Why Is Having Empathy Important?

Why do we need empathy?

Because a world without it would be chaotic and uncivilized. We probably wouldn’t survive it. Empathy creates connections between people, bringing them together and helping to forge friendships and love. It makes us feel as if someone cares for us: without it we would likely feel vulnerable and lonely.

 Empathy “allows us to create bonds of trust, it gives us insights into what others may be feeling or thinking; it helps us understand how or why others are reacting to situations, it sharpens our ‘people acumen’ and it informs our decisions.”   (www.mindtools.com)

Although other species have the capacity for empathy, the human ability to relate to another person’s feelings and to even act on it is what brings us together, spreads humanity and makes our world a much nicer place to live. Through empathy, we understand each other’s experiences and are more prone to help each other. Here’s how:

Empathy helps us connect with each other. When we can relate to how other people feel, then we are more likely to connect and connections feel good! Have you ever said, “OMG, I can totally relate to that!” and then inside you feel like you just bonded with someone.

Empathy also means that we care about each other. Having someone show you empathy feels good and tells you that someone noticed you and valued how you felt. Can you remember the last time someone showed you empathy? How did you feel? When someone makes you feel that you are valued and cared for, you likely feel good about yourself and then you are more likely to show that you care in return. This builds connections between people: It’s a cycle!

Empathy means that we create a better world. As we connect and care about each other, the world becomes a nicer place to live. Empathy is contagious. Pass it on!

In fact, empathy is thought to be so important to the future of our society by some people that whole organizations have been built around the concept of generating more empathy in the world (See startempathy.org, Ashoka.org, Rootsofempathy.org). These organizations believe that if we can support empathy in people, we can change the entire world into a better place.

Post Question: Can you remember the last time someone showed you empathy? How did you feel?

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56 responses to “Why Is Having Empathy Important?”

  1. unicornsarereal February 7, 2018 at 10:11 am


  2. malak February 4, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    i like the information

  3. WHY February 4, 2018 at 12:47 am

    This article is so good for me to use for an essay but they don’t have a name nor a year it was posted so i cant use it. IM JUST TRYING TO FINISH MY ESSAY

    1. chris February 5, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      all of the information on this site was written by Chris Parrott and Paula Prentis, Co-founders of yss.hostalicio.us. Sorry about the date issue, but because we are continually updating I can not provide you with one.

  4. Bio January 11, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    We use empathy all the time now that we think about it????

  5. 700 November 27, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Thank you for your good report! That was very helpful!!!

  6. Ayden Chae November 18, 2017 at 12:16 am
    Ayden Chae

    That was very helpful!!!:D

  7. Gauri October 14, 2017 at 5:32 am

    My teacher showed empathy to me.When we don’t come in proper uniform we were taken to the Vice principal. That day instead of white ribbon I tied red ribbon.Ma’am knew that I am a good student and this happened with me for the first time so she didn’t inform about it to Vice Principal

  8. Cdv12van6a2 May 4, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Iam writing a english project and iam using empathy

  9. ssb April 26, 2017 at 9:39 am


  10. THE CHEESEANATOR November 23, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    i agree with dabgirl13 we show empathy a lot and don’t even know it but
    same goes vise versa a lot of times we don’t appreciate people ven though
    they show it back its sad that sometimes we just don’t see it

  11. WLKHS215 November 2, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    The last time someone showed empathy for me was my mom who understood that I study very hard for my test even though I did not receive a good grade and she made me feel that it was satisfactory to get that grade as long as I applied myself. This made me feel better about a tricky situation and made me feel as if that no matter what the results are, the only thing that matters is if you gave it the correct amount of effort.

    1. Brady Stovall January 11, 2018 at 4:40 pm
      Brady Stovall

      This has happened to me too, and my mom said the same thing. It made me feel good to know that someone was supporting me.

  12. WLKHS0105 October 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Even though I do not have empathy I can see why people would think its important. Its human nature to want someone to care for you.

  13. WLKHS0109 October 28, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    The last time I showed empathy was not very long ago. A lot of the time, I don’t even recognize it because I do it instinctively. I simply asked why the person felt the way they did, and as a result, I felt more knowledgeable about the topic of conversation. And now, I feel that the person I was talking to appreciated the fact that their opinion could be understood.

    1. DABGIRL13 November 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      I completely understand WLKHSO110. I think we’ve shown empathy to more than 1000 people without us knowing it. It’s in our blood.

  14. WLKHS0110 October 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Yes, I was tired in class because I didn’t have any time to drink coffee in the morning and my friend bought me my favorite iced coffee from Dunkin. I felt pretty happy because my friend was looking out for me and cared about me

  15. WLKHS0110 October 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Yes, one of my friends was working at a haunted house and hit her head against a table really hard. I felt bad for her because she was in a lot of pain and was sick at the same time. I offered her some help and helped her get to her car

  16. wlkhs0107 October 28, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I show empathy whenever I believe someone I care about is struggling with something, and when that happens I help as much as I possibly can help that person. I feel as if I helped someone which makes me happy.

  17. WLKHS0106 October 28, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    the last time someone showed me empathy was when i got into an argument with my dad, i was really sad and that person helped me talk about it and helped me feel better

  18. WLKHS0102 October 28, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Yes i felt good

  19. WLKHS0113 October 28, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I do recall the last time someone showed me empathy when one of my friends and I were in a fight. Basically, they convinced me that everything was going to be okay and be resolved quickly. As a result, I felt comforted and happy to be able to have her support.

  20. WLKHS0101 October 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    The last time someone showed me empathy is when I did bad on a test. I was disappointed until someone told me that other people did bad too and I would be okay. I was thankful for them because they made me feel better.

