Understanding Empathy

By Jacki Haworth, Clinical Intern

Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and emotions of others. Empathy is having the ability to feel the pain of others. Empathy is different from sympathy which is much more common.

Sympathy is when you are able to share the emotions of another person. An example of sympathy is saying “ I am sorry for your loss” to a person who recently experienced a loss. Empathy is being able to understand the emotion that another person is going through usually from a place of having gone through those emotions before or by placing yourself in their shoes. Being able to create space so that a person experiencing those emotions can express those emotions and know that they are not alone.

Empathy is a complex skill that can take time and practice to develop. Empathy is a skill that can create connection between people because of the understanding element of empathy that sympathy does not have. Empathy can help create deeper connections between people and can help people not feel alone when they are going through a difficult time.

To find out more about empathy and skills to improve your empathy

Call Owens & Associates at (847)854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.