If someone uses these 15 phrases, they’re displaying empathy and kindness

Words are powerful. 

When used carelessly, they can hurt and destroy.

But when used with empathy and kindness, they can provide comfort and inspiration to even the most hopeless person.

Here are 15 phrases that show empathy and kindness.

1) “Gosh, that must suck.”

I personally feel comforted when people give strong reactions when I tell them about my misfortunes.

It goes beyond being told “yeah, I know that feeling”, because they’re actually feeling with you at the moment.

They get angry just by you narrating to them about how unfair you’ve been treated. They get sad by you just recollecting about your miserable childhood.

And that kind of shared feeling is what empathy is all about.

2) “And then what happened?”

People who are in a bad place can be hesitant to open up about their challenges because they feel like they’re being a bother—like they’re the guy who always has problems.

And chances are that they’ve encountered a lot of people who asked them to talk but then when they actually talk, they’re not paying any attention!

This phrase, just like “tell me more” and “please elaborate” expresses an interest in whatever the speaker has to say.

And by inviting the other person to share their story, it also tells them that no, they’re not being a bother at all!

3) “I hear you.”

This line can be either really good, or really bad. 

Spoken in earnest, it’s a very effective way to make people feel seen and heard.

Ruin it by adding a “but…” and it becomes one of the most patronizing things one can ever say.

As in “I hear you but…I think you’re being too sensitive.”

Assuming that it’s spoken in good faith, however, this line basically says that they can empathize with you—that they understand what the other person is saying.

4) “Oh damn, that’s just bad.”

It’s not rare for people to open up about their troubles only to be downplayed—to be told things like “Is that ALL you’re worried about?” or “You think that’s bad? I’m going through worse!”

When someone’s sharing something painful or tragic, having someone acknowledge that fact can be incredibly validating.

That’s why this phrase demonstrates one’s empathy and kindness—it tells them “Yeah, I understand why you feel that way. Your situation isn’t so easy!”

And sometimes, what people want is to have someone acknowledge their struggles.

5) “No kidding, I’d feel the same way.”

This phrase is, yet again, another validation that the speaker’s reaction is valid.

It’s reminding them that they’re not just crazy or “playing the victim” or catastrophizing or dramatizing.

This means a lot for someone who is insecure about their emotions, and doubly so for those who had their feelings invalidated over and over again.

6) “OMG. How dare they!”

This phrase translates to “I’m on your side!”

It’s letting the speaker know that yes, they’re indeed being treated unfairly because others (like them) can CLEARLY see how awful the other party is.

Using this phrase also makes them feel that they matter. After all, how can people actually DARE to treat someone special this way? 

There must be something wrong with them!

7) “Do you want to talk about it?”

You might think that showering someone with questions means kindness—that showing interest is the most important thing!

But not everyone wants to talk about whatever’s troubling them.

Some people do not appreciate being forced to talk about their personal issues.

Maybe the pain is too fresh, for example, and they’d rather not relive it a second time. 

Maybe they just don’t feel safe talking about it.

Genuinely kind and empathetic people ask permission.

They tell others that they’re very willing to hear them out… but they don’t HAVE to say anything about it if they don’t want to.

8) “You don’t deserve any of that.”

The thing with people stuck in a bad place—from people being subject to abuse and isolation to those struggling with illnesses and disabilities—is that… they often start blaming themselves.

They start believing that they deserve their suffering, and that they do not deserve any better.

What genuinely kind and empathetic people will try their damndest to do is to tell that person that, no, they do NOT deserve their suffering.

They deserve better, and they need to be reminded of that fact.

9) “Can I give you a hug?”

There are times when no words can ever be enough—times when the best way to comfort someone is through touch.

A genuinely kind and empathetic person won’t look at someone crying in front of them and ask that person to talk about why they’re crying.

They’ll understand that they might not like to talk about it, and so will instead ask if they can give that person a hug.

And if the other person says no? 

Well, they’ll leave it at that. But at least they offered.

10) “I’m just here.”

People who are going through something need all the support they can get.

It can feel like they’re all alone in their battles, and so this phrase can make them feel that they actually have people who they can run to.

People who are genuinely kind are not worried that people will take advantage of them by saying this. 

Most of the time, they know what people really need in emotional support. 

But if it goes beyond that, they’ll keep their promise—they’re very much willing to help as much as they can.

11) “Tell me if you need anything, okay?”

Do they need a hug, a cup of coffee, or a place to stay the night?

The people who need empathy and kindness—people who are more often than not down and vulnerable—are all people in need.

Sometimes all they need is emotional comfort, and sometimes they might need something more tangible like money or a roof over their head.

Most people are too afraid to ask directly for fear that they’ll just be a bother.

So being told that there’s always a helping hand ready to give them any kind of help goes a long way.

12) “Go ahead. Let it all out.”

Most people—especially males— are conditioned to bottle up their feelings whether they like it or not.

They’re told that feeling emotions is not only a personal failing, but a burden on everyone else around them.

They don’t want that, so they try to downplay things where they can.

A man who caught his wife cheating might say “Oh this is fine, I can get past this.”

But then their eyes are twitching and you can spot tears that they’re barely holding back.

Empaths can sense this and it’s hard for them to see people suppress their feelings this way. 

So what do they do?

They encourage them to release all their pent up emotions with them by saying “let it all out.”

13) “What?! You’re definitely not a bad person!”

They’re the kind of person who would be a bit depressed when they hear someone say things like “I’m such a bad mother!” or “I’m the worst friend in existence!”

They’re kind by nature, and they just can’t bear to hear people put themselves down like that.

Sure, they forgot to change their kid’s diaper on time, but “a bad mother?” No way!

Sure, they might have turned down a night out with their friends for the second time…but “worst friend?” Of course, not!

We all carry guilt and people who are genuinely empathetic and kind want to remind us that we don’t always have to be on our knees, waiting for forgiveness from everyone.

14) “I hope you’ll finally get what you deserve.”

Life can be unfair sometimes, and most people will just say “Suck it up” or “Welp, that’s life”.

“I hope you’ll finally get what you deserve” is a very generous and kind thing to say.

Just hearing these words can reassure the speaker that some people actually believe that they deserve better than what they had to endure.

15) “We got this!”

People who are genuinely kind want you to feel you’re not alone. 

And that’s why when they try to cheer people up, they say things like “WE got this!” instead of just “YOU got this!”

While “You got this” is certainly motivational, it nonetheless implies that they’re fighting it out on their own.

By using “we”, they instead make it clear that they have someone willing to stand side by side with them.

Last words

We’re not all born saints.

But we can at least try to be kind and empathetic.

And using kind words is one way to do it.

If you want to learn how to become a better person, you can try teaching yourself to use these phrases more in your life.

Not only will you be a blessing to the people around you, you’d also be teaching yourself how to be kinder by being kind with your words!

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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