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Empathy vs Sympathy

Saturday, May 10, 2014

This is a short video speaking on the difference between empathy and sympathy.

I think my favourite part is when sympathy is described. The person is down the dark hole and feeling alone, overwhelmed, very sad. The other person looks down and states,

"Oooh, it's bad uh huh. Uh no, you want a sandwich?"

Another great example on the difference between empathy and sympathy is empathy says "I understand, I've been here, I'm here for you, you are not alone" and sympathy says "At least........."

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard "At least......" until I want to run away screaming and never return. It's cold, it feels very alone and for a moment you start to feel guilty for feeling so "sad, overwhelmed, angry, lonely..........."

Take 3 min to listen to the video, then think the next time someone says "I'm feeling alone today" or "I feel overwhelmed" on how you'll respond - will you just offer a sandwich or will you go down to where they are, turn on the light and say "you are not alone."

It's your choice, and trust me when I say, empathy builds connection....sympathy builds disconnection, which one do you choose.
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