Sympathy, Empathy, Compassion

By Susan David

Do you know the differences between sympathy, empathy, and compassion?

The psychological hallmark of empathy is perspective-taking, the capacity to imagine or take the perspective of another person. When you are empathizing, you imagine how someone may feel even though you can’t experience their exact emotion.

While these statements are not meant to be used as a script, they can help us cultivate an awareness of how best to support those around us.

When we move from sympathy to empathy to compassion, we bring action to our intention. Instead of standing across from the person in pain, we stand with them.

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