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  1. #31
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    That is such a good point, I hate being stuck in the middle. I have been accused by friends and family of not being on their side because I have tried to explain the other persons position to them, mostly in my role as the peacemaker.

    If that happens though, I stop feeling sympathy for the person making those accusations to me, since their immaturity makes them unworthy of it.
    When I was a kid I was always the peace maker, and I always felt I was being pulled in two directions because I would sympathize with both sides. Now I just tell them to deal with it themselves, and I don't care. It's not that I don't care, I just refuse to be put in the middle of things* anymore.

    *obvisiouly if its a life and death situation, then I'll be more willing to get involved, but the pettier things I'd rather not.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  2. #32
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Sympathy means to feel the same as, while empathy means to know what the other is feeling, without feeling the same yourself.

    I was so sure you were wrong, but having looked up the definitions of both words in the dictionary, you are infact right.

    Which means that I have been confused about the two terms for a very very long time lol.

    Thanks victor.
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  3. #33
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    I was so sure you were wrong, but having looked up the definitions of both words in the dictionary, you are infact right.

    Which means that I have been confused about the two terms for a very very long time lol.

    Thanks victor.
    +1

    Odd though, coz those terms are commonly used the other way around.
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  4. #34
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    +1

    Odd though, coz those terms are commonly used the other way around.
    Yeah, I've always known them in common usage as the other way round too, lol good to get it right now.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

  5. #35
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    I was so sure you were wrong, but having looked up the definitions of both words in the dictionary, you are infact right.

    Which means that I have been confused about the two terms for a very very long time lol.

    Thanks victor.
    You are not alone. Most people confuse the two terms.

    What I find interesting is why there is so much universal confusion.

    Also I am personally interested in the teaching and learning of empathy and have invented a way of doing it on the internet.

    The only problem is that almost everyone thinks they are already empathic and have no need to learn to empathise.

    But of course what they are good at, and what they understand, is sympathy.

    And I am sure you can sympathise with that.

  6. #36
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    I agree with you that it is an art to learn how to not only feel another person's feelings, but be able to look beyond the pain and actually put it on 'hold' as such and still use that experience, in order to actually do something productively...whatever the right dictionary terms for it may be
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  7. #37
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Yeah... I'm not going to engage in the empathy vs sympathy arguement. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong however but my current understanding:

    Empathy - Emotionally connected to the other persons experiences based on previous experience.
    Empathy - Yet an old person who experienced pain a long time ago, can be empathetic without experiencing the pain. Therefore it's just deeper emotional understanding.

    Having said that it would make sense that empathy need not be about experiencing the pain, but just deeper identification of the event.

    Sympathy - Intellectual understanding and connection of the other person experience.
    Sympathy - Desire to offer comfort.

    Therefore empathy can be with or without sympathy.

    Based on those definitions:
    It's easy for me to feel sympathy within a person as long as I'm reasonably empathetic however it's much more difficult to express sympathy towards a person. That's the part that requires effort.

    Example: When I heard about a friend who had been cheated on, it was so far away from my experiences that I could only rationalize the pain that one might be experiencing if in their situation. The same applies to the whole 9/11 incident, I'm ashamed to say that I wasn't connected to the event as tragic as I understood it to be. This has caused me to think that I'm just a cold emotionless person.

    However when it comes to things like bullying or being social excluded, I know what it's like to be lonely therefore when I see other people in that situation. Empathy naturally rises within of me, and then comes along sympathy but usually I take a more proactive approach than just offering basic condolescences. This is usually where the whole "protector and helper of the underdog" mentality and feeling comes from.

    Lastly even if I haven't been in a situation itself. Watching someone in tears right in front of me, while I have never experienced the situation like the first scenario. It will usually trigger empathy, however it's empathy towards general pain rather than pain induced by X event. Which further triggers sympathy... and the desire to help but not knowing how to do so.

  8. #38
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    ok so if most of the world, including myself, confuses those words why not just officially switch the definitions? problem solved.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    I agree with you that it is an art to learn how to not only feel another person's feelings, but be able to look beyond the pain and actually put it on 'hold' as such and still use that experience, in order to actually do something productively...whatever the right dictionary terms for it may be
    I would emphasize that you do not feel the other person's feelings when you are empathizing.

    You only feel the other's feeling when you are sympathizing.

    However although you don't feel the other's feelings, you do know what they are feeling, and very important, you usually let them know you know what they are feeling. So they know they are being understood.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    ok so if most of the world, including myself, confuses those words why not just officially switch the definitions? problem solved.
    This would certainly be convenient. But we would have to change many languages, right back to the Ancient Greeks who first made the distinction between sympathy and empathy.

    We perceive by making distinctions. And so the age-old distinction between sympathy and empathy enables us to see.

    So distinctions are more than just conveniences, they are the way we see.

    And the more distinctions, the more we see.

    And sharp distinctions are like a good pair of spectacles, they bring the world crisply into focus.

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