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Sympathy or Empathy?

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posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 09:13 PM
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Sympathy or empathy which should one prefer? Or do these two emotions confer? The distinctions of these feelings are intense to see the least both producing pity for the person on the brink. The difference of these lies in the response of the individual, do you feel compassion for the circumstance or do you understand the language the soul speaks? If there was only empathy from the start, there would be no reason for sympathy to exist.

PLPL




posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by Minori
 


Sympathy is when you feel sorry for a person. Empathy is when you can feel and relate to a person.

You are right though. If everybody could actually place themselves in another persons shoes, there would be no reason for sympathy.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by Minori
 


Empathy is the act of putting yourself in the suffers shoes to be able to appreciate the pain that is harming them. A person can have empathy and not feel sorry for the sufferer. A person with sympathy feels sorry for the person and does not have to sit in the sufferers shoes.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 09:32 PM
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Empathy~

I can relate and feel what they are feeling and better understand them as a person which could or would enable me to perhaps help them. I can also personally grow and learn from this.


Sympathy~

I'm just feeling sorry for the person and situation. I have not learned anything and I have not helped the situation. I'm just feeling it.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 09:34 PM
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Empathy is intellectually relating to an emotional situation.

Sympathy is emotionally relating.

People who are overly sympathetic tend to turn me off.

I want someone to intellectually relate, and offer advice with a little sympathy sprinkled in.

This is how I am. Not overly sympathetic, yet deeply empathic.

Btw, sympathy is so much more than feeling sorry. What a shallow definition.
edit on 19-10-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by leolady
Empathy~

I can relate and feel what they are feeling and better understand them as a person which could or would enable me to perhaps help them. I can also personally grow and learn from this.


Sympathy~

I'm just feeling sorry for the person and situation. I have not learned anything and I have not helped the situation. I'm just feeling it.




I have alot of empathy in many situations, and I believe any sympathy I feel is heightened because of my intense sense of "being" that person and feeling their emotions. I don't think one exists without the other. Empathy is like a seventh sense for me.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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reply to post by elrem48
 


Yes i agree they go hand in hand.

Sympathy is the feeling part of it. Empathy is more.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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sympathy can be pointless and insulting. and patronising
my moneys on empathy.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 10:27 PM
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Good things come from empathy,.........
it should be the way we all live........
Sympathy is a conditioned emotion, empathy is a virtue inbred.
A quality we are all born with, but often not practiced.

PLPL



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by Minori
 


So basically, you have no clue what empathy or sympathy is.

Check.



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by moniesisfun
Empathy is intellectually relating to an emotional situation.

Sympathy is emotionally relating.

People who are overly sympathetic tend to turn me off.

I want someone to intellectually relate, and offer advice with a little sympathy sprinkled in.

This is how I am. Not overly sympathetic, yet deeply empathic.

Btw, sympathy is so much more than feeling sorry. What a shallow definition.
edit on 19-10-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)


Empathy is not intellectualising! Completely wrong!

Empathy is directly related to the experience of feeling...physically, emotionally and spiritually...empaths experience this by the minute...they know this on a visceral level...

Sympathy is intellectualising...it is once removed from actually feeling anothers' experience and is somewhat of a detached form of feeling...it is not walking in anyones shoes...it is observing someone else walking on thier shoes...

Empathy is a far more powerful emotion/response...

A99



posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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I think empathy is one of our better sensibilities as it helps us to identify with other living creatures/beings across a shrinking spectrum. By this I mean, we all have empathy for loved ones and it extends further away towards others we know and, for some, will include animals too. Some of us can empathise with people we'll never know and experiences we'll never have.

For example, who hasn't seen emotive videos like the Beagle rescue one or the baby hearing for the first time? I'll put my hand up to 'having a moment' when seeing these for the first time, but I can be a soft sod sometimes.

Too much empathy would make us unable to function and too little seems to create anti-social types and psychopaths.

