Originally Posted by YGirl
Neither, really. Most of the time I try to mind my own business and wish others would do the same.
LOL, I love it. I find your response alluring. Wow, what does that say about me?
I have always had difficulty in finding a clear separation between the definitions of these two words. The definition of sympathy = the ability to enter into, understand, or share somebody else's feelings....to think or feel alike. The definition of empathy = the ability to identify with and understand somebody else's feelings or difficulties.......to vicariously experience the feelings, thought and experience of another. I think the true definition for either is found in the individual, in how they are hard wired to interpret life. For me I am capable of both. I feel compelled to jump on the Myers-Briggs band wagon again. It depends on the innate personality that we were born with. I am an INFJ and have very little difficulty in sensing what is going on with another person, and interpreting what I sense on a feeling level. It translates to both an empathetic and sympathetic understanding. True, sometimes I wish I did not understand. I've had people share horrendous things with me, and true to my nature, I have felt it and wished I had not. I doubt that I have helped clarify anything other than my own confusion about the definition of the two words, and because of that do not see how the difference, whatever it may be, could be the source of a bone of contention. I think both are good.