How do I show empathy when I argue with someone?


How do I show empathy when I’m arguing with someone?



Empathy is really important to have during arguments! Empathy can mean offering a loved one a kinder but more specific response such as, “I can hear you better if you phrase it this way” rather than criticizing or attacking them. For the other person, it may mean realizing, “My way is not working but I’m willing to learn.” Or, at least, you can agree to disagree on an issue until there is an opening for a breakthrough. Sometimes empathy means allowing space for your differences rather than belaboring a point. You can also practice this affirmation from my book, The Genius of Empathy:

An Affirmation to Center Yourself During Arguments
“I will not blurt out ultimatums, insults or make important decisions when I’m overwhelmed.”

Thank you for your great question.

Have fun practicing empathy!


Judith Orloff, MD is a New York Times bestselling author with the upcoming book The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Yourself, Your Relationships and the World (Foreword by the Dalai Lama). She has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at

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