1. What is sympathy? What is empathy?
-Sympathy is when you experience feelings of compassion, sadness, grief, or pity for the pain that someone else is dealing with.
-Empathy is when you are able to imagine the thoughts and feelings that someone else is experiencing. This is when you can put yourself in the shoes of another person.
2. What is the difference and why does it matter?
-It is important to understand that these two differ in many ways. Sympathy is when you have feelings towards a person, whereas empathy is when you are feeling with a person. Think of sympathy as a one-way street and empathy as a two-way street. When you feel sympathy for a person, it can be interpreted as one being condescending towards the person suffering and therefore can create a separation. Comparatively, empathy allows you to be able to feel what the other is feeling, fostering a connection between the two people.
3. What is compassion?
-The literal meaning of compassion is “to suffer together.” If you see someone suffering, you want to relieve their suffering and help them through these times. It is the emotion that you feel when you want to lessen someone else’s misfortunes and struggles.
4. How are they all interconnected?
Empathy, sympathy, and compassion are all interconnected because combined they allow another person to feel like you care about them. It is offering warm guidance and being there for someone in ways to make them feel comfortable, safe, heard, and loved.