Empathy vs Compassion
It is for sure that empathy and compassion are two words that are believed to give the same meaning. Strictly speaking they differ in their meaning. Although both empathy and compassion are two terms that indicate two kinds of feelings, they show some difference in the nature of feeling.
Compassion is a type of feeling where you tend to feel for the person concerned. You strongly feel sorry for the state of a person without attempting to know what is there in his or her mind. Without even understanding the intensity of his or her problem or predicament you simply feel sorry for a person.
Empathy on the other hand is a higher plane of emotive behavior. It involves some sort of imagination of the person’s predicament or problem coupled with strong feeling for him or her. Imagination of similar situations is the hallmark of empathy. Such an imagination lays the foundation for gaining empathy for someone.
You tend to share the feeling with someone in the case of empathy. On the other hand compassion does not involve sharing of feeling with someone. It is thus very important to know that in the case of empathy you would step into the shoes of the sufferer as far as experiencing the impact of the suffering is concerned. You become one with him after understanding his or her feelings.
On the other hand you do not step into the shoes of the sufferer when you show compassion to him or her. Without understanding his or her feeling you would simply feel sorry for him or her. This of course is the only and the main difference between empathy and compassion. This makes it easy for one to have compassion towards another than empathy. Empathy is a complex kind of feeling. It needs basic understanding of the emotional standards of human beings.
Compassion - sympathetic feeling towards another without attempting to know their feelings or even understanding the intensity of their sufferings
Empathy – trying to imagine another’s problem coupled with strong feeling for that person, understand his problem and share the feeling
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