What is Empathy?

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

Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand the feelings of others and showing that you care with supportive and compassionate words and/or actions.  Empathy is taking the perspective of others and respecting their opinions or points of view.


Here’s a helpful mnemonic created by developmental psychologist Mimi Black:

E = ENRICH your child’s “feelings vocabulary”

M = MODEL empathic responses

P = PRAISE your child for their empathic words and actions

A = ASK questions that encourage empathic responses

T = TAKE ADVANTAGE of situations and interactions as springboards for discussion

H = HONOR your child’s feelings

Y = Share YOUR feelings and experiences, when appropriate