What is the difference between sympathy and empathy?
I was never quite sure of the difference between sympathy and empathy and just looked up the meanings.
Several places that I checked treated the words almost interchangeably which would explain why so many people use the words incorrectly.
I did however find the following descriptions which satisfied me.
Sympathy and empathy are both acts of feeling, but with sympathy you feel for the person; you’re sorry for them or pity them, but you don’t feel their pain.
Empathy can best be described as feeling with the person.
Notice the distinction between “for” and “with”.
If you’ve ever had a headache and somebody tells you that they have a headache then you can imagine what they feel and sympathize with them.
Even if you’ve never had a headache though, you might be sitting next to somebody when suddenly your head hurts and that’s because you’re an empath.
You’re feeling their pain, so sympathy and empathy are very very different.
After fully understanding the above I wondered if it would be good to be an empath and decided that it would most likely be horrible.
But maybe it has its upside?
What do you think?