Two words I love!


I love  that they look and sound so much alike but what  I love the most is that they are so different in meaning…

SYMPATHY- which by meaning is my least favorite of the two- is A feeling or an expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another; compassion or commiseration. Of course this is the meaning I am most familiar with because it is the situation in which it is most often used, as an act or feeling of PITY (which is defined as its synonym)… and I don’t like the word PITY

Sympathy brings to mind moments in which you or a loved one is dealing with the loss of someone or something…so it just has a connection- in my mind- with pain, although, it does involve a A feeling of loyalty; allegiance/ A relationship or an affinity between people or things in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other. /The act or power of sharing the feelings of another.  But still it is just being there to accompany the other who is suffering.

You, yourself are not feeling the same things as your friend or loved one, you are being a shoulder to cry on, which is good, however…


EMPATHY -my hero word (if that’s possible)- is the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings / Empathy denotes a deep emotional understanding of another’s feelings or problems /

the power of entering into another’s personality and imaginatively experiencing his feelings

See the difference, when you feel empathy, you’re not just there physically offering support you are there emotionally as well, feeling what the other is feeling and fully experiencing in body and soul the other’s situation…

I feel -empathy- as a more complete, devoted act of loyalty, without lessening the value of sympathy…because not all people are capable of feeling empathy…empathy can take you -emotionally speaking-to places you’d rather not go, so in knowing that, many people choose sympathy as a way of protecting themselves withouy being disloyal or selfish in a moment where their support is needed.

So, after this loooong intro (but very enlightening I dare say!) let me go to WHY this came to mind…

It turns out that my mother bought my sister and me a book titled THE FOUR SEASONS OF MARRIAGE , by Gary Chapman… curándonos en salud, let me translate: giving us the remedy before we’re sick! Thank you MOM!!

I’m not a fan of selfhelp books because most of them just diagnose and don’t treat the problem, but since this was a very lovely and well intended present I am reading it! (I have skipped through some chapters, as soon as I found which season my marriage was in)

So I’ve come to a chapter titled: Strategy 4 Develop the Awesome Power of Empathetic Listening

Up to now, I had strived to develop my power of empathetic listening to use it with my friends, my mom, my sister, my children BUT HAD NEVER REALLY CONSIDERED IT AN IMPORTANT PART OF MY COMMUNICATION PATTERN WITH MY HUSBAND…so this has been a real revelation to me…

but even if you’re not in a relationship with a special someone…empathethic listening is a key tool in ANY relationship…I think that you’ll see yourself as you read along…

I won’t do any analyzing, I’ll just quote some key frases that I found helpful…

QUOTES from the Four Seasons of Marriage, Gary Chapman


QUOTE from The Four Seasons of Marriage IMAGE from

How about that? How do you rate yourself in this department?

f.y.i…There’s a PDF guide to the book which I really recommend you read (of course ONLY if this has been helpful to you!) if you’re not sure of buying the book but still want to know a bit more about this…

btw…STRATEGY 3 deals with THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES, do you know what love language you and your mate speak? very insightful…


4 responses to “THINK…EMPATHY & SYMPATHY

  1. Pingback: Mengajarkan empati pada anak, kapan bisa kita mulai? | Fitri Ariyanti's Blog·

  2. Pingback: Empathy: A Superpower | Nicole Fronda·

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