Sympathy is feeling sorry for another’s hurt or pain. Compassion is a gift that we give to others. To achieve successful social interaction, we must be able to attribute thoughts and mental states of ourselves as well as others. Sympathy is comprised of having feelings of concern for another without feeling the same emotion. Sympathy is a feeling of sadness or pity felt for another person. Mindfulness is a non-reactive awareness that cultivates a receptive mind to observe thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”. If another person experiences a loss, you might understand why that would hurt and offer your condolences. Those empathetic feelings can turn into compassion, though, when you take action. Consider each situation you encounter and the care you might render. Both sympathy and empathy have roots in the Greek word pathos, which means “suffering, feeling.”. Sympathy should also be distinguished from benevolence, which is a much more detached and impartial attitude. In order for us to have compassion for others, it is vital that we extend that awareness and care towards ourselves. The issue is whether we are willing to view the source of suffering or not. by Mindvalley So, if you want to be more compassionate rather than sympathetic, try becoming more mindful and practice meditation regularly. Or perhaps you put a donation in their cup or buy them a meal. He/she listened without judgment. Compassion, in this case, is asking the friend what he or she needs, or offering to do something to lessen the burden. Compassion allows you to decenter from your own experience of the world and enter into the other person’s experience and how they have come to see it with their eyes. “Real compassion includes wisdom and so it makes judgments of care and concern; it says some things are good, and some things are bad, and I will choose to act only on those things that are informed by wisdom and care.”. I am interested in learning, as a human endeavor distinct from “knowing” or “training.”. Most of us tend to use these words interchangeably. Meditation helps you access your own inner wise being who is present in your subconscious always, and will allow you to move from living a life for yourself to living a life for others. When there are more compassionate people, the world will be filled with kindness and will become a better place. However, the “com” in compassion involves another being. Empathetic people may cry with the person experiencing a loss. Although it might sound contradictory, the more tender we feel about our history, struggles, and suffering, the more likely we are to feel the vast interconnectedness of all people and all things. Deepen your well-being practices and develop techniques to teach others with a prestigious Chopra certification. Much research has been done on how meditation can increase compassion and one theory stands that mindfulness and meditation of any type increase awareness of your surroundings. Please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more information. Thanks to what researchers have deemed “mirror neurons,” empathy may arise automatically when you witness someone in pain. These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Empathetic people, however, understand others because they feel the experience themselves. It starts with practice. When you sympathize, you understand what they are feeling or why they may be feeling something. Let’s unpack this more to understand the difference between compassion, sympathy, and empathy. But we are called to love people and to show genuine compassion. We offer counseling services to individuals, families, and couples looking for guidance in their relationships, relief from things such as anxiety or depression… read more. Compassion is an uplevel of sympathy. But even though there is more effort in being compassionate, it doesn’t get the best of you. And you’re putting action into practice. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had,”  Join us on Twitter and our LinkedIn, and Facebook page. Where empathy puts you in the shoes of another person’s feelings or experiences, compassion spurs you to action. If so, then we are “off the hook” when we see people hurting around us who have experiences very different from our own? Empathetic people experience the feelings of those around them, whether they are human or animal. The trouble with the average lifestyle today is that it becomes so... You have to “thank” our modern, fast-paced lifestyles for much of the... We all know the familiar saying “Money cannot buy happiness”. You can feel empathy when you see someone happy, too. My students ask if certain acts are considered compassionate, because they believe their small acts aren’t “enough.” I ask them to consider how, oftentimes, the smallest act of compassion can have the biggest impact. A compassionate person demonstrates understanding by listening and then letting the other know that they get it, understand, and care.

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