‘Empathy inspires with a unique combination of teaching, storytelling, and a serious call to action.’ – Brené Brown, author of the New York Times #1 Bestsellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection
Alongside the book, I’ve launched the world’s first online Empathy Library. Please visit it!
About the book
98% of people have the ability to empathise and step into the shoes of others. But few of us use our full empathic potential.
Roman Krznaric’s new book shows how we can boost our empathy and use it to improve our relationships, enhance our creativity, rethink our priorities in life, and tackle social problems from everyday prejudice to violent conflicts. Empathy, Krznaric argues, has the power to transform relationships, from the personal to the political, and create fundamental social change.
Through encounters with actors, activists, groundbreaking designers, undercover journalists, nurses, bankers and neuroscientists, Krznaric defines a new breed of adventurer. He sets out the six life-enhancing habits of highly empathic people, whose skills enable them to connect with others in extraordinary ways.
Drawing on over 10 years of research, you will discover how babies can teach empathy, what happens at a ‘human library’, how our empathic brains work and encounter the world’s first Empathy Museum. Krznaric also tackles the big questions: Can we empathise too much? How is empathy different from sympathy or compassion? And can empathy be used to manipulate people?
Krznaric argues our brains are wired for social connection: empathy is at the heart of who we are. It’s an essential, transforming quality we must develop for the 21st Century.
Articles and media
Print and online
Guardian: How My Children Became My Greatest Teachers – article on my personal struggles to practice empathy in family life.
Red Magazine: Interview with Louise Chunn on the art of practising empathy.
The School of Life blog: 5 Ways to Grow Your Empathy – my quick ‘how to’ guide for empathy.
Readers Digest: 6 Ways to Teach Yourself Empathy.
Psychologies Magazine: How to use empathy to open your mind.
Waterstones blog: Why I wrote the book and founded the Empathy Library.
Guardian Australia: Is Australia losing its empathy?
Guardian Education: Should we be using babies to teach empathy?
Books for Breakfast: Three things about the radical power of empathy.
Welldoing.org: 7 Ways to Teach Yourself Empathy.
Daily Good: The Six Habits of Highly Empathic People. This is my all-time most popular article on empathy. Warning: it was written before the book came out so differs slightly in content from the book itself.
Virgin Unite: The World’s First Empathy Museum.
RSA Journal: On how my thinking about empathy has been shaped by the visualisation of ideas.
Hay Festival blog: Mr Gove – Would you like to join the Empathy Library?
Health Care Interoperability: Interview on the role of empathy in health provision and patient care.
Guardian Sustainable Business: How can conscious business drive sustainability? I took part in a live chat on this question, making the case for an empathy revolution (there’s a summary of the discussion here).
TV and Video
The Power of Outrospection: 10 min RSA Animate video on empathy. Watch the famous hairy hand bring some of the key ideas in the book to life. Over half a million views.
Sunday Brunch – Channel 4: Chatting with presenters Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer. We discussed (amongst other things) why, if our brains are wired for empathy, there are so many trolls online.
TEDx Athens: Talk on How to Start an Empathy Revolution. (With Spanish, French and Greek subtitles.)
The School of Life: Sunday Sermon on Empathy where I discuss the six habits of highly empathic film. With great music by Stevie Wonder.
Empathy and Happiness- The 3 Minute Pitch: Video on how to put empathy to work in your everyday relationships (with some rather funky music).
Pearson Education: In conversation with Tony Blair’s former education guru, Sir Michael Barber, about the future of empathy education.
Friends of the Earth: Can empathy make a difference to environmental campaigning?
Studio 10 – Network 10 TV Australia: Is empathy in decline? Panel discussion of my new book.
Does Empathy Make or Break Democracy?: 15 min video for the Roots of Empathy Research Symposium in Toronto – it’s my reply to the critics of empathy.
Radio and Podcast
BBC Radio 4 – Today Programme: I discuss the role of empathy in peace-building and Mandela’s role as an empathic leader.
BBC Radio 3 – Free Thinking: Can empathy really create a revolution? I debate the issues with author Sheri Fink and philosopher Jan Slaby.
BBC World Service – Weekend: Interview on empathy and the peace negotiations in Syria.
BBC Radio Scotland – Sunday Morning: Do bankers need to boost their empathy levels? And how can it be done? (starts 18.3omin)
RTE 1 Ireland – Marian Finucane Show: I discuss how interviewing my father about his life changed our relationship and shifted my empathy.
ABC Radio National Australia – Life Matters: Interview with Natasha Mitchell. This is my favourite of all the radio pieces I’ve done on Empathy.
ABC Radio Brisbane: Does Twitter make you narcissistic? Is Obama an empathic failure? Did the Enlightenment help or hinder empathy? Interview with Steve Austin.
2UE Radio Sydney: A lively discussion and interview, including the distinction between empathy and sympathy.
2SER Radio Sydney: Interview on the Empathy Library.
Open House Radio Australia: On Gandhi and the empathy revolution.
Ashoka UK: 10 min podcast on why it’s time to set up a Masters in Empathy Studies and other education initiatives.
Cygnus Books: 23 min podcast – can empathy really change the world?
