Before understanding the difference between Empathy and Sympathy we have to go through the origins of Empathy And Sympathy thoroughly. It would make the process of understanding the difference between Empathy and Sympathy you easier for us.
Empathy and sympathy are the two collectively good traits of this whole society which tries to understand other people’s perspectives of this society and give support to those people who actually need it. Empathy and sympathy these two different principles helps us to drive our decisive action.
Do you know what does empathy and sympathy literally means? Both of these words are rooted in the Greek word “pathos,” is a term that refers to the experience “suffering, feeling.” And the prefix “sym-” is from the Greek term “sýn” and means “with and close to.” The prefix “em-” came from the Greek term “en,” which means “in or within.”
Showing sympathy for someone is a good thing because it’s a way of acknowledgment of someone’s feelings or a difficult situation that they’re going through. Being sympathetic is like offering them help and saying them that you are with them.
The concept of sympathy, as we highlighted the Greek prefix above, it is all about being “close to or with,” and this demonstrates that there is a distance between the people feeling sympathetic and the situation or incident he or she is connecting with. Compassion allows us and our mind to acknowledge the difficult or sad incidents or to think about that situation but all from a safe distance, so you are commenting with the situation but your emotional state of mind probably isn’t compromised to that extent in which you can put yourself in a difficult situation to help them instead you tell them “do not be sad, I am with you”.
It is primarily an observation and an acceptance that someone else is going through a difficult situation or incident. It is not a concept that puts someone in that situation they have felt sorry for to experience the emotion that those people who is going through it deeply. It is a “feeling with,” emotion, not a deep feeling for the thing. With sympathy people feels a natural detachment with the sympathetic situation afterward which they were connecting to.
On the other hand empathy or an empathic feeling is a much broader feeling; it requires more intense emotional reaction and involvement to a situation that a person or a group of people is going through. To have a genuinely empathetic feeling or response for someone else can be a wild range of emotions to manage because putting yourself with those and feeling the same or more amount of emotion with the people who are actually going through it is not an easy task.
So feeling sympathetic or empathetic responses in the workplace, school or in any other places as a whole are very welcoming. Because it ensures your sensitivity or even humanity sometimes. And by using sympathy and empathy as an exhibiting traits is like being more emotionally intelligent.
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Mark K. Stafford is an American English writer. He was born in Los Angeles and earned a BA from the University of California. He is a passionate author who wrote on Essays, Poetry, and Journalism. Now he writes full-time books and articles for TheWordyBoy.