View Single Post
Old 09-19-2010, 04:57 PM
MindfulAgony's Avatar
MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 192

Originally Posted by sage View Post
Thanks guys. The feeling was more than empathy which I tend to think of as understanding another's pain, or sympathy (feeling bad about someone else's pain) I was actually feeling it. The other times I've felt the same were when my children were having problems. You know, "You can only feel as happy as your least happy child"

I guess I've come a long way. One of the first posts I read on this forum was a woman writing about holding and comforting her SO who was heartbroken over an OSO. I couldn't understand it at all. I thought I'd feel glad.
Your description sounds stronger but not different in kind from the definition of symnpathy - which includes more than feeling bad about someone else's pain...

1. capacity to share feelings: the ability to enter into, understand, or share somebody else's feelings
2. feelings caused by sympathy: the feelings of somebody who enters into or shares another's feelings
3. sorrow for another's pain: the feeling or expression of pity or sorrow for the pain or distress of somebody else
"We extended our sympathies to the widow."
4. inclination to feel alike: the inclination to think or feel the same as somebody else

We have the additional notion of Sympathy Pains to describe when it goes beyond emotions, literally feeling someone elses physical pain.

This suggests to me that there's no need for a new word or an additional modifyer for Sympathy as it covers the emotional sharing of pain.

Maybe I'm not understanding the qualitative difference you mean.
Male, Straight, Poly

OKC Profile

Mind Crush

“Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it. And making it your ally rather than your enemy.”
-Pema Chodron
Reply With Quote