feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Sympathy and empathy play a big part when taking care of a loved one. Not just for the caregiver, but also those around who are there to help and support.
Being sympathetic towards one, feeling sorrow or pity for a misfortune of theirs, makes them feel the same. It does not help the situation but reminds them how bad it is.
Empathy is a understanding and feeling that the person is really there for you. Even if they have never been in that situation, even if all they have to say is “I don’t know what to say, but I am here.” Its compassion and friendship. Keep in mind when you are taking care of your loved one being empathic will go a long way, being sympathetic may make them feel even more sad about the situation or helpless.
What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
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