The Art of Empathy

by Jenny Harrison


According to empathy is defined as “the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” Simply put, it is the ability to put yourself in another persons shoes or try to see a situation from their vantage point.

Statements that lack empathy are steeped in blame, condemnation, and a false sense of superiority.

They may include:

“Why are you getting upset over nothing?”

“Snap out of it!”

“Chill out!”

“If I were you I would _____________.”

“You think you have it bad! There are people suffering worse than you.”

The following are examples of empathetic and compassionate statements to incorporate into your week. (Yes, me included).

“I care for you deeply and desire that you feel true joy.”

“While I can not fully understand, I sense your frustration. I am here to listen.”

“It would be my honor to stand in the gap for you in prayer as you process this extremely painful time in your life.”

“I am truly sorry you are experiencing this obvious heartache. What can I do to be of help.”

Note: Please remember, genuineness is the key. Even the hurting can sense empty and shallow words.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Romans 12:15-16 (ESV)

Copyright © 2015, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Prayer image from Pinterest. Scripture from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Definition from

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