  • Don’t just listen with your ears, but also with your eyes. The person’s movements will tell you about how nervous they are or possibly afraid. Try to take it all in.

Show You Are Listening Carefully

  • Make eye contact, nod, and make sure your body is telling the person that you are engaged. If you are sitting up and looking at the person this will say to them that you are sincerely interested in helping them.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Silence

  • Give the person time to gather their thoughts, and relay information to you at their own speed. This may mean there are pauses. Don’t feel like you have to fill them.

Restate And Paraphrase

  • Ask questions of clarification if necessary. Restate what they have said using their terms.

Follow Up

  • If it is needed, schedule another time to meet. Let them know you will connect them with people who can help.

92 Empathy Quotes For The Giver & Receiver