Here’s how you can be more empathetic to those who need comforting.

Digital connections are fast replacing face-to-face interactions. As a result, the art of empathy has never been more crucial. Empathy, the capacity to understand the feelings of another, is a cornerstone of strong, supportive relationships. Whether you’re comforting a friend, offering support to a colleague, or just trying to be more present in your daily interactions, knowing the right things to say can make all the difference.

This article will explore 25 empathy phrases to help you show even more kindness in your relationships.

Understanding Empathy: More Than Just Words

Before diving into the phrases, it’s important to understand that empathy is more than just saying the right thing. It’s bigger than comforting someone (although that’s part of it). Instead, it is all about genuinely trying to understand and absorb what another person is going through. This involves active listening, being present, and showing that you care through your actions and words.

empathy comforting

25 Empathy Phrases That Improve Your Communication Skills

Try these phrases – or your adaptations – the next time you want to be supportive of someone.

1 – “I hear you.”

This simple phrase is incredibly powerful. It’s not just about auditory listening; it’s an acknowledgment that you’re fully engaged and attentive to the speaker’s feelings and thoughts. 

When you say, “I hear you,” you’re telling the other person that their voice is important and their words are being absorbed. It also tells them you’re not just waiting for your speech. 

This phrase cuts through the noise of everyday distractions and focuses squarely on the person before you. It signals that their perspective is being considered and respected. As a result, it creates a space of trust and openness in the conversation.

2 – “This must be really tough for you.”

By saying this, you are stepping into the other person’s shoes and acknowledging the weight of their experience. This phrase does more than recognize that someone is going through a difficult time. Instead, it conveys a deeper understanding of the emotional burden they may be carrying. 

It’s a verbal nod to the complexity of their feelings, whether it’s sadness, frustration, or overwhelm. This empathy doesn’t try to minimize their struggle or offer quick fixes. But instead, it stands beside them in their moment of hardship, offering solidarity and compassion.

3 – “I’m here for you.”

This phrase is a beacon of support and reliability. It goes beyond mere words. Rather, it promises emotional availability and a commitment to be present, whatever the circumstances. When you say, “I’m here for you,” you’re offering a kind of emotional anchorage, a stable point amid someone’s turmoil. 

It’s a reassurance that they don’t have to face their challenges alone and that you’re willing to share in their journey, providing comfort and understanding along the way. This phrase can be a potent reminder of the strength found in human connection.

4 – “How can I support you right now?”

This question is a proactive and considerate way to offer assistance. It’s not assuming or imposing what you think the person needs; instead, it’s giving them the control and choice to voice their needs. 

This question respects the individuality of their experience and recognizes that support can take many forms. It could be a listening ear or a helping hand. It might also mean being there in silence. By asking this, you’re showing a readiness to act in the way that they find most helpful. That can be enormously comforting and empowering for the person receiving your support.

5 – “That sounds really challenging.”

With this phrase, you acknowledge the difficulty of the situation without underplaying or exaggerating it. It’s an empathetic recognition that their struggle is real and significant. 

This statement validates their feelings without judgment and shows that you’re attuned to the complexity of their situation. It’s saying, “I see the hurdles you’re facing, and I understand that it’s not easy.” 

This kind of acknowledgment can be a powerful form of emotional validation. In fact, it helps the person feel heard and understood in a world that often feels indifferent to individual struggles.

6 – “I can’t imagine how that feels, but I’m here to help.”

This phrase genuinely acknowledges the unique and overwhelming nature of someone else’s experience. By admitting that you can’t fully grasp what they’re going through, you’re showing humility and respect for the depth of their situation. It’s a way of saying that although their pain might be beyond your comprehension, your support isn’t. 

This phrase signals your readiness to be there for them, offering a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on. It’s about providing comfort and assistance in any way you can. You acknowledge the limits of your understanding but still offer up empathy or willingness to help.

7 – “You’re not alone in this.”

These words can be a lifeline in times of isolation and despair. By reminding someone they have support, you’re helping to lift the weight of solitude that often accompanies difficult experiences. 

This phrase reassures them that they have an ally, a confidant, a friend in their corner. It’s a reminder of the shared human experience and the connections that bind us, providing a sense of community and solidarity. Knowing that they have a person who cares can significantly impact someone’s ability to navigate challenging times.

