Don’t confuse sympathy with empathy

For those who feel a deep sense of empathy for everything around them probably understand that it’s a blessing, but every now and then it can be a curse. Often times it will be seen as being a pushover. The way I see it is the state of true humility and modesty.

To take another person, living creature, object, conception or anything in its entirety and put it above yourself is crucial to spreading positivity and love to the world.
I myself have been taken advantage of countless times when all I did was help. Whether or not that person made it up to me, feigned innocent ignorance or never saw me again, those times when I genuinely help  someone is more than worth it.

Dr. Theresa Wiseman established three core qualities of an empathetic response: the ability to take on the perspective of another person, steering clear of judgment or criticism, and being able to recognize emotion in others and communicate it to them.

Connecting emotionally is one of the most important skills one could ever learn. The practice of empathy is enlightening on a social, intrapersonal and professional level. This skill builds off of being able to perceive unspoken communication with others, to see someone in distress and take in that emotion as if it were your own.

Not only do you build up the ability to have intuitions about what others are feeling, but this leads to something much bigger. The motives of people that cause betrayal and hurt to another begin to make more sense.

Things become less personal in the sense that one can see true reasoning behind why someone is being hurtful.

Empathy is a rare quality that is often surpassed by its close cousin, sympathy. While these may be considered to be interchangeable synonyms, they have striking differences. Sympathy is to feel pity for others and tends to drive connection away. Feeling pity for someone else is a lot easier than feeling pain with them.

Empathy is for the people who get up and try to help, and if it can’t be helped they use the gift of connection.

To give is a gift in itself so there’s is no reason not to. Sympathy is for the people who sit back and say, “Oh what a shame, too bad there’s nothing I can do.” But it’s not always a bad thing. If someone is experiencing a loss that another has never experienced, then they may only be able to sympathize.

The gratification of making someone not feel alone or sticking by a friend who is helplessly lost and seeing that person grow and change over time is what makes me feel human. Since behaviors are as contagious as the common cold it makes the most sense to take every opportunity to spread positivity and empathy.

It’s never too late to start incorporating these principles into your behavior. I believe at everyone’s roots, they are empathetic. It comes naturally to young children but the loss of it over time comes from mimicking the behavior of adults and their surroundings.

This all might seem very obvious but the more a concept is spoken of the easier it is for society to put it into practice. A good place to start is taking note of every interaction between oneself and others.

Paying attention to the way one responds to someone in need, sad, lonely or even acting hurtfully, and reflecting whether the reaction following is justified in a way that considers all sides.