Originally Posted by LovingRadiance
I'm any emathy person. I feel like I'm living it when I talk with someone about their emotions, experiences, feelings. I occassionally have a "huh I can sympathize" moment-but that is VERY rare.
Empathy is when you feel like the OTHER person is "living it".
Sympathy is when you feel like YOU are "living it".
This is my pet peeve about these two words. It seems that people think "Sympathy" is just intellectually understanding something someone else is going through, while "Empathy" means you "understand how it must feel".
Sympathy is when you know how YOU would feel in a similar situation (a friend's mother dies, and you know what it would be like for YOU if YOUR mother died).
Empathy is when you know how the OTHER PERSON WOULD FEEL in a given situation (my mother dies, and you know what it is like for ME to go through it, NOT what it would be like for YOU to go through it).
"Empathy" is often cavalierly and inappropriately used on this forum as though it denotes some sort of psychic telepathy or extra-sensory function.