8 – “I’m sorry you’re going through this.”

This simple expression of sympathy is a powerful way to connect with someone’s suffering. It’s a verbal embrace, a way of showing compassion and concern. When you say this, you’re acknowledging their pain and sharing it, even for a moment. 

This empathy doesn’t try to fix the problem or offer solutions. Instead, it’s about recognizing the struggle and showing that you care. It’s a heart-to-heart message that brings warmth and solace to someone going through a hard time.

9 – “Your feelings are valid.”

In a world where people are often quick to judge or dismiss emotions, affirming the validity of someone’s feelings is immensely important. This phrase tells the person that whatever they’re feeling – anger, sadness, frustration, or fear – is real and deserves acknowledgment. 

It’s an act of acceptance. It offers them a safe space to express their emotions without fear of being belittled or misunderstood. Validating someone’s emotions can be crucial in helping them process and work through their feelings in a healthy, constructive way.


10 – “Take all the time you need.”

Patience is a gift, especially when someone is navigating the complexities of their emotions or a difficult situation. This phrase communicates that you respect their process and are willing to give them the space and time they need to heal, reflect, or be. 

It’s an assurance that you’re not rushing them or imposing your timeline on their experience. By saying this, you’re offering them the freedom to move at their own pace. The reassurance can be incredibly empowering and healing. It’s a way of showing unobtrusive yet deeply considerate support, allowing them to take the journey at the right pace.

11 – “Would you like to talk about it?”

This question opens a door, offering a safe and non-judgmental space for someone to share their thoughts and feelings. It’s a gentle invitation that puts the control in the hands of the other person, allowing them to decide if they’re ready to open up. 

This phrase shows you’re willing to talk and listen – a key component of support. It’s about allowing them to express themselves and unburden their heart if they choose to. Sometimes, just knowing someone is willing to listen can be incredibly comforting and significantly affect how someone copes with their situation.

12 – “I’m always just a phone call away.”

Physical presence isn’t always possible in busy lives, but this phrase bridges that gap. It’s reassuring that you’re accessible and willing to provide support, even if you can’t be there in person. 

This promise of availability can be a source of great comfort to someone who might feel alone. It also shows that someone cares, ready to listen or help at a moment’s notice. It’s a reminder that support and connection transcend physical distances and that they have someone in their life who’s ready to be there for them, no matter where they are.

13 – “It’s okay to feel this way.”

This affirmation is a powerful antidote to the societal stigma surrounding strong emotions. By normalizing their feelings, you’re helping dismantle the notion that there’s a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to feel in any situation. This phrase acknowledges the authenticity of their emotions and reinforces that it’s natural to have a strong emotional response to life’s challenges. 

It’s a form of validation that can provide immense relief to someone feeling guilty or ashamed of their emotional state. Hearing that it’s okay to feel as they do can be a crucial step in their emotional acceptance and healing journey.

14 – “I believe in you.”

These words can be a powerful motivator, especially during self-doubt or uncertainty. Expressing your belief in someone’s abilities reinforces their self-worth and can inspire them to tap into their inner strength and resilience. 

This empathy phrase shows that you see their potential and capabilities, even if they struggle to see it themselves. It’s a verbal vote of confidence that can help lift their spirits and give them the courage to face and overcome their challenges. Knowing that someone else believes in them can be the push they need to persevere in moments of difficulty.

15 – “You’re so strong, and I admire that.”

Recognizing someone’s strength – especially when they might feel anything but strong – can be incredibly empowering. This phrase acknowledges their challenges and celebrates their resilience and fortitude in dealing with them. 

It’s a form of admiration that can help bolster their self-esteem and encourage them to continue being strong. You highlight their ability to cope with tough times by respecting their strength. You also help them see themselves through a lens of strength and resilience. This recognition can provide great comfort and motivation during difficult periods.

16 – “Let’s figure this out together.”

This phrase is more than just an offer of help; it’s an offer of partnership. It shows that you’re willing to share the load, stand beside the person in their struggle, and work with them towards a solution. It’s a message of solidarity that tells them they don’t have to face their problems alone. 

This collaborative approach can be incredibly empowering, transforming a challenging situation into an opportunity for joint problem-solving. It reduces the overwhelming feeling of having to tackle everything by oneself, fostering a sense of teamwork and mutual support.

