(OMTimes | Cathedral of the Soul) Are you an empathetic person or a sympathetic person?
The difference between being an empathetic or sympathetic person
It is very common in everyday life to say that a particular person was sympathetic to us or that he had a lot of empathy as if they both had similar meanings. But are empathy and sympathy even the same?
By evaluating our attitudes, we can know if we have more sympathy or empathy for the other. We present here, five tips that can help you identify whether you are an empathetic or sympathetic person:
“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”
~ Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Empathetic versus sympathetic tip #1 – Evaluate your perspective on the other person
Being nice, sweet or sympathetic is different from being empathetic!
Although sympathy and empathy are words that have a vague relation, their meanings they are entirely different. Empathy refers to a connection with the other, where it is possible. It means to understand the emotions of others, to see how the others see and feel. Sympathy refers to having a kind of affection for someone, even without knowing this person more earnestly.
Empathetic versus sympathetic tip #2 – Recognize your emotions
Knowing what the other person is feeling and recognizing their emotions is an important point to identify if you are being an empathetic or sympathetic person.
In empathy, you create a connection with the other person, which enables you to put yourself in the other’s place. In sympathy, you look outside the situation without engaging the feeling or what happens to the other. This is not to say that you feel absolutely nothing about what the other person is feeling, but you tend to have superficial feelings about it. There is, to a certain degree, a disconnect.
Empathetic versus sympathetic tip #3 – Know how to respect others’ opinions
It is critical to reflect on our ability to understand the other person. When we are empathic, it does not mean that we agree with the view of the other person, but we seek to respect and understand it in the best way, without any judgment.
When we are nice, we tend to get closer to each other because of what we have in common, which can make it distant for those with different positions and opinions.
Empathetic versus sympathetic tip #4 – Assess your willingness to help
A desire to help the other is always an important factor in identifying whether we are empathetic or sympathetic. Typically, in empathy, we can put ourselves in the same perspective as the other person, so that we can feel their pain and help them overcome it: “There is not you and me, there is only Us.”
In sympathy, we see things with a certain emotional detachment, without being too moved by what the other is feeling or going through.
Empathetic versus sympathetic tip #5 – Knowing how to communicate and express yourself with others
It is vital for us to be able to tell each other that we recognize their emotions. Empathic people do it more naturally, always seeking to say words that convey affection, calmness, and comfort. But the nice ones avoid saying anything that demonstrates a greater involvement with the situation.
About the author
Cathedral of the Soul intends to undertake the challenge of creating a multidimensional healing space that is dedicated those who seek to enrich, enlighten and heal themselves while serving and assisting in the healing of others. Cathedral of the Soul is one of the many spiritual outreaches of Humanity Healing International, a registered 501-C3 nonprofit with Church status.
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