Empathy emphasizes the notion of projection. You have empathy for a person when you can imagine how they might feel based on what you know about that person, despite not having those feelings explicitly communicated:.
As time has gone on, this insight has proved pretty useful, helping me develop empathy not just for bad boyfriends and crazy bosses, but for understanding my home state of Texas… —Mimi Swartz, The New York Times , 17 July But the letters show, as he repeats stories told to him by participants in battle, the kind of imaginative empathy that makes him fully deserve his reputation as a war poet. Spears, American Ambitions , The sentiment behind empathy is often presented in the familiar idiom to put oneself in another's shoes.
A major difference between sympathy and empathy is how long each has been around. Compared to sympathy , which first appeared in English in the 16th century, empathy is a relatively new coinage, one originating from a relatively young science: psychology. By empathy , one organism is aware at once that another organism is aware of an object. An animal reacting to his reaction would come under this definition.
Yet altogether the definition marks off a class of mental events that are normally human, and it serves for the human being to differentiate the conscious from the unconscious. Boring, The Psychological Review , Vol. Empathy can be contrasted with sympathy in terms of a kind of remove or emotional distance:. The act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings of another is known as sympathy. Empathy , on the other hand, not only is an identification of sorts but also connotes and awareness of one's separateness from the observed.
One of the most difficult tasks put upon man is reflective commitment to another's problem while maintaining his own identity. Many writers, likely aware of the thinness of the distinction, take pains to emphasize or explain what makes their choice of sympathy or empathy the proper one:. A fuller account would clearly require empathy as well as sympathy —a leap of imagination into Leadbelly's racial conflicts that would almost certainly have been facilitated by more candid interviews with surviving African-American witnesses as well as the personal experience of racial bias.
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Explore Customer Favorites. Canvas Prints. Photo Books. Wedding Invitations. If you knew and admired the deceased, be sure to let your recipient s know. Consider one of these: kindhearted, talented, admired, unforgettable, fun-loving, funny, wonderful, well-loved, lovely, sweet, generous, one-of-a-kind, one-in-a-million, honorable, respected, caring, hardworking, strong, energetic, happy. Just be sure to follow up and follow through.
Writing tip: In general, the more specific your offer of help, the better. And no task is too small. When someone you know is grieving, you might want to offer ongoing messages of support in the weeks and months following the loss of his or her loved one. But often, a loss that no one saw coming can lead to complicated grief. Whatever the case, these kinds of losses call for additional comfort, understanding and ongoing support.
Pro Tip: If everything you try to write feels wrong or awkward, then keep your message short. In those cases, you may wish to say a little more in your written message. No matter how old we are, no matter how close or complicated the relationship, it hits hard. And it calls for some special words of comfort.
Note: These message examples alternate Mom and Dad but could work for either. You might choose to acknowledge this in a direct or indirect way in what you write. Pro Tip: For a surviving spouse who still has kids living it home, consider including them in your message. Another option would be to send a separate card to each of the kids.
It isn't necessary to write pages and pages when you are trying to convey your sympathy. Just remember that a short, well thought out message from the heart is better than a long one that rambles. The survivors are grieving, and they probably don't have the time or desire to read everything you're thinking. There is no need to go on about how much you'll miss the deceased. Make your message succinct but heartfelt.
When you write a sympathy message , make sure you don't step on anyone's toes. A Christian or Jewish family will appreciate knowing that you're praying for them.Apr 27, · Sympathy should also be distinguished from benevolence, which is a much more detached and impartial attitude. Compassion, or "suffering alongside" someone, is more engaged than simple empathy, and.