sympathy

Never followed this couple, but this gif always breaks my heart. Because you watch it all unfold in heartbreaking detail…
The camera’s on them, she goes to look at him, expecting-anticipating his eyes will turn to find her, like she’s turning to find him. Then the realization hits, he’s completely preoccupied, and it’s not with her. And you see it wash over her face… she was thinking of him, but he wasn’t thinking of her.
I think a lot of girls can relate to how shitty that moment feels.

Empathy VS. Sympathy

In 1909, the psychologist Edward Titchener translated the German Einfühlung (‘feeling into’) into English as ‘empathy’. Empathy can be defined as a person’s ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person, fictional character, or sentient being. It involves, first, seeing someone else’s situation from his perspective, and, second, sharing his emotions, including, if any, his distress.

Continue reading to watch a video, which fully describes the difference between empathy and sympathy by Brene Brown. 

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The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy 101

The words empathy and sympathy are often confused for each other as they are feelings concerning other people and are usually used in similar contexts. Whilst closely related, they have subtle but vital differences between them.

Sympathy is literally “feeling with” - compassion, distress, sorrow for or commiseration with another person. In sympathy, the emotions are recognised.

Empathy, by contrast, is literally “feeling into” - the ability to project one’s personality into another person, i.e. when you understand and experience another’s feelings for yourself. In empathy, the emotions are felt.

In summary, empathy is more specific and personal as it involves putting yourself in that person’s shoes and knowing what they are going through. Sympathy is a more general feeling of compassion or sorrow (etc) for another person’s situation. Both involve the sincere recognition and acceptance of another person’s emotional state which is often followed by the desire to alleviate their suffering.

Etymologies:

The word sympathy comes from the ancient Greek word sumpátheia (sún, “with, together” + páthos, “suffering”). This was modified in Late Latin to sympathia and then in Middle French to sympathie

Empathy was coined in 1909, about (~300 years after the introduction of the word sympathy) by British psychologist Edward B. Titchener. While the word’s spelling borrows from the ancient Greek word, empátheia, which meant “physical affection, passion, partiality”, Titchener used “empathy” for the purpose of translating a German word (Einfühlung) and its concept of shared feeling. Interestingly, in modern Greek, empátheia no longer has positive connotations. It instead refers to negative feelings or prejudices against another person.

More information.

[James R. Eads - Us, Over Time, Passing By]

Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.
—  Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
We do not know our own souls, let alone the souls of others. Human beings do not go hand in hand the whole stretch of the way. There is a virgin forest in each; a snowfield where even the print of birds’ feet is unknown. Here we go alone, and like it better so. Always to have sympathy, always to be accompanied, always to be understood would be unbearable.
—  Virginia Woolf, On Being Ill