sympathy and empathy, we are more familiar with the word “sympathy” because it is commonly used by everyone, but the word “empathy” is not as common as sympathy,

In this article, we will understand Sympathy and Empathy and explain the difference between them. Do read the article completely, hope you will feel good.

Sympathy and Empathy
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A short story on empathy and empathy

Let me tell you a little story first. There were two friends P1 and P2, P2 liked a girl very much. The boy had only one dream that one day he would marry her.

But one day the boy came to know that that girl got married to someone else, P2 sad, disappointed, crying told all the things to P1, being a friend, P1 explained to him that look really bad has happened to you, But don’t worry, everything will be fine.

Now think to yourself whether P1 even knows how it feels when someone leaves and goes with someone else. Doesn’t know at all but still P1 tries to convince him, and expresses grief over his condition, as he is her friend. Obviously, he should do so as well.

time changed, One day something similar happens to P1 too, she leaves him too, whom he loved so much, whom he never wanted to lose.

This time P1 explained everything to P2 with a very sad heart. P2 cried on hearing this and he said, I can understand friend what is going on with you now. Now even P1 had realized how painful it was when someone left him.

Remember this short story and read on, now you will easily understand what is Sympathy and Empathy.

| What is sympathy?

When something bad happens to someone, the feelings we express towards them are called Sympathy.

It happens in this that when something bad happens to someone, we also feel sad seeing his condition. While we have no idea how he is feeling right now, or what is going on with him.

But whatever we are able to understand by seeing his condition, or whatever we are able to feel, we express our feelings according to that.

You remember the story above, when P2 narrated her ordeal to P1, P1 had absolutely no idea what was really happening to him right now. Only P1 knows that P2 has suffered a lot. This situation is called sympathy.

Let us understand this with another example, suppose someone’s father dies, now you will have so many feelings inside that you will understand how sad it really is.

But remember that you are not understanding what he is understanding after the loss of his father, but you are understanding something according to your own, whatever you are understanding of his sorrows according to your own. This is your sympathy for him.

Simply say, sympathy is a type of sadness that we express for someone else’s misfortune. Or in other words, sympathy is the ability to feel the sufferings of others on one’s own level.

Now let’s talk about Empathy

| What is Empathy?

Empathy is also a kind of ability. But it is the ability to understand the state of mind of others in the same way as the other person is understanding it.

Again remember the above story when the same incident happened to P1 and he told everything to P2. Now that P2 has experienced this type of incident himself, he is now fully aware of what must be going on at P1 right now. So now what P2 is expressing its feelings towards P1 is Empathy.

That is, when we are understanding the pain or happiness of a person in exactly the same way as he is understanding, then we call it empathy.

To understand these two there is an evergreen example which is always given, that is some pebble went in a person’s shoes, So he told these things to the person next to him that the pebble has gone in the shoe and is hurting a lot, the person next to him said yes-yes, I understand how much pain must be happening.

This he expressed his sympathy for him. The person wearing the shoes with pebbles gave his shoe to the person next to him and said that once you wear it and see it.

As soon as he wore it and walked some distance, he felt so much pain that he immediately opened it. And his reaction was such that right now I know how much pain it hurts.

This means that when something misfortune happens to us, then we come to know about the sorrows of others. And when we feel and express it to others in the right way, then we call it empathy.

The feeling he had for P2 until the same incident happened to P1 is called sympathy. And when P1 himself suffered this and understood how painful it is, then the feeling that came towards P2 is called Empathy.

There is a very good quote for Empathy , which you must see.

Empathy is…..
Seeing with the eyes of another.
Listening with the ears of another.
And feeling with the heart of another.

Overall, Empathy is a very deep feeling when we go and see it on the same level as the other person is seeing, feel it on the same level as the front is doing, listen at the same level in front The one is listening.

There is another situation in the world of Empathy, where things go even further to the next level. That is, when this Empathy becomes too much and compassion or pity starts coming on that person. And if you feel like helping him in any condition, then that is called Compassionate Empathy .

Let us understand this with the same example above. Let’s say that seeing the condition of P1 makes his girlfriend feel very bad, her mind starts disturbing that, “Now I must go back to him because he is in really bad condition. I shouldn’t have left him, etc. If she did that! So the helping feeling that would come to his mind, it would have been Compassionate Empathy.

Now by putting these two words ‘Sympathy and Empathy‘ together let us understand it with the help of this chart.

Overall difference between empathy and empathy

Difference between Sympathy and Empathy
Sympathy is the ability to feel the pain or suffering of others on one’s own level.
At the same time, the ability to feel the state of mind of others in exactly the same way is called Empathy.
Sympathy is expressed only in the situation of others suffering. That is, it is a common feeling.
Whereas empathy is a deep feeling, and it is expressed in situations of both suffering and happiness of others. That is why the word mood is used for empathy.
Sympathy is a general term, in which the feeling of alienation remains. That is why, even for the sorrows of those whom we do not know, a feeling of sympathy comes in our mind.
In Empathy, alienation ends, that is, there is a sense of belongingness in it, there is a sense of doing something for it. His sorrow seems to us our sorrow, and his happiness seems to us our happiness.
Sympathy does not have a helping emotion.
Whereas there is a sense of belongingness in empathy, the feeling of helping also comes to mind. And we do too.
In Sympathy, you are feeling, but you are not feeling what he is doing, but you feel what comes in your mind after seeing him.
Whereas in Empathy , since you put yourself in his place. That’s why you can understand exactly what he is understanding.

Other facts about empathy and empathy

Sympathy and Empathy i.e. both Sympathy and Empathy are derived from the Greek word Pathos. But both are used in different contexts.

Sympathy, when it came into use in the 16th century, meant ” compromise or harmony in qualities between things or people “. Gradually its usage changed. The term is now most commonly used to refer to that person’s ability to experience feelings, thoughts, or ideas.

Whereas empathy came into practice a few centuries after empathy in the late 1800s. Psychologists of the time brought it into practice. The term is now most commonly used to refer to the ability or ability to imagine oneself in another’s situation , while experiencing that person’s feelings, thoughts, or ideas .

Gradually, many synonyms of Sympathy and Empathy also came into circulation, which you can see below. Like this Condolence, it is also an expression of sympathy, but especially Condolence expressed on the occasion of the death of a relative or close person of a person.

If we look at the word warm-heartedness , it also means to have or show sympathy, affection, kindness, cordiality, etc.

If we take the word Compassion itself , then it also means ‘concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others’.

Similarly , if we look at the word congeniality , it is a pleasant feeling that usually understands each other in a friendship relationship.

For example, suppose your friend has passed in exam some way, if he gets even a single mark, he will fail. In such a situation a strange atmosphere is created, man is happy or not. But you understand correctly how happy he must be that he has passed with just one mark, but also a little sad that he used to deserve more marks. This word is closer to Empathy.

Empathy is when you share the feelings of another; Empathy is when you understand the feelings of another but don’t necessarily share them.


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  1. What is the difference between empathy and empathy?

    Sympathy is a type of sadness we express for someone else's misfortune. Or in other words, sympathy is the ability to feel the sufferings of others on one's own level.
    Empathy is a kind of ability. But it is the ability to understand the state of mind of others in the same way as the other person is understanding it.

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