VIDEO FOR EMPATHY
What Is The Real Difference Between "Empathy" And "Sympathy"?
Empathy and sympathy both describe feelings, especially toward another person. But what is the real difference between them?
Origin of empathy
synonym study for empathy
Words nearby empathy
MORE ABOUT EMPATHY
What does empathy mean?
Empathy is the ability or practice of imagining or trying to deeply understand what someone else is feeling or what it’s like to be in their situation.
Empathy is often described as the ability to feel what others are feeling as if you are feeling it yourself. To feel empathy for someone is to empathize. People who do this are described as empathetic.
Some people use the word empathy interchangeably or in overlapping ways with the word sympathy, which generally means the sharing of emotions with someone else, especially sadness. However, others distinguish the two terms by emphasizing the importance of having empathy for others (feeling their pain) as opposed to having sympathy for them (feeling sorry for them).
Example: Having faced many of the same challenges, Nyala has empathy for immigrants and what it feels like to go through those challenges.
Where does empathy come from?
The first records of the word empathy come from the late 1800s from the context of psychology. The word comes from a translation of the German term Einfühlung, which literally means “a feeling in.” It ultimately derives from the Greek empátheia, meaning “affection” or “passion,” from em-, meaning “in,” and path-, the base of a verb meaning “to suffer.” In contrast, the sym- in sympathy means “with” or “together.”
While having sympathy for someone often means pitying them or feeling bad for them, having empathy is feeling or attempting to feel and understand exactly how a person feels and what it’s like to be them. When you have empathy for someone, you identify with them—as if you were them. In other words, empathy is the ability to feel and understand what it’s like to be “in someone else’s shoes.” Empathy usually involves showing kindness and having compassion—the desire to do something to help a person and reduce their pain. People described as empathetic or empathic due to being very sensitive to the emotions of others are sometimes called empathists or empaths.
A less common and more specific sense of empathy refers to the process of projecting one’s feelings onto an object. This is especially used in the context of art to refer to artists embedding their emotions in their work.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to empathy?
- empathize (verb)
- empathetic (adjective)
- empathic (adjective)
What are some words that share a root or word element with empathy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing empathy?
What are some words empathy may be commonly confused with?
How is empathy used in real life?
Empathy is often used in discussions about how people should try to have more of it.
#Empathy means using your experience to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, so you can listen w/some context & best understand & support the other person.
It does not mean using your experience to yap back “I know exactly what you mean. There was this time when I…” pic.twitter.com/klF7Ru0vVl
— Lisa A. Kirkman (@Mamakind420) June 24, 2020
Try using empathy!
Which of the following actions is an example of having empathy?
A. Feeling sorry for someone
B. Ignoring someone
C. Imagining how someone feels
D. Complimenting someone
How to use empathy in a sentence
It’s understandable that people would lack the empathy or the foresight to realize parents have a particular set of challenges.The complaints of the entitled workers of Silicon Valley|Adam Lashinsky|September 8, 2020|Fortune
I hope this drive towards human empathy continues well beyond this moment in time.How this year’s 40 Under 40 are surviving the pandemic|jonathanvanian2015|September 7, 2020|Fortune
Instead, she proposed approaching anti-maskers with empathy.
The post-pandemic focus on employee safety wasn’t just because of a wave of CEO empathy.Stakeholder capitalism isn’t a choice|Alan Murray|August 24, 2020|Fortune
That has a lot to do with the company’s strong sense of empathy.A first-time manager’s guide to empathetic leadership|Celeste Mora|August 20, 2020|Quartz
You write a lot about celebrities and with a lot of empathy.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination|Mindy Farabee|December 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Men's Rights Activist "I have a lot of empathy for men, and the pressures that they go through."The Beyoncé Manifesto: Quotes on Nihilism and Feminism|Amy Zimmerman|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The book thus has an attractive double “empathy,” a word that appears in all four parts.Richard Ford’s Artful Survivalist Guide: The Return of Frank Bascombe|Tom LeClair|November 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Scenes elicited intimate comments from the cast and crew about whose perspective solicited more empathy or felt more realistic.Why You’re Happily Married and Having an Affair|Ryan Selzer|November 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But studies show white people simply have less empathy for black people.The Question in St. Louis County: Can Whites Empathize With Blacks?|Sally Kohn|August 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
So-called 'born' mechanics, maybe, whose understanding of machinery is a form of empathy we've never suspected.Accidental Flight|Floyd L. Wallace
Beyond those simple things lay telepathy, telekinesis, empathy….Earthmen Bearing Gifts|Fredric Brown
But I won the Twenties too, remember, also without knowing a thing about empathy at the time.Planet of the Damned|Harry Harrison
Some of the settlers had empathy with the dolphins to a high degree, but Ross's own powers of contact were relatively feeble.Key Out of Time|Andre Alice Norton
He thought of Geria, of what that dream empathy had suggested.Earthsmith|Milton Lesser
British Dictionary definitions for empathy
Derived forms of empathyempathist, noun
Word Origin for empathy
Cultural definitions for empathy
Identifying oneself completely with an object or person, sometimes even to the point of responding physically, as when, watching a baseball player swing at a pitch, one feels one's own muscles flex.