Blogosphere: Forbes Magazine, The Happiness Experiment, Designing Stories, Good Men Project, Independent Record, IKIM Institute Malaysia, Incredible Awareness, Designing Stories, Living Dharma, Think and Be Happy, Real Time Magazine, Pensamiento Imaginactivo, Fashion Ethics, Urban Times, Media Roots.
Empathy Library media coverage – a project I’ve launched together with my new book: The Bookseller, BBC Radio 5’s Outriders programme (starts at 17.50min), Christian Science Monitor, Daily Good, Yes! Magazine, UTNE Reader, Ashoka’s Start Empathy blog, Revista Galileu, Porvir and Lucilia Diniz in Brazil, NationSwell, Stichting Beroepseer in the Netherlands.
‘Having spent the past decade studying empathy, I can say without hesitation that Roman’s work is exactly what we need to bring this powerful concept off the page and into our lives. Empathy inspires with a unique combination of teaching, storytelling, and a serious call to action.’ Brené Brown, author of the New York Times #1 Bestsellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection
‘Authentic relationships require us to see the world through the eyes of others. This engaging and insightful book helps us do just that.’ John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
‘Where would humanity be without empathy? Our lives would be disconnected, our societies would fall apart. Growing planetary integration calls for us to pay more attention to this ancient mammalian capacity, and Roman Krznaric is our expert guide to explain how it works and how to fix the deficit that faces humanity today.’ Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy
‘Informative and practical, Krznaric’s techniques are easy to incorporate into daily life and provide a road map toward better rapport with both people we know and strangers on the street. Useful advice that promotes a more contented, fulfilling lifestyle.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘Empathy explores the essence of being human…inspiring, fascinating and helpful.’ Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness and Buddha’s Brain
‘A powerful case for empathy as the key to a better life and better world.’ Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, Royal Society of the Arts
‘Eloquent and inspiring writer.’ Mary Anne Hobbs, DJ and broadcaster
‘An absorbing, inspiring book that could start a revolution. Read it.’ Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author of How to Stay Sane
‘A fascinating look at championing “outrospection” instead of self-absorbed individualism.’ Thuy On, Sydney Morning Herald
‘Krznaric’s “handbook” is not only timely but essential. Neither deprecatory nor utopian, it poses just the right mix of scepticism and optimism.’ Ashraf Jamal, Business Day, South Africa
‘I know it is absurdly early in the year to be choosing the top book of the year, but here goes. I recommend Empathy by Roman Krznaric for both the quality of the content and its importance.’ Mike Childs, Head of Policy, Friends of the Earth
‘Roman Krznaric’s ideas on empathy challenge each one of us to see the world afresh, and in doing so he offers us the chance to become so much greater than we already are.’ John-Paul Flintoff, journalist and author of How to Change the World
‘An extraordinary understanding of the importance of utilizing empathy in our every day life, has been translated into vital guide for personal wellbeing and professional success.’ Patricia Moore, industrial designer and gerontologist
‘A mesmerizing mélange of history, social science, neuroscience, psychology and sociology. Krznaric is calling for nothing short of an empathy revolution and paints a compelling and practical picture of how to get there. His concept of an “Empathy Museum” is as brilliant as he is.’ Mary Gordon, Founder/President, Roots of Empathy
‘Moving across, and between, disciplines, Krznaric casts his net far and wide and the resulting haul is an impressive sight’ Richard King, The Australian
‘The need for empathy, even more than sympathy, will become more urgent as globalisation brings increasingly chill winds in the lives of those who have lived comfortably in the West…Krznaric’s book could help fast-forward the discussions we will have to have.’ Miriam Cosic, Australian Book Review
‘Krznaric traces the age of self-interest back to the 18th century, and he begs us to reconsider our assumptions about the ways we think, behave and interact. We are social creatures and we have ignored the instinct for sociable communalism at the expense of our culture and our world. Fascinating stuff.’ Walter Mason, Good Reading Magazine
‘In his best-selling self help manual, Roman promotes the idea that empathy is at the heart of being human, and so by helping others we can help ourselves feel better too.’ Sarah Holmes, Woman & Home
‘Roman Krznaric explains that understanding why others behave as they do is the key to a happier, more fulfilled life’. Health & Fitness Magazine.
‘Empathy: A Handbook for Revolutionis a fascinating look at empathy not just as a positive trait, but also as a powerful force for good and social change.’ Practical Parenting Australia magazine
‘It’s difficult not to be swept up by Krznaric’s wave of optimism. The ideas and thought processes that buoy them are highly accessible and discerning.’ Jen Vuk, Eureka Street
‘Like the popular works of Bertrand Russell and Alain de Botton it’s easy to read, and it tackles the sort of every day philosophical issues that ordinary people think about.’ Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers
‘In this bold and adventuresome book, Krznaric has set out to form and fortify a new movement.‘ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
‘In this inspiring read, philosopher Roman Krzanric explore the power of empathy as an ideal, rather than an emotion, that has the power to transform relationships.’ Kindness UK
‘At a time when it is all too easy to despair about human nature, this book reminds us of what we can ‘be’ and ‘do’ when we are at our best, and the urgency of trying to do this.’ Monica Lanyado, UK Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum