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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #1

    ?

    what I the difference between sympathy and empahy?

    do they all have this same meaning?


    thanks in advance

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: ?

    From sympathy - Definitions from Dictionary.com

    —Synonyms 1. concord, understanding, rapport, affinity.Sympathy, compassion, pity, empathy all denote the tendency, practice, or capacity to share in the feelings of others, especially their distress, sorrow, or unfulfilled desires. Sympathy is the broadest of these terms, signifying a general kinship with another's feelings, no matter of what kind: in sympathy with her yearning for peace and freedom; to extend sympathy to the bereaved. Compassion implies a deep sympathy for the sorrows or troubles of another coupled to a powerful urge to alleviate the pain or distress or to remove its source: to show compassion for homeless refugees. Pity usually suggests a kindly, but sometimes condescending, sorrow aroused by the suffering or ill fortune of others, often leading to a show of mercy: tears of pity for war casualties; to have pity on a thief driven by hunger. Empathy most often refers to a vicarious participation in the emotions, ideas, or opinions of others, the ability to imagine oneself in the condition or predicament of another: empathy with those striving to improve their lives; to feel empathy with Hamlet as one watches the play.



    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #3

    Re: ?

    thanks soup

    what i understood is that sympathy is stronger than eympathy


    for example, i sympathize with you is the same as i empathize with you.?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: ?

    No, sympathy is no stronger but it can be used to describe a broader range of emotions.

    Empathy is used when you can really understand what the person is going through.

    I can feel sympathy for someone whose house has burned down - it's sad and unfortunate, but I've never experienced that so while I can feel sorry for them, I can't really put myself in their shoes.

    On the other hand, as a mother, I can easily feel empathy for someone who has a sick child - although (thank goodness) my children have never suffered from serious illness, I can easily imagine what it must be like.

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: ?

    I agree with Barb. Additionally, to feel empathy for someone is to walk in their shoes, feel what they feel. To feel sympathy for someone is to feel pity, sadness for them. You are not them, you are on the outside looking in at their situation. For example,

    Max: I failed my exam.

    Sam: Don't look to me for sympathy. I don't feel sorry or sad for you, because I know, for a fact, that you didn't study for the exam, nor did you take the course serisouly. I can, however, empathize with you becuase I, also, know what it feels like to fail an exam. It doesn't feel good, does it?

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