In times of others grief, distinguishing between empathy and sympathy is especially important.  With sympathy you feel your own emotions for that person's loss.  You may be sorry for them or pity them.  You don’t necessarily understand what they are feeling.  In reality, sympathy is about you.

Empathy  takes imagination, work, or possibly a similar experience.  Empathy is an understanding of the feelings of that person.  You are placing yourself in that person’s situation and may have a good sense of what they feel.  It is about them. 

Sympathy is easy, empathy may be difficult.  Empathy is the first step to compassion.  That, in turn, can lead to an attempt to relieve or lessen suffering.
That is an authentic expression of love.  Selfless love makes a difference.

--Dave

 


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