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Old 22-01-2018, 04:10 AM   #1
manic_felinemistress's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Empathy vs Sympathy

So I'm on the spectrum. My therapist and psychiatrist were commenting on how well I"ve learned sympathy, but that I don't get empathy. Per their instruction I'm gonna start taking acting classes for a little while to learn it. Which is terrifying to me. My question is though, what's the difference?

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Old 22-01-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Scotland

It can be quite hard to explain. I think the way I understand it is that sympathy is your own feelings about what someone is going through and empathy is imagining what the other person might be feeling. So sympathy could be that you feel sad for someone but empathy is a bit deeper like thinking about the other person's feelings rather than your reaction and considering what it would be like to be in their shoes. Maybe that's the main point - empathy is imagining being in someone elses shoes. It's confusing to explain in words. Hope the acting classes help and they're not as anxiety provoking as you think they'll be.

I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.

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Old 24-01-2018, 05:06 PM   #3
sherlock holmes
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Join Date: Mar 2004

Probably the simplest way of explaining it is that having empathy would be walking in someone else's shoes. That means that you're thinking about their situation as if you were them- taking into consideration their situation, family life, work life, any factor that is important and relevant. It means you understand as if you were going through it as that person, from their point of view.

Sympathy is you understand their situation from your own point of view.

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…

you once called your brain a hard drive, well say hello to the virus.

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