Dr Brené Brown gave a poignant talk on the difference between sympathy and empathy. But when artist Katy Davis added animation, the message came to life in a clear and simple way.
Empathy is a vulnerable choice, because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.
Empathy vs. Sympathy
- Empathy fuels connection
- Sympathy drives disconnection
4 qualities of empathy
- Perspective taking
- Staying out of judgement
- Recognizes emotion in other people and then communicating that
- Feeling with people
Rarely can a response make something better; what makes something better is connection.
Sympathetic responses generally try to create a silver lining around the situation, and often begin with “at least.”
You do not find empathic responses beginning with “at least.” Empathic responses generally sound more like this:
“I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m just so glad you told me”
The audio was from Dr. Brown’s talk at the The Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts. (The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (the RSA) is an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.)