Friday, December 25, 2015

Holiday Dots Connection: Sympathy vs. Empathy

Sympathy is an emotional attachment, and empathy is an Emotional Intelligence.

Once again, it is the holiday season and it’s almost the end of the year, it is not just the time to spoil your appetite, but also the moment to open your mind, and connect more dots to discover the new meaning of holidays - Are you sympathetic to give more to others, or are you empathetic to understand better of the world? Are you compassionate about many man-made disasters; or are you passionate to overcome the challenges facing human society? What’s the further dot-connection between sympathy and empathy?

Sympathy vs. Empathy: Sympathy derives from Latin and Greek words meaning 'having a fellow feeling. The term empathy originated in psychology and has now come to mean the ability to imagine or project oneself into another person's position and experience all the sensations involved in that position. Both empathy and sympathy are feelings concerning other people. Sympathy is literally 'feeling with' - compassion for or commiseration with another person. Empathy, by contrast, is literally 'feeling into' - the ability to project one's personality into another person and more fully understand that person. (

Sympathy is an emotional attachment, and empathy is an Emotional Intelligence: Sympathy is to feel sorry about other’s unfortune. Empathy is about thinking as if you were in the other party's position. Sympathy is an emotional connection and Empathy as evidence of emotional intelligence. Someone in the throes of a strong emotion is simply unable to hear rational arguments or respond logically. The only way to move them from the heart to the rational mind is to use empathy to disarm their emotion. When people receive empathy, they truly feel heard and they can learn to listen more proactively and respond with empathy. It takes effort and we have to find our own words and our own way of saying them and become more focused on problem-solving.

Sympathy touches the heart, and empathy connects the minds. Sympathy feeds the hunger, and improve the bottom line of human society. Empathy fulfills the minds to raise the top line of human potentials. Be grateful to understand others and be understood. Sympathy makes the world caring, and empathy makes the world equal. When someone is sharing a thought with you, do you focus on what’s been told contextually and listen OBJECTIVELY with an open heart and mind. Empathy means using the right language with the right people. "Nothing in the world, in business or in life, is black and white. It could be hinting at another important skill for great leaders, which is respecting other people as if you were in their position. One can empathize with someone else without agreeing with their perspective. However, if we send out a feeling of respect towards others, we listen more selectively.

Sympathy is a positive feeling to help others with compassion. Empathy is an ultimate level of human cognition of being wise -nonjudgmental, active listening and balancing between tolerance and respect to achieve that. Sympathy shows the willing to give and support, and empathy is the path and practice to convey the human wisdom. Once a person understands that we all have different lenses, perceptions in the way we look at the world, it becomes easier to open your heart to another person and have a "soul to soul" conversation with RESPECT. It does take a lot of practice and is achievable. So sympathy reflects the holiday spirit, and empathy lifts up the holiday spirit and brings the new perspective for the upcoming new year.


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