Empathy vs. Sympathy (I Make This Mistake All the Time!)

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Has someone ever confided in you or told you how sad / conflicted / stressed / angry etc. they felt only to hear you say something like... "At least, you have a job" or "At least, you're doing well in something else. Life's not all bad". Well, I do it all the time and all this while I thought it was a way to make people feel better by reminding them to look on the bright side but I guess I was wrong! 

It made perfect sense to me when Dr Brené Brown said, "Rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection." 

How true is that? The last time I had a bad day I reached out to someone I thought could relate to and yes, it was the fact that we had a connection that made me feel a lot better. I'm so grateful for these seemingly small important lessons.

4 comments:

Gary said...

Good afternoon Shahirah,

I think this is a mistake that we all make far too often. I am glad that you told us that you do too ;)

cafiena said...

Thank you so much for sharing.
This is very helpful.

LaiLa said...

SubhanaAllah, when you shared this with me the first time and after watching it I feeling of worry hit me, I suddenly realice that I may have been doing that all the time someone needed my help, believing as you did, that I was doing the right thing. But hey, this opened my eyes, and made me realice that the true help is in the connection you establich with someone, that bridge you build to reach them.

Thanks again for all what you did.

xoxo

Islet Zairol said...

Oh..it's so true...

Totally agree...