What are the key differences between Empathy and Sympathy? Are both not thought to be good qualities?
This talk explains the difference between the two, and the difference is greater than I thought. As Dr. Brown explains; Empathy fuels connection while Sympathy drives disconnection.
After watching this animated short of Dr. Brown's TED-Talk, I now understand why I may experience a volatile response from a friend when I merely try and point out the silver lining of their situation. When really, what people want is for us to climb into the dark and feel their pain alongside them.
Sympathy allows me to remain emotionally distant. True Empathy forces me to press into the discomfort, however, this is how I can truly connect to another person, and for them to feel an equally powerful human connection to me. Connection, as Brené explains in her various talks, is neurologically and biologically essential for human beings.
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RSA Shorts: Dr Brené Brown, "The Power of Empathy"