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Empathy and Sympathy: Methods & Examples

When you talk about mourning and loss, “sympathy” is a word commonly used. For example – “We offer or express our sympathy to someone for their loss”.

But what exactly is sympathy? What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? And how can understand these differences help the way we support and are in mourning.

What is the difference between sympathy and empathy??

What is the difference between sympathy and empathy??
Sympathy and Empathy difference

The main difference between sympathy and empathy is that with empathy, you put yourself in the place of someone else and experience exactly what they are going through. You feel everything they feel.

The use of the word sympathy is most often used when people have something bad that happens to them that can be unfair (although there is nothing to say that all misfortune is unfair). You consider someone with sympathy when he experienced something tragic or upheaval and you can see how difficult it is for him.

What is sympathy?

Sympathy is the feeling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. It can also refer to a partial state of agreement with the feelings expressed by another, generally in an argument or a debate.

Basically, it’s when you feel bad for someone and want to help them. The word is often used in response to tragic events that have arrived at someone else, such as losing a loved one, disease, job loss, etc.

What is empathy?

Empathy is a quality that implies the ability to understand the feelings of another or another and to share these feelings.

It is a special capacity that everyone has, but some people have a greater capacity for empathy than others.

Empathy is a feeling, an emotional response. Thus, it can be compared to other feelings such as sadness and anger, although these two do not imply emotions such as sympathy.

The term “empathy” was invented by the German psychiatrist in the 19th century, Edward Titchener.

When to use sympathy

You have to use sympathy when you talk about a situation where someone has been or is badly treated.

You must also use sympathy when you have to sympathize with someone, like someone who has suffered a loss.

If you have to offer someone your sympathy, try our selection of sympathy messages and condolences.

When to use empathy

You should use empathy when you try to understand what another person feels.

If you want to be more empathetic, you can put yourself in the place of the person who has been ill -treated and feel what they feel. This allows you to support them with everything they go through.

The more empathetic you become, the better you will get to help people suffering and be able to offer them support or assistance, hopefully, improve their situation or their mood.

It can be intimidating to show empathy first. Like many things for some people, it needs work.

The key is to see the world from the point of view of others. This something you can work on.

Why is sympathy important

Sympathy is important because it means you can understand what someone feels and know that they are suffering or suffers because of it. In addition to that, it means not only that you understand it, but you feel their pain or injury.

Often it is expressed as a way to say sorry to someone. Sorry for their loss or sorry for a situation they met.

With sympathy, you are somewhat detached. Compared to empathy, by which you put yourself in people’s shoes and understand what they are going through by sympathy does not require this.

Sympathy is only a recognition of something bad rather than an understanding of it.

Why is empathy important

Empathy is important because it allows us to see the perspective of other peoples. We can put ourselves in their position and try to understand what they can think or feel.

Without empathy, we would not be able to understand what others go through and be there for them. You must be able to relate to people to train connections and obligations. Otherwise, you are only a selfish individual who only thinks themselves.

A lack of empathy is likely to make you find it difficult to connect with people or maintain relationships.

Examples of sympathy

The most obvious example of sympathy is after a loss. We feel sympathy for someone who has lost a loved one.

But the loss can take several forms:

When someone is sick of loss of a job · rupture of a relationship · loss of valuables (stolen car, losing a precious article, etc.)

Really any situation where someone feels bad or has been hardly done by us often feel sympathy.

Examples of empathy

Empathy goes further from sympathy. When you sympathize with someone you often take the injuries and emotions they experience.

You can try to provide solutions to the problem or offer your support in different ways. It could spend time with them, listen, help with an activity, etc.

Empathy involves much more action than sympathy. Explain my article about own your life in dopamin detox.

Some examples of empathy:

A breakdown of friends – even if you found the partner of your horrible friends, did not love them and that you thought they were completely wrong to be a friend and having empathy means that you put aside your Aversion for their partner and offer comfort. They are upset and need a friend for support and you take the time to listen and be there for them, understanding that even if you do not approve of their partner, they are always sad that the relationship has taken end. · The sorrow after a loss – having sympathy after someone loses a loved one is natural for most people. But demonstrating empathy would be to understand what it is to cry and suffer after this loss. You use this understanding to be there for anyone in mourning, offering the support they need by listening, kind words or all the help they may need. If a friend or a colleague is forced to work for a weekend, you could stop for a business or with his favorite snack. You do more than feel sorry for them, you sympathize with the fact that working on a weekend is not fun and knowing that bringing a friend to cheer you up or for the company will make them feel better .

Can we develop or teach?

Yes, you can develop empathy and improve your emotional intelligence. Most learn or learn to be empathetic as a child, but you can always learn to increase your empathy as an adult.

It is not easy however. This requires hard work and getting out of your comfort zone. Understanding the perspective of others is essential, which means putting you in their place.

To do this, you can:

Listen – Listen to everyone. Listen to what they say, be careful and think about what they are going through or feel. Volunteer – This will make you interact and get to know a wide range of different people from different horizons. It will also expose you to those who have different life experiences for yourself. · Talk to new people – but do more than small discussions. Ask appropriate questions and take advantage of their lives. Discover them and what they think. · Working with others – being part of a project and working with people will help you understand the best and become more in tune with the way others and feel. Reading books – It is proven that reading fiction helps people immerse themselves in other worlds and lives of people, even if they are not real. This again helps to understand the feelings and thoughts of others and put yourself in their position. · Research – documentaries and articles, whether in articles, magazines or online expanded your mind and you learn the experiences of others.


For more help to understand empathy and sympathy as well as the way of learning it and why try these websites:

Understanding empathy – Simon Sinek · How to be more empathetic · 7 keys to learn to sympathize · Developing empathy: 8 strategies


Sympathy and empathy are both extremely important but also very different. Knowing and understanding these differences and how you should use both will help you have better relationships and people will appreciate your emotional intelligence.

I hope you now understand the differences between empathy and sympathy and that you will feel more comfortable using them.

Source : https://www.sympathymessageideas.com/