Wisdom Wednesday – Empathy Versus Sympathy

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Empathy says ‘I feel you, we’re the same’.

Sympathy says ‘I understand what you’re feeling but that’s separate from me’.

Sympathy invites pity.

Sympathy leads to imbalance; an attitude of a superior position that says, ‘I’m OK, you’re not OK. You have a problem, I don’t’.

Empathy invites acceptance.


Empathy means equality; empathy says, ‘I get it. We’re the same. Let’s share that problem and work through it’.

Empathy shows up, hugs and spends time.

Sympathy sends a card.

Remember to hug someone today. You might make them smile or you might smile.

By Brian Nadon



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