It's something that I often think about and wonder how we differentiate ourselves from animals? For centuries it was considered a soulful grace of humanity that it could feel this higher emotion of empathy. Now we see that the spectrum shades out towards animals too. It's been recorded in bonobos, crows, bears, elephants, dolphins and dogs. Probably more too.

I guess sympathy can be like a tap that we can turn on and off; it can be skin deep, superficial. Empathy, on the other hand, is something we can learn to smother and suppress and yet it still remains something rather deep and soulful.



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by akushla99
 


I honestly don't think you got one bit correct. Please read up a bit on the difference between the two. This is disturbing to see so many people so far off base.



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 12:35 AM
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Real life examples

Empathy...friend at home with broken leg...you bring them a box of beer


Sympathy... person at home with broken leg.....your visit them and drink all their beer out the fridge.



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Actually, anti-social types and sociopaths can have immense empathy. It's how they so easily manipulate. They would be lacking in sympathy. Incapable of caring about what they intellectually understand. Primary psychopaths seem to have no empathy whatsoever.



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by moniesisfun
 


i must be a sympathetic type cause i go over and drink the friends beer...



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 12:41 AM
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reply to post by AthlonSavage
 


Just no.

That's not sympathy... at all.



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 01:55 AM
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Empathy is the ability to feel the unexpressed emotions of others. Sympathy is feeling support for the feelings of another. There is a huge difference between the two things. The similarity is that those feelings are not your own but are initiated by external forces.

Empaths know the difference quite intimately. Others can read about it all day and still never grasp the subtleties.



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by moniesisfun
reply to post by akushla99
 


I honestly don't think you got one bit correct. Please read up a bit on the difference between the two. This is disturbing to see so many people so far off base.



Good to see where you got definition from...before charging WHO is off base my friend...

Look up what the prefixes mean...see how far off base I am...

You should ditch wiki# and get a proper definition with the constituent parts broken down...

Em - (pathy)...em, or en...meaning put into...in the feeling...

Sym - (pathy)...sym...together...feeling together...

You can be sympathic without being empathic...but you cant be empathic without being sympathic also...

Empathy includes sympathy...sympathy does not include empathy...

Cosmicegg has it right.
A99
edit on 20-10-2012 by akushla99 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2012 @ 02:05 AM
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I've been surprised in the past to read the official definitions of these words, because I think in normal everyday usage, we use them incorrectly.

I would consider myself empathic, but not sympathetic. I feel the emotions of others. Even if they do not express them verbally, my body picks up on subtle and even subconscious data coming from them and mirrors them. But officially, that should be called sympathy!

I am very put off by sympathy (as we usually consider it to be) Because I associate an element of intellectual judgment in it, and a disempowering result of that. I mean, The sympathetic person judges the situation and/or emotions of the other as being bad, wrong, or otherwise undesireable. Because of that judgement, they are then "separated" from it and completely powerless to intervene or aid.

The paradox of living is thus- to be able to influence something and transform it, you must embrace it... you cannot change that which is not yours.

So yeah, I tend to see sympathy as related to "feeling sorry" for someone, separating oneself- which apparently is incorrect according to traditional interpretations in the dictionary!

In what I consider empathy, (that sharing of emotions without any thought or intellectual judgement about them) I can influence the other person (if they so wish and acknowledge) by changing my own emotions while we are "in sync".

It is like jumping in the hole with them, having them attach themselves to your back, and then climbing out with them.

The other (sympathy) is just sort of like looking down into their hole and sadly shaking your head saying, gee, sucks to be you, eh?

But in any case, there is also the very important "compassion" which respects the other, and doesn't jump in if they don't want company, doesn't try to get them out if they do not want to, and respects their personal path and chosen challenges.

In any case, skills in mastering ones own emotional energy is necessary for your influence to be positive in any case. If we were to discuss this in terms of what is more important in being a constructive part of the world? I'd say everyone should concentrate on their own emotional discipline first before worrying about giving a hand to anyone else.

Joining in with anothers emotions is not helpful at all if your will is powerless once you're there. You are just two stuck in the hole now....



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