17 – “I appreciate you sharing this with me.”

When you acknowledge the courage it takes for someone to open up, you’re honoring their trust and vulnerability. This empathy phrase makes the other person feel seen and respected for their willingness to share something personal or difficult. 

It’s an affirmation that their experiences and feelings are important and that you value the openness of the conversation. This reassurance can strengthen the bond of trust and deepen the connection between you and the person sharing, making them feel safer and more supported in future interactions.

18 – “You’ve been handling this so well.”

In adversity, it’s easy for people to overlook their strength and resilience. By pointing out how well they’ve managed their situation, you’re helping them see their capabilities and strengths. This recognition can be a significant morale booster, providing a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

It’s a way of reflecting on their strength. It also reminds them of their ability to cope effectively, even under difficult circumstances. This positive reinforcement can be incredibly motivating and uplifting.

happiness journal

19 – “It’s not easy, but I know you can get through this.”

Offering encouragement while acknowledging the difficulty of the situation strikes a balance between realism and optimism. This phrase doesn’t downplay challenges but emphasizes your belief in their ability to overcome them. 

It’s a message of hope and confidence, suggesting that despite the hardships, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Hearing these words can be a source of comfort and inspiration, especially when someone is doubting their strength or ability to cope.

20 – “Let’s find a solution together.”

This phrase extends an offer of collaboration and support, making the problem-solving process a joint effort. It’s an approach that can alleviate feelings of isolation and overwhelm in the person facing the challenge. 

Working together to find a solution provides practical help and emotional support, creating a sense of unity and shared purpose. It implies that their burden is your burden, too. It also reassures them you are committed to helping them find a way through their difficulties. This collaborative spirit can make the journey toward a solution more manageable and less daunting.

21 – “Your experience is important.”

This phrase is a powerful affirmation of the individual’s unique journey and struggles. By validating the significance of their experiences, you’re acknowledging that what they’re going through matters and deserves attention. It’s a way of saying that their story is worth hearing and that their feelings are a crucial part of their reality. 

This recognition can help individuals feel seen and understood and encourage them to value their experiences and perspectives more deeply. It’s a statement that can instill a sense of dignity and self-worth, particularly when they might feel overlooked or invalidated.

22 – “I’m proud of how you’re managing this.”

When you express pride in how someone is handling a situation, you’re not just acknowledging their struggle; you’re celebrating their resilience and resourcefulness in the face of adversity. This expression of pride can be a tremendous source of encouragement. 

It can boost one’s confidence and reinforce the effectiveness of their coping strategies. Hearing that someone is proud of them can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation, inspiring them to continue facing their challenges with strength and determination.

23 – “You have the strength to get through this.”

This phrase is a reminder of the person’s inner resilience and capability. It’s a way of bolstering their confidence and empowering them to draw on their strengths. Sometimes, people can lose sight of their power and resilience during challenging circumstances. 

By reminding them of their strength, you’re helping to reignite their belief in themselves. This encouragement can catalyze resilience, sparking a renewed sense of hope and the determination to persevere.

24 – “I’m here to listen whenever you need.”

This promise of ongoing support is incredibly valuable. It’s not just about being available now; it’s about offering sustained, reliable support. Reiterating your readiness to listen anytime underscores your commitment to being there for them, which can be incredibly comforting. 

It lets the person know they have a dependable source of support and a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings…but without any judgment. This ongoing availability can be a significant source of solace and strength for someone navigating difficult times.

25 – “We’ll get through this together.”

This phrase embodies the essence of teamwork and shared struggle. It’s a powerful declaration of solidarity, showing that you’re not just a bystander in their challenges but an active participant in overcoming them. 

Emphasizing a shared effort highlights that the burden is shared and that the journey toward resolution or healing works both ways. This sense of partnership can greatly alleviate the isolation that often accompanies difficult experiences, fostering a feeling of companionship and mutual support. It’s a reminder that together, challenges can become more manageable and less daunting.


Final Thoughts on Trying These Empathy Phrases When Comforting Others

Remember that empathy is more than just saying the right words. It’s about genuinely comforting someone you care about. It encompasses a supportive tone of voice, the willingness to listen, and your actions to support someone. These phrases are tools to help you express empathy – a skill that will help you become a better communicator. Shine on!