Empathy and sympathy are closely related, but both have different connotations.
Empathy is about feeling what someone else feels, whilst sympathy is about action. When you meet someone with empathy it wouldn’t be difficult to see that they are sympathetic too.
Someone who is sympathetic but not empathetic, will fail to connect emotionally with anyone. Words express thoughts, but it’s acting on those words that show that we care. As the saying goes ‘actions speak louder than words’ and I believe that to be true.
A little bit more about empathy:
- Empathy helps us connect emotionally with others. Emotionally we will begin to feel less alone, but we must also make the effort to open-up;
- Empathy helps us heal. When someone shows they care, it gives us the confidence to believe we can care back;
- Empathy brings families closer together. Empathy allows us to understand first-hand what someone feels, without part guessing and for us then to know if we need to change tack;
- Empathy brings trust.
Empathy is also the building block to relationships and that’s what relationships need to thrive on. Everyone can sympathise but not everyone can empathise.