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This Video Shows The Great Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy

This Video Shows The Great Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy

Researcher Dr. Brené Brown’s video on sympathy versus empathy provides a clear picture of what it feels like when we reach out to others in a time of despair, and they react to us. She points out that empathy and sympathy are two very different things, where empathy “fuels connection” and sympathy “drives disconnection.”

Through her fun and interesting cartoon, she illustrates that we need others to feel with us, as opposed to the ever popular idea of providing a silver lining.

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Often, we want to fix a situation in order to alleviate our own stress over the despairing individual’s emotions. This causes us to push away and invalidate their feelings. While this may stop their outward grieving, it drives disconnection and prevents healing. It causes an individual to stuff their true emotions and pretend they don’t exist, because they have now been shamed out of their reality.

As the video points out, empathy is the complete opposite. It requires four different elements:

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1. Perspective taking

Perspective taking means that we are able to experience their loss as if it happened to us. We are not analyzing it from an outward perspective, but feeling it as if it were our own.

2. Staying out of judgement

To refrain from judgement, we have to be able to see the situation through the lens of emotion, rather than the lens of logic. To empathize, we must realize that emotions are what they are, regardless of the “facts.” Even if we don’t agree with the actions, we can understand the feeling.

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3. Recognizing their emotions

To have the ability to recognize emotions, we need to be able to listen to what the grieving person is saying. If we jump right in without first understanding, we risk a disconnect where the upset individual will not feel recognized and understood.

4. Communicating you understand

Once you feel like you have a good understanding, it’s important to be able to communicate that you see and hear them. Sometimes this is simply a hug, and other times it’s born from reflective communication, where you repeat back to them what you feel they are saying in your own words. This brings a sense of relief, as they no longer feel alone.

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As the video states, empathy is feeling with people. “Because the truth is, rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better, is connection.”

Featured photo credit: RSA Shorts via youtu.be

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Last Updated on November 5, 2018

8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies

8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies

We’ve all got our enemies; people who take pleasure in causing us pain and misery. Sometimes, the development of an enemy is due to certain differences in your characters and events have led to that. Other times, some people end up hating you for apparently no reason at all.

Regardless of how you got this enemy, as opposed to the paradigm of fighting fire with fire, consider the following reasons and see why you should actually appreciate your enemies. This article will show you not only how to not be bothered by your enemies, but how to actually foster love for them.

Read on to learn the secret.

1. It’s a practical lesson in anger management

To be honest, your enemies are the best people to help you understand your sense of anger management. When it might be true that your enemies have a way of bringing out the worst in you as regards anger, it is also true that they can help you in your quest to have that anger managed. You can’t get truly angry at someone you love and it is only in that time when you get truly annoyed that you learn how to manage it.

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Anger management is more effective when it is in practice and not in theory

Your enemies are like the therapists who you need, but actually don’t want. Inasmuch as you might want to hate them, they provide you an opportunity to control the anger impulse that you have.

2. It’s an opportunity for healthy competition

You might not know it, but your enemies make for great rivals as they help harness the competitor in you (sometimes, you might not even know or bee conversant with this competitive side until you come across an adversary). You get the right motivation to compete and this can go a long way to spur you to victory.

However, while doing so, it is also essential that you remember not to become a worse version of yourself while competing. Working against an adversary is tricky, and you need to ensure that you don’t cause harm to yourself or your morals in the process. Healthy competition is all you need to get out of this.

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3. Their negative comments can help you make a breakthrough

It is true that your enemies never really have much good to say about you. However, in as much as they might be talking out of a place of hate, there might be some truth to what they’re saying.

To wit, whenever you hear something mean or nasty from an enemy, you might want to take a step back and evaluate yourself. There is a chance that what this enemy is saying is true and coming to face that fact is a major step in helping you to become a better person overall. This is another testament to the fact that enemies can be therapists in their own way.

4. Enemies can also be powerful allies

Loving your enemies can also mean making an effort to interact and make peace with them. In the end, if you are able to establish some common ground and patch things up, you’ll have succeeded in making another friend. And who doesn’t need friends?

This can also help you in working with people in the long run. You get to hone your inter-personal skills, and that can be a big plus to your ledger.

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5. It gives you the ability to realize positivity

In a multitude of negativity, a speck of positivity always seems to find its way through.

Sometimes, a knowledge of the fact that you have enemies will also help you to focus on the many positives and good things that are in your life. A lot of times, we neglect what really matters in life. This can be due to being overly concerned with the enemies we have.

However, it is also possible for this acknowledgement to spur you to take a step back and appreciate the goo things (and people who surround you).

6. There might just be a misunderstanding

Sometimes, the reason why you have an enemy might be something very innocuous. You might not have known the cause of this fractured relationship and your enemy will help complete the picture.

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Simply approaching them will help you to understand the reason for the fracture. This, in turn, can help you to work towards healing your relationship moving forward. Misunderstandings happen, and you need to be able to work around them.

7. You learn to appreciate love as well

A constant reminder of the fact that there are enemies will also help you not to take those who love you for granted. Love and hate are two opposing emotions and it is possible for one to momentarily overshadow the other.

However, while you’ll always have enemies, there will also always be people who love you. These people need to be appreciated for what they do for you. Never let the hate projected to you from your enemies take the place of that.

8. Do you really need the hate?

The truth is that enemies bring only toxic emotions and generate bad reactions from you. If you’re truly to live a prosperous life, you can’t really be carrying all this baggage around.

Hate is bad and you should try all you can to get rid of it. It is a well-known fact that nobody can get really far in life while carrying a lot of emotional baggage. Well, hate is the biggest form of emotional baggage there is.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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