Source: Empathy Lab
I like to believe that if we gained a clearer understanding of sympathy and empathy and tried to act more towards the latter, we’d be able to tackle issues of inequality and misconception a whole lot easier.
Sympathy is to acknowledge that somebody is in pain and to feel for them.
Empathy is to feel another person’s pain as your own and to feel with them.
Most of us can’t hope to understand how different people deal with negative events within their life as no two people will react in the same way towards a particular incidence. What we should hope to do however is try to gain an understanding of how that person is feeling and how you would feel if you were in the same position.
I’ve had times in my life in which I’ve helped people through strife by simply being there and by being honest. I’ve made mistakes in the past with regards to helping others and I’ve sometimes tried to silver line something and quite frankly that’s silly because rarely does a response actually help either way.
If you’re unsure of how to help someone when they’re in a hole – don’t shout down to them, jump in that hole with them.