Sunday, June 19, 2005

Empathy or sympathy?

I was doing some reading for work today and cmae across some phrasing and vocabulary that I needed to look up. To make a long story short I was seg-wayed into differentiating between empathy and sympathy. I thought I knew the difference, but after looking the two up I was even more confused.

This is my basic understanding, so please make posts to clarify/agree/correct.

Empathy-- to understand how another feels and "feel" how that person feels in there feelings
Example: someone just lost their job and you understand what it feels like to be in there shoes?

Sympathy-- to feel pity or sorry for someone who has a hardship
Example: a friend's grandmother dies and not having gone through that yourself and unable to imagine how that feels you cannot empathize, but you feel bad that they are having a difficult time and therefore sympathize?

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