  21. wlkhs0104 October 28, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    The last time I showed someone empathy was when I sat down with somebody who was hurting inside. I didn’t say anything to her, but I made sure she wasn’t alone. I felt as bad as she did because I have been in her position before.

  22. WLKHSCB October 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I showed empathy when my friend was upset at his parent, I felt bad for him

  23. WLKHS0310 October 18, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Yes i can remember the last time someone showed me empathy, it was when i was having a small fight with my boyfriend and she told me that everything was going to be okay, she was calming me down and it worked.

  24. WLKHS219 September 29, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Yes i remember the last time someone showed empathy to things that are happening in my life, and it made me feel better about the situations in life.

  25. WLKHS301 September 29, 2016 at 12:08 am

    The last time I was empathetic was when my good friend got hit by a car in front of me on his bike. I could see he was in shock because I have had some very bad biking accidents as well so I tried my best to comfort him and let him know that he was all good. I felt shocked as well because it all just happened so fast.

  26. WLKHS0305 September 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    The last time someone felt empathy was when my friends understand the situation that was going on and it felt good because i had someone that i could connect with

  27. WLKHS0314 September 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    The last time I showed empathy was when my friend hurt her thumb really bad, but I made her feel better because that happened to me and I told her it would get better soon. I felt good because I did not want her to worry too much.

  28. WLKHSO315 September 27, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    My dad showed me empathy when I lost in a baseball game. The feeling it made was good.

  29. WLKHS316 September 27, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I remember about 2 weeks ago when I was upset my friend showed me empathy because I was upset.

  30. WLKHS308 September 27, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I do remember the last time someone showed me empathy. It made me feel really appreciated.

  31. WLKHS0321 September 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The last time someone showed empathy towards me was the other day when something made me upset. I didn’t want to share with the person what was wrong at first, then I did. The person helped make me happy and said they cared how I felt and that I could always tell them my problems not to be scared because they are always there to help.

  32. WLKHS313 September 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Yes, I can remember the last time someone showed me empathy. It made me feel valued.

  33. WLKHS318 September 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    When someone almost ran me off of the rode when i was on my bike because he thought it was funny , but then at the last second he stopped because he knew how i felt.

  34. WLKHS0306 September 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The last time someone showed empathy to me was when I was getting emotional to my friend over some stuff happening that day and she comforted me. I felt great because I finally got to vent to someone that would listen as well as be comfortable with venting to me

  35. WLKHS0309 September 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    My friend was about to crash into me while biking but then he realized that he shouldnt do that because he realized how mean that action would be. I felt thankful that he thought through his actions

  36. WLKHS303 September 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I try to show people empathy everyday. Recently someone told someone something I didn’t want them to but they did and I understand how hard it is to not gossip and I had empathy for them.

  37. wlkhs311 September 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I remember the last time someone showed me empathy, it was when my grandpa was sick in the hospital. They comforted me and seemed like they really cared which made me feel better about the situation.

  38. WLKHS0312 September 27, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    The last time someone showed empathy for me was after a tough volleyball game that was probably not the best of my playing and my friends were to hear me rant and be upset about how badly i played.

  39. WLKHS320 September 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    The last time someone showed me empathy was when I was in an argument with my dad and they were understanding of the situation and said they knew how I felt and gave great advice because he had a similar argument with his dad.

  40. wlkhs307 September 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I do not remember a time someone has showed me empathy

  41. WLKHS213 September 27, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I can remember a time when someone showed me empathy. It was when my grandfather got sick. It made me feel like they really cared about me and made me feel a lot better about the situation that i was in.

  42. WLKHS212 September 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I remember when a family member of mine past away and my friends felt sorry for me. I felt comfortable because they understood what i was going through.

  43. WLKHS207 September 27, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    The last time I showed empathy is when my cousins grandmother died. I tried comforting him and felt what he was going through.

  44. WlKhS211 September 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    The last time someone showed me empathy, I felt safe.

  45. WLKHS204 September 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    The last time somebody showed me empathy was yesterday because my grandma is having triple by pass surgery and people came to me and comforted me when I was upset.

  46. WLKHS210 September 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Yes I can remember the last time someone showed empathy toward me. It made me feel a lot better because someone could relate to how I was feeling.

  47. WLKHS208 September 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Last time someone showed empathy was in the summer when i fell off m bike. My friend Alex helped me back up and we went to get ice and bandages

  48. WLKHS202 September 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    The last time time someone showed empathy to me was when my grandmother passed away. My friends came to the wake and comforted me during a tough time to make me feel better.

  49. WLKHS201 September 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    My therapist shows me empathy because she listens to me and understands my issues. It makes me feel good, I guess. sometimes it is awkward but sometimes it is fun.

  50. WLKH5206 September 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    The last time someone showed me empathy was when my teacher made an assignment due another day. I felt relieved that I did not have to do that assignment along with all my other responsibilities.

  51. WLKHS0205 September 27, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I honestly cannot remember the last time someone showed me empathy. Normally people tell me to suck it up and deal with it. Sometimes when I was younger I remember getting hurt and my parents would empathize with me. It made me feel a little better, though it definitely did not take away the pain.

  52. wlkhs0108 September 21, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Yes I can remember the last time someone was empathic towards me. I was really upset one day because my friend and I got into a fight. Another friend of mine saw that I was upset and asked me what was wrong. They empathized with me and ultimately it made me feel a lot better about the situation I was in.

  53. WLKHSO103 September 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    The last time someone showed me empathy was when my grandfather died. They showed be empathy by listening and being there for me. This helped me cope with his death because I knew that people were there for me.