Empathy vs. Sympathy

Empathy vs. Sympathy



People say things like ‘everything happens for a reason’ – no, no they don’t. or ‘God needed another angel’ or my favorite to hate ‘they are with the Lord now’ UGH! NOPE- they are not! Imposing your belief’s while someone is suffering is not only insensitive it can be very hurtful. Once a ‘friend’ said to me very shortly after my daughters death- “your not getting all sad again are you?” – I was in shock- what?! I found myself making her feel better like- no no I’m fine… wait? -this is wrong and quite frankly ended our relationship shortly after that conversation.
First, I understand you are uncomfortable with my sadness but secondly I do not care how you feel. Thirdly, just because I can smile (be fake) doesn’t mean I am ok. Last- let me be sad, let me just be, stop trying to cheer me up that is not what I want or need from you. Its easy for me to write this for others to ‘get it’ 2 years after the loss of my daughter but I didn’t know back then, what to say, I didn’t know how to feel, I couldn’t explain why people trying to cheer me up made me angry, I did not understand peoples want in me to be better. I think in sharing this video maybe others who need a clue could watch and hopefully ‘get it’.

Thanks to Dr Brené Brown for creating this PSA on the power of empathy.


** Thanks to a very thoughtful friend for sending it to me


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