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Example Phrases For Showing / Increasing Empathy [74 Tips]

Example Phrases For Showing / Increasing Empathy [74 Tips]

Developing empathy is important to achieve results in relationships and work. Empathy arises when you step into the other person’s perspective. Here you will find a total of 74 tools, sentences and examples to show empathy in a conversation.

Increasing empathy: examples and tips for empathy

The tips and examples from this article are the most practical and concrete tools you can find about empathy.

What is Empathy? Short explanation (meaning of empathy)

Empathy doesn’t mean agreeing with the other. It means that you see the world through the eyes of another for a moment and that you possibly also give that back to the other. Better than the other can put it into words.

But what is more important: empathy is something you along to feel with the other. In addition, you can also say the right sentences to express your empathy, and in this article you will find those example sentences

Offer a listening ear, recognition, and a hug in lieu of well-intentioned advice.

Why should you develop empathy?

To develop empathy, or empathy, you recognize and respond to thoughts and emotions in others. This has many advantages. For example, pain is felt less when someone has empathy . Empathy is a large part of rapport  (a technique from the NLP method, also known as the ‘study in subjectivity’).

Showing empathy: Here are the first 36 tips for learning empathy

Can you learn empathy? Certainly! You can develop empathy in these ways:

  1. When someone is sad, there is no need to cheer that person up right away. Sit down and ask what the other person is sad about.
  2. Offer a listening ear . This gives recognition to the other person and the feelings that person has.
  3. Empathy is understanding what someone is feeling. So you don’t necessarily have to feel the same in the other person’s place. Of course you can do that too. See the next tip!
  4. Don’t say anything and give the other person a hug .
  5. Imagine that you are in the other person’s shoes . To do this, use association and dissociation to get into the second perception position. This makes empathy easier! In this ‘second perspective’ you are dissociating from yourself and at the same time associating with the other.
  6. See clearly who and what is in front of you. Experience what the other sees, hears, feels, smells and tastes . Mnemonic: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactoir, Gustatoir (VAKOG).
  7. Understand the other’s world map. To this end, ask the questions to question the structure of subjective perception.
  8. Understand the other’s goals , what they want.
  9. Also immediately understand the obstacles and challenges to reach the goal. Take the coach model for convenience .
  10. Understand the other person ‘s behavior .
  11. Understand the other person ‘s values .
  12. Assume everyone is doing their best.
  13. Understand all other neurological levels of the other.
  14. Try to predict what the other will do.
  15. Understand how the other sees the world. The communication model  is a tool for this. 
  16. Understand his / her fears and experiences that cause the other to think how he / she thinks now.
  17. Understand how the other views themselves.
  18. Make a special appointment to talk.
  19. Feel with that person, do n’t feel for that person.
  20. Be considerate and interested. This is only possible if you are alert , and not always distracted.
  21. Ask about the symptoms (downchunk) and consequences (upchunk) of someone’s situation. Or name them: “I can imagine that…”
  22. Be a sounding board. Allow the other person to focus their ideas and feelings on you while taking a non-judgmental or critical attitude. You could make that clear by saying, “You are important” or “I am not judging.”
  23. Act like a mirror. Reflect what you think the person is saying and feeling back to them.
  24. Don’t trivialize the person’s feelings. For example, don’t use phrases like “it’s okay” or “you’ll feel better tomorrow”.
  25. Instead of downplaying (“It’s okay, it’s going to be okay”) much better ask what it feels like: “How are you feeling?”
  26. Meet the other by acknowledging his / her burning pain, suffering, or the loss of his / her dreams .
  27. Do not change the subject.
  28. Don’t make the other person ‘better’, don’t try to answer or try to solve the other’s problems. Even if your intentions are so good … don’t. Let ‘you’ get out of the way. Your talent is your presence, not manipulation. Your talent is wholeness, not division.
  29. Do n’t give well-intentioned advice. Don’t try to fix it. The solutions are already there. Only the right questions are needed. For example, a broken heart doesn’t need secondhand advice and sermons. There is no need to say the things you know. As a kind of ‘perfect teacher’ or ‘spiritual expert’. All it takes? Just that you just meet the other, now, where the other is.
  30. No answer is needed at all. Just let the search be there. Let there be acceptance for that unsolved, mess-filled quest.
  31. Sometimes someone wants advice from you. How do you find out if that’s the case? You can sense that or you can just ask: “Do you prefer me to just listen or do you prefer advice?”
  32. Ask what the other needs: “What do you need?” ‘What can I do for you?’
  33. Encourage openness so that ideas and thoughts can be shared.
  34. Encourage the other to feel their pain more deeply so that they can heal and free themselves. This is an invitation to deeper spiritual healing.
  35. It is better not to say, “I understand that you …” Chances are that the other person will not agree that you can understand what is happening.
    You’re always okay with, “I see you …” or “I imagine you …”
  36. When you persuade customers, demonstrate with empathy that you get them before you lead: talk about their successes, failures, needs, desires, frustrations, fears, and dreams. Market research helps with this.
  37. Ask the questions: ‘How’ ( meta model ) and ‘Why’ ( milton model ).
  38. Question: ‘What do you need? What do you need? ‘
  39. Ask yourself, “What do we have in common?”
  40. Feel compassion : Offer a listening ear, recognition, and a hug instead of well-intentioned advice.
  41. Live by the premise of NLP . These are a number of ‘living principles’ with which you process empathy and respect in your life.

