FYI: Empathy And Sympathy Are Totally Different - Deepstash
How to Run an Effective Meeting

Learn more about communication with this collection

How to set clear objectives

How to follow up after a meeting

How to manage time effectively

How to Run an Effective Meeting

Discover 51 similar ideas in

It takes just

7 mins to read

The Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy

The Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy

One is better than the other in most situations.

Thought they were the same? You're not alone (an empathetic reaction) and sorry if this is jarring information for you (a sympathetic reaction). But the two emotions are totally different.

They feel different, when a person has empathy, they resonate with how the other person feels as a fellow and equal human being. Sympathy is pity. When someone pities someone else, they are looking down on that person.


566 reads

Situational Usage

Situational Usage

Empathy and sympathy each have their own set of circumstances where one might be the best emotional reaction over the other. Sometimes, you might want to try to relate to someone on their level—and if you've ever been in their position, that may even come naturally. Other times, you might not be able to relate to what they're going through, especially in situations where it might not be appropriate or possible, like losing a parent, for example.


347 reads

Empathy vs. Sympathy, Explained

Empathy vs. Sympathy, Explained

The biggest difference between empathy and sympathy is how much you are trying to connect with someone on a personal level in your interaction. Empathy is when you really listen for a feeling and try to relate to the feeling for a moment and you convey an understanding of that person’s feelings, whereas sympathy is focused on feeling sorry for someone and potentially even pitying them. You’re not working to understand how they feel; you’re putting yourself at a distance.



336 reads

What It *Actually* Means To Be An Empath

What It *Actually* Means To Be An Empath

One example she gives to illustrate this difference: If a sympathetic person sees a houseless person, they might give that person change and go on about their day. An empathetic person, however, would spend time with a houseless person, maybe taking them for a meal, and attempt to connect with them on a human level.


314 reads

To break down the concept of empathy vs. sympathy further:

To break down the concept of empathy vs. sympathy further:

When you're expressing empathy...

  • You try to connect with the person.
  • You offer validating statements that let the person know it's okay to have these emotions.
  • You might respond with phrases like, "I get it. You have every right to feel that way."

When you're expressing sympathy...

  • You can't necessarily relate to the person's situation.
  • Your statements put a little bit of distance between you and that person.
  • You might respond with phrases like, "I feel sorry for you" or "You poor thing."


249 reads

When should you say you have empathy for someone?

When should you say you have empathy for someone?

The short answer? Almost always. By trying to relate your friend's feelings, you're not only validating them and their reaction; you're also letting them know that the emotional reaction they're having is okay—it's human. The key here is that the other person should then act on their feelings in an emotionally intelligent or constructive way. Empathy does not give them a free pass to respond however they may want.


235 reads

What Is Emotional Sobriety?

What Is Emotional Sobriety?

Empathy, helps a person feel less alone in their plight and feel connected and close to someone. This can help them feel that they’re more apt or able to solve their own problems.

You may not have gone through this person's exact situation, but you can tap into other moments in your life where you've experienced that emotion. Think more about relating to the feeling than trying to understand the situation itself. Feelings are universal...I know exactly how it feels to feel left out. I know exactly how it feels to feel put down. Trying to understand the feeling—that’s what you’re going for.


187 reads

When should you say you have sympathy for someone?

When should you say you have sympathy for someone?

When you think you might be leaning toward sympathy or pity with a loved one, remember to relate to them through the feeling they're expressing. When was the last time you felt such a way, and what do you wish someone might've told you during that time? That can help guide you toward an empathetic response in appropriate situations.


207 reads

How does compassion play into all this?

How does compassion play into all this?

Compassion is the basis of both sympathy and empathy. Leonard likes to think of compassion as "trying to understand and feeling for another person," which means it's a useful tool in both sympathetic and empathetic reactions. Sometimes, tapping into your compassionate side can help you bridge the gap between yourself and someone else. And any time you're trying your best to understand another person, says Leonard, you're doing something right.


195 reads

Compassion Quote

Compassion Quote

“Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering.”

-Dalai Lama


292 reads



Introverted Extravert


The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates