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Journaling Prompts

In Her Shoes: How easy, or difficult, is it for you to stand in someone else’s shoes? Are you someone who feels the pain of others in a deep way, or are you able to distance yourself from the difficult emotional experiences of others? Is this tendency a liability or a gift? How are you impacted by the suffering of those in your life?

Compassion: Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? Are you a good listener? Do your near and dear ones come to you for support, a shoulder to cry on? Do you tend to try to fix things or blame others when you become aware of difficult news? When is it difficult to be compassionate and open hearted, and are those times reflective of the things that are internally difficult for you?

Intimacy: How are empathy and intimacy intertwined in your experience? Does physical or emotional closeness to a person lead you to be more warm and open, or more critical or analytical in the name of speaking the truth, regardless of the immediate result?

Mercy: What good would you like to bring to the world – the world close to you and the world at large? How would you act, what would you do to create change and relieve suffering? Are you on that path in any way? What steps could you take toward bringing goodness and peace to people/animals/the earth? How would you know that you have succeeded?

Understanding: What does it feel like for you when someone truly connects with your heart? Have you experienced that instant, or not-so-instant connection that lets you know you are loved, understood and ‘met’ exactly where you are? If you have experienced that, what is it like if and when you don’t get those needs met? Are you able to ask for empathy from others? Are you able to provide that deep gentleness and kindness for yourself?


Pinterest Board

Click here to see our DT EMPATHY Board and repin to inspire yourself!



I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.

Maya Angelou

The struggle of my life created empathy - I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.

Oprah Winfrey

If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.

Daniel Goleman

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

The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.

Mehmet Oz

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.

Meryl Streep

Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss.

Anderson Cooper

Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.

Alice Miller

Women are, in my view, natural peacemakers. As givers and nurturers of life, through their focus on human relationships and their engagement with the demanding work of raising children and protecting family life, they develop a deep sense of empathy that cuts through to underlying human realities.

Daisaku Ikeda

Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction 'Love the neighbor as thyself.'

George McGovern

When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.

Susan Sarandon

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

Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion.

Annie Lennox

The thing that enchants me the most is the ability women have to feel other people's pain. The total empathy that women have is extraordinary.

Ashton Kutcher

I believe that stories are incredibly important, possibly in ways we don't understand, in allowing us to make sense of our lives, in allowing us to escape our lives, in giving us empathy and in creating the world that we live in.

Neil Gaiman

We have to teach empathy as we do literacy.

Bill Drayton


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