The next half of the tips are in the form of empathetic phrases that you can say to show that you have compassion for the other person. This means that you get into the second observation position. This is a concept from the NLP Practitioner Training.

Empathetic Sample Phrases – 37 additional handles for getting into the empathetic position


How do you show empathy? Use the example sentences below to show empathy and increase your empathy.

Again, with language you can program yourself, so a rich vocabulary helps you enormously in developing empathy in yourself.

  1. I hear you / I see you / I feel you.
  2. How are you?
  3. What is going on?
  4. Tell me about it.
  5. How long has that been going on?
  6. At what times does it bother you?
  7. What do you need?
  8. Preferably use vague sentences so that there is less chance of a mismatch: “It was a strong reaction / experience.” “It does a lot to you.”
  9. You seem a bit confused by it.
  10. You sound discouraged.
  11. You sound frustrated.
  12. You seem to be a little angry about your cousin’s visit. What solutions have you thought about? (So ​​don’t give advice.)
  13. This situation must be very frustrating for you.
  14. It must be heartbreaking for you to see him so sick.
  15. You are bound to be on your feet all day long.
    Your feet must hurt.
    Wow your feet must feel tired.
  16. Reflective: you are having a hard time. First that, then that, then this.
  17. I’m here, I’m with you, keep telling me, I want to know and feel.
  18. I understand how you feel / that you feel that way / that you feel that way.
  19. It hurts you a lot.
  20. You look sad, what’s going on?
  21. Too bad, you really heard in the final.
  22. Fucking man.
  23. How’s that for you?
  24. How do you feel?
  25. What does that do to you?
  26. How do you experience that?
  27. And what about you?
  28. I can imagine that…
  29. “I want to be able to imagine how you feel.
    Where do you feel it in your body? Does it have a color, a temperature, a tingling sensation? ”
    After showing compassion for a while, you can use a gesture to wave off that feeling and to support it verbally.
  30. In a neutral situation, for example with a waiter in a restaurant, you can say something about how pleasant it seems to you to work there. How wonderful it seems to you to work in a good restaurant if you love good food. Then you can ask how he relaxes, because it must be a tiring job.
  31. I’m here. I hear you. What can I do for you if you need me?
  32. After reading his posture: “Tell me more / Do you want to talk about it?”
  33. You can offer your client a hug, or if it’s someone of the opposite sex you can put your hand on the person’s hand and squeeze confidentially.
  34. “Me too.” (Feeling like, “I’m not alone!”) (Including accompanying emotion / perspective match)
  35. What does that mean for you in your world? (Non-judgmental)
  36. You can also show empathy in a glance.
  37. “You have a hard time with it”)

Empathy exercise for developing empathy, or empathy: ‘Try another person’s life’

Lack of empathy can happen. Fortunately, you can just practice to get better at it.

Step 1: Choose a practice partner who is very different from you. Literally follow him in a space as he goes to discover the world. Walk right next to him and imitate him exactly, for example his facial expressions. Even if he starts talking to someone you keep imitating him. So you will soon hear the same thing twice. “Hi how are you?” “Hi how are you?”

Step 2: After the discovery round, tell what your experiences are as the other. Check together if it was okay.

How do you develop your empathy? Let us know in the comments how you learn and show empathy. 

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!


  1. Lindy

    I have trouble showing empathy in a chat conversation. I would like to do that better, but I do not always find the right response to a question.

    • Rubin Alaie

      Hi Lindy 🙂 I don’t think that’s so strange. I think everyone finds that difficult via chat. Empathy has everything to do with feeling how the other person is feeling. And you can do that much easier if you are physically present together. Then you feel each other. So it’s not about the words you say, it’s about how you say them. And that is something that by definition seems impossible to me in chats. Emoticons / emojis come in handy again.

  2. erik

    You write. for Empathy … point 6.
    “….. tastes and smells. Mnemonic: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactoir, Gustatoir (VAKOG).

    isn’t that wrong? the Olfactory nervous system, is the sense of smell and not taste
    and Gusatoir is just the taste I think

    a ‘Visual’ mindfulness

    • Rubin Alaie

      Nice comment Erik. Thank you.