What is the difference between sympathy and empathy, and how do they work to either alienate others or to build bridges and create true understanding and compassion?
Why is it so easy for us to resort to sympathy when a loved one shares a difficulty with us?
Is it in some way defensive, perhaps because we are intimidated by the negative emotions of others? Are we afraid to appear vulnerable or to open up to the needs of another person? Do we feel awkward and simply don’t know the appropriate thing to say or do? Do we feel like it is our responsibility to fix the other person or their problem, rather than just being fully present and witnessing the other’s experience?
How can we practice true empathy in our daily life with those around us?