Today’s advice, as you can tell from the title is about empathy versus sympathy. This is a really CRITICAL lesson for me to learn because, as I develop down my path with understanding socio-dynamics more clearly, as well as my spiritual path with meditating, I begin to notice a lot of the pains of the world.
But not only notice them. I can FEEL them.
When I enter into a room, I can generally feel the emotional state of ALL the different people in the room, not only in a PHYLOSOFICAL way but in a very PHYSIOLOGICAL way.
I can FEEL people’s emotions. This is something that started developing for me as my meditation practice deepened. With my understanding of socio-dynamics, I can see people’s insecurities, blockages and filters. I can see whether they’re inauthentic with themselves or with their passion and whether or not they are fully expressed.
If you are not able yet to truly master your emotions, you should absolutely watch my miniseries on “Mastering Your Emotions”, which start with part 1: Understanding Emotions.
Empathy vs Sympathy – Which One Should We Choose?
As I was developing this acute awareness to other people’s emotional state and personal blockages, I started to feel EMPATHY for these people. This was a great hindrance to my life. To understand why, first we need to know what the difference between sympathy and empathy is.
Empathy is to co-experience somebody else’s emotional pain or suffering.
Empathy is to put yourself in that person’s state and to join them where they are at. If someone is in deep sadness, to be empathetic to them, you would have to join them in sadness and be sad with them. To join someone in anxiety, you have to get anxious and be with them inside their anxiety.
Now, the difference between sympathy and empathy is that in sympathy, you do NOT join them in their emotional state.
You share wisdom and show that you care. You truly support them with compassion and with a true desire to be that support structure for them. But the critical difference is that you don’t share their vibration and emotionality.
It’s very important to understand this difference to thrive in your own life. Whether you are a coach or simply trying to be a good person and support the people around you, you need to know the CRITICAL difference between sympathy and empathy.
You need to AVOID empathy in most cases.
Now, I think empathy is a great thing to EXPERIMENT with. It’s a good thing to try out. Can you see from that person’s point of view? Absolutely!
But for someone like me who’s a coach, how beneficial to my life would it be if I took on the emotionality of all the people that I am trying to serve?
It would HINDER my ability to serve them and to give my true gift to the world.
Instead of shining the light, high vibration, happiness, certainty and confidence that I want to express, I would be spending all my time down in the depths with the people who I am trying to express it to.
I had to make this shift for myself (especially since my sensitivity is increasing) because I found that I was in a NEGATIVE state very often based on the people around me.
In their sadness and suffering, I felt so much compassion for them, so much empathy that I was walking around in a state of constant SUFFERING. But from that position I was crippling my ability to serve and to help.
So while I still maintain LOTS of sympathy, I share my wisdom. I share it from a position of truly hoping to bring them to a higher state. Or, to truly show them that somebody cares. But I do NOT take it on.
I think that’s REALLY important for you to learn too.
Again, I am not saying never to be empathetic. I would experiment with it to show that you have the capacity for it. But I would NOT stay in it too long, especially if you find yourself being a support structure for people in any kind of consistent basis.
I hope that clears up for you guys the difference between sympathy and empathy. I hope you get a sense of why aligning with sympathy is going to allow you to thrive in your own life.
You won’t be wasting your energy down in the doldrums of being empathetic with everybody. You can show sympathy, compassion, and support. It is MUCH more empowering for them, for you and for the world.
I hope that has been helpful. If you like the video, please like it and share comments below.
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To Your Success,