Sympathy vs Empathy

Contemplating the post of a dear friend
I felt the pain that was related in word
Reading what others sent as a response
Had me wondering the feelings stirred.

Feelings of Empathy or was it Sympathy
What caused others to want to respond
Was it just a reaction to another post
Or something deeper, to move beyond.

Sympathy acknowledges another’s word
Friends giving comfort our of respect
Letting someone know that we heard
Even if it doesn’t affect us as direct.

Empathy leads one to respond deeper yet
Because you can feel yourself in their shoes
It is a personal emotion from your heart
And so words in response you try to choose.

Whether you are sympathetic or empathetic
You can share your words and help to heal
But when you relate so closely with the words
Their pain or sorrow comes back oh so real.

Even authors we don’t know except through their writing can touch a nerve:


About graypoet

Just one that at times puts the words to the page and lets them fall as they might.
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5 Responses to Sympathy vs Empathy

  1. Eloquent and deep…you nailed it :). I followed the link…such a hard, hard situation :/

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    your words spoke volumes of your friends pain…
    empathy is the choice for me, as I only take the energy for a while and then give it back in hope they can then handle it…
    as with sympathy, we tend to take the energy of the lesson from them, and then they don’t finish it, and we take something that is not ours to have…
    your words make me smile, as this is a daily human struggle… one only we can answer for our selves and to smile is safer than to go screaming into the rabbit hole for me…
    Good post….one to think one I think
    Take Care..You Matter..

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