‘Put Yourself in Someone's Shoes’: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Amy Gilmore, updated on November 22, 2022

People often say you should ‘put yourself in someone’s shoes.’ In fact, someone has likely said that to you. If you are wondering what that means, we can help. 

‘Put yourself in someone’s shoes’ means to see things from another person’s perspective. To learn why people say this, what it means, how to use it, and more, take a look at this comprehensive guide.

What Does ‘Put Yourself in Someone’s Shoes’ Mean? 

When someone tells you to ‘put yourself in someone’s shoes’ they are telling you to try looking at a situation from another person’s perspective. 

Origin of ‘Put Yourself in Someone’s Shoes’

The idiom ‘put yourself in someone’s shoes’ likely comes from another popular phrase, ‘walk a mile in their shoes.’ To ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’ means to imagine life or a situation from another person’s point of view. 

When Do People Say ‘Put Yourself in Someone’s Shoes?’

People often use this phrase to compel someone to be more compassionate. However, in a professional sense, you may ask someone to do this when developing products or communicating with an audience. For example: 

  • We suggest you ‘put yourself in your customer’s shoes' to develop successful products.
  • We train all of our sales agents to ‘put themselves in the customer’s shoes before they make their first sales call. 

Usage Examples of ‘Put Yourself in Someone’s Shoes’

You should have a good idea of how to use the statement. However, take a look at these additional examples to be sure. 

  • ‘Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is a good idea before confronting them. 
  • You can become a happier person by learning to ‘put yourself in other peoples’ shoes.’
  • Janet was critical until she learned to ‘put herself in other peoples’ shoes.

Final Advice on ‘Put Yourself in Someone’s Shoes’

'Put yourself in someone's shoes' is s popular saying people use to tell someone to see things from another perspective. Idioms like this one can help you connect with your audience and convey your message in a more interesting way.

However, you must use them correctly. Learning about the meaning, origin, and proper usage of a saying helps you commit it to memory. However, if you need help verifying a popular term, writingtips.org is an excellent tool.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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