8 phrases only deeply empathetic people use, according to psychology

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a conversation where the person you’re speaking with seems to grasp not just the words you’re saying, but the emotions, thoughts, and silent hopes behind them? 

…a conversation so immersive and perceptive that you felt entirely recognized and validated, as if they could see right into the depths of your soul, understanding the essence of who you are and what you’re experiencing?

That is empathy at work, and it is so so important. 

The legendary Meryl Streep once said, “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy,” 

Steve Taylor, a psychology lecturer, echoed this in a Psychology Today post when he stated, 

“Empathy is one of human beings’ highest qualities. It’s the root of most behavior that we associate with ‘goodness.’ It’s the root of compassion and altruism, self-sacrifice, and charity.” 

Needless to say, we should all have more empathy in our lives. But how can we spot a deeply empathetic individual? 

Well, if we pay attention, what someone says can be a dead giveaway. Today, we dive into seven phrases you will likely hear them say. 

Let’s get to it.

1) “I hear what you’re saying.”

How often do you feel truly heard? 

Really, think about it. We talk so much, but often, people simply prepare their replies rather than truly listen to us. We all do it. 

Empaths do really listen, however. 

There’s even a term to describe how they listen: “Emphatic Listening.” As put by writer, researcher, and therapist Carl Nassar, this is “the art of listening to someone in such a way that they feel truly heard, deeply understood, and genuinely cared for”

Anyway, when a person says, “I hear what you’re saying,” they’re showing they’re tuned in, not just waiting for their turn to speak, but really listening to what’s being shared.

This is a key part of empathy. It’s about acknowledging the other person’s thoughts and feelings without rushing to solve the problem. It shows respect for their ability to navigate their own challenges, and sometimes, that’s the most supportive thing we can do.

2) “I can see why you’d feel that way.”

As noted by psychologist Chivonna Childs, PhD, “An empath is a person who has the ability to feel what others are feeling and understand what others are feeling. They’re also known to feel feelings on a deeper level and take on the feelings of others.”

When someone says, “I can see why you’d feel that way” or something similar, and they really do, it’s a clear sign of someone deeply empathetic.  

This phrase is a simple yet profound way of acknowledging someone’s feelings without judgment or dismissal. It conveys understanding and acceptance, making the other person feel heard and respected.

Empaths know that people don’t need us to agree or disagree with them, but it is important to recognize the legitimacy of those emotions from the other person’s point of view. 

By doing so, they create a safe space for open and honest communication, where all feelings are valid and worthy of consideration.

3) “It sounds like you’re feeling…”

Picture this: You’re pouring your heart out to a friend about a tough day at work. You’re not looking for answers, just a space to vent. 

And then, your friend leans in, makes eye contact, and gently says, “It sounds like you’re feeling really overwhelmed.”

In that moment, something shifts. You feel seen, understood, and a little less alone in your struggle.

This is how empathetic people create deep connections. They tune into your emotions and reflect them back to you. It’s a way of saying, “I get you,” without taking over the conversation or making it about them.

Using “It sounds like you’re feeling…” is a powerful tool in empathy. It invites further sharing and opens the door to exploring emotions more deeply. 

4) “I appreciate you sharing this with me.”

After university, I worked in a huge finance company. As you might imagine, it was easy to feel like just another cog in the machine. 

But one manager really made it a whole lot easier. Whenever we had concerns or feedback, no matter how minor or complex, he would always start his response with, “I appreciate you sharing this with me.”

This wasn’t just a throwaway line. It was his genuine way of acknowledging the courage it takes to speak up. 

He understood that voicing concerns can be daunting, especially for young and inexperienced staff members like me at the time. His response created a culture of openness and trust within our team. It made us feel valued and heard, encouraging a more collaborative and supportive work environment. 

He pretty much epitomized empathetic leadership, something we could do with more of, I’d say. 

5) “Thank you for trusting me with this.”

Building on the sentiment of appreciation, here’s another phrase that carries a little more heart: “Thank you for trusting me with this.” 

It’s similar to the last phrase, but this expression goes a step further in recognizing not just the act of sharing but the trust it involves. 

Why do they say this?

Empathetic people deeply understand the vulnerability required to open up about personal matters. They know it’s not easy to share your worries, hopes, or fears with someone else.

By saying, “Thank you for trusting me with this,” an empathetic individual acknowledges the weight of that trust. It’s their way of saying they don’t take this openness for granted. 

6) “Tell me more about how you’re feeling.”

Empathetic people have a unique way of inviting deeper conversation, and one phrase that exemplifies this is, “Tell me more about how you’re feeling.” 

This simple request signals a genuine interest in understanding the full scope of someone’s emotions beyond the surface level. It’s like opening a door to explore feelings that might not have been fully expressed yet.

This phrase is particularly powerful because it acknowledges that our initial expressions might not capture the entirety of what we’re going through. 

7) “There may be more to the story than we see.”

No matter how much we would like them to be, life’s situations are rarely black and white. 

Empaths are keenly aware of this. They understand that beneath the surface of any event or conversation, there’s a depth of context and experience that might not be immediately apparent. 

When they say, “There’s often more to the story than we see,” they’re acknowledging the complexity of human experiences and the fact that there are often elements at play that we might not be aware of.

They know that we all carry our own histories, challenges, and perspectives that shape our actions and reactions. 

8) “Let’s look at this from their perspective.”

Last but certainly not least, empathetic people have a natural ability to shift viewpoints, understanding that every story has more than one side.

Let’s say you’re in a meeting, and two team members are at odds over the direction of a project. Instead of choosing sides or dismissing the disagreement, an empathetic colleague might interject with, “Let’s look at this from their perspective.” 

This invitation encourages everyone to pause and consider the motivations, concerns, and feelings of the other party.

When they suggest this, ” they’re inviting a broader, more inclusive consideration of a situation. This isn’t about taking sides but about expanding our understanding by considering how others might feel or think about the same scenario.

This approach is a powerful tool for resolving conflicts as it encourages us to step out of our own experiences and into someone else’s shoes. It’s about recognizing that our perspective isn’t the only one and that others’ feelings and viewpoints are just as valid.

The bottom line

There you have it, folks. 

If you often hear these phrases or phrases similar to them, you are likely dealing with a highly empathetic individual

As always, I hope you found some value in this post.

Until next time.

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business.

As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys.

In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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