What is Empathy and Why is it Important as an Advocate?

Empathy is an important trait that is absolutely crucial not just for victim advocates to possess, but for anyone trying to be supportive towards their friends, family, or loved ones who are going through tough times or experiencing some form of hardship. So what exactly is empathy? Empathy can be described as the ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings, or as the expression goes, to “walk a mile in their shoes.” Empathy is more than simply being sympathetic towards someone’s pain. To truly be empathetic means to feel more than just sorry for those who share their feelings with you, but to also connect with their pain and recognize their struggle in some capacity as well. Being empathetic, like all things, takes practice. Here are a few tips to help you become a more empathetic person:

  • Actively listen more than you speak
  • Listen to understand and offer support instead of to tell them what to do or how to fix it
  • Share your perspective on the situation AFTER you hear the person out
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask for help at times
  • Don’t make assumptions; assumptions are not based on true understanding or experience.

Check out this website for more information about how to practice empathy!

5 Actionable Tips to Develop Empathy and Become a More Empathetic Person –


Post by Cody Sumner