The social difference between empathy and sympathy – Why the world needs more empathy.
Empathy is something that every person has the ability to feel, it is the feeling of placing one’s self in a person’s situation and trying to understand what the person is going through. But why do we need to understand the difference between empathy and sympathy?
What is empathy? and why do we need it? Empathy shows compassion, it allows you to place yourself in the shoes of another and feel and show them kindness as you’d expect if you were ever in such a predicament. Now there are people who identify as empaths, people who are naturally empathetic and have the ability to deeply connect with others on this level but of course, not everyone has this ability, however, it is important to learn to show and feel empathy to make the world a kinder, and safer place. Empathy is more than just placing yourself in another’s shoes, it is allowing yourself to feel their pain, and being open to understanding what someone is going through without being judgemental.
Many confuse empathy (feeling with someone) with sympathy (feeling sorry for someone), The definitions often get confused and misused, feeling sorry for someone is great and all but it does not allow us to connect deeper with people. As human beings we will often feel more for others if we are able to understand their pain as our own, (kinda selfish I know) but it works. However, once empathy is activated, compassionate action is the most logical response, and this is what makes empathy such an important key for society. Learning to become more empathetic will and can create change in the way we all perceive one another. So how do we become more empathic you may be asking? It’s simple start by showing those around you kindness and allowing yourself to feel an emotional connection with other people. Listen with an open heart and always imagine yourself in a similar situation, not to show what you’d do differently but how you’d want people to treat you in that very second. Remember to live by kindness only and kindness always, let’s be the change the world so desperately needs!