November Merit Award - EMPATHY

November Merit Award - EMPATHY

What is empathy?

  • Putting yourself in someone else's shoes
  • Understanding, sensing, and sharing in the feelings and emotions of others
  • Showing love, sympathy, compassion, and encouragement
  • Identifying with, and understanding, another's situation, feelings, and motives
  • Having concern for someone experiencing misfortune

What does empathy look like/sound like?

  • Listening with full attention to the speaker and looking for the feelings behind the words, facial expressions, and body language Respecting the thoughts of a friend who has shared his or her feelings
  • Acknowledging the emotions of someone by saying something like, "I can see that you are really uncomfortable about this."
  • Showing appropriate reactions to someone who is sharing his or her feelings (i.e., nodding, smiling, paraphrasing) and asking questions at appropriate times
  • Allowing the person to share his or her feelings without interrupting, judging, or trying to solve his or her problem
  • Trying to really understand a person's feelings and motives, even when you may disagree with the actions of a person
  • Speaking from "I" and owning your emotions
  • Understanding that we are all a lot more alike than we think, even if on the outside we look and act differently
  • Seeing ourselves in others-even those we think are so different from us


"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." (Bonnie Jean Wasmund)

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." (Leo Buscaglia)

"Only your compassion and your loving kindness are invincible, and without limit." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

"Be nice and smile at everyone you meet. You don't know what they are going through, and they may need that smile, and treasure it." (Christine M. Huppert)