Tina Frisco has written a beautiful article on the differences between being empathetic and sympathetic. Empaths are also often referred to as HSPs (highly sensitive people) and being that I am one, I found this article of great interest and thought some of you may find it equally interesting.
The Many Faces of Empathy
“For the past three days I’ve wanted to review my copy editor’s suggestions and revise my novel, but something has been getting in the way. It took me a while to identify what that was. Then this morning I received a call from a friend, and the core of our conversation lead me to realize that I not only was empathizing with her, but also that I unconsciously had taken on her emotional distress prior to her telling me about it. So what is the difference between being empathic and being an empath?
The Oxford Dictionaries define empathy as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Merriam-Webster defines empathy as ” the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another . . . without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” In other words, empathy is the capacity to feel what another person is experiencing from their vantage point rather than exclusively from our own.
Empathy is sometimes confused with sympathy. Unlike sympathy, which is the ability to acknowledge another’s emotional state and then offer reassurance and comfort, empathy derives from having had the same/similar experience or the capacity to put oneself in another’s shoes.
It’s interesting to note here that . . .” Continue Reading