Empathy, How Much and How Shown

Empathy, How Much and How Shown

Empathy is a human trait and to NEED empathy is a human trait, so all of us should have some and all need NOT BE ASHAMED for needing empathy. Whether you call it empathy or sympathy is just a linguistic choice and most people mean the same thing. If we are wise enough we know that we need caring people and we need to be a caring person.

You don't have to take on a person's burden to sit with them a moment while they rest and recover and maybe lighten their load in some way. Just being with them in spirit helps a lot. Human beings have a need for togetherness and to share their experiences and therefore, just one other person can make a big difference

Here on this website it has amazed me how people will meet each other and support each other and the difference it makes. When a person has a problem, the members will quickly circle the wagons and show concern and pay attention. It is amazing that some share very critical moments and only their chat room friends are there with them. Also, we all learn more about the process of how to express our concern and that our main job is to validate the person; not to teach, or minimize the problem, and not to judge in any way.

So, if anyone has a problem, take notice, listen and learn and just SHARE THE MOMENT before you do anything else. After that is done you may offer some information or assistance depending on the situation.

Just remember, when a person is down; don't kick them. You are free to walk on or to stay with them, but be very careful not to make them feel worse. Please. Do read the picture at the top, it will help to understand more about empathy.

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. vonMichael

    I think Rose I can read your good will behind your lines. Empathy & sympathy are a pair of shoes in the colour brown and black. I am sure you accept the difference between like and dislike. Humans need both to live. Well you can say I like a meal or I dislike it, so you can also say this about people.
    And as far it concerns problems, real problems I mean, you can not discuss it in a chat nor even with members of your own family. No, fight for yourself that’s the only solution that is left.

    I do not want to open my little box where I keep my knowledge of ego psychology in cos that would run to wide. Sorry.

      1. rose4him

        When I first read this I thought am I going crazy I did not write this, and then I see many address you as Rose and it is confusing

  2. starlette

    Rose. Empathy and sympathy have different meanings…..to empathise with someone means you understand and share their feelings…maybe you have been through a similar situation as them….on the other hand sympathy means you feel sorry for them and their misfortune….sorry Rose I do not see empathy as a human trait…I think it is born out of human expierence…. It can be used to good advantage to be able to put yourself in someone else’s position..walk a mile in my shoes as the saying goes….the words of comfort that you offer are heart felt and hopefully help the individual to some extent…some chatters may choose to share their problems with everyone,and if this helps all is good…..myself I have a few close friends on the site who I would open up to,male and female…..indeed I have been on here more than once in the wee small hours when I have had things on my mind….my saviour has been Patrick….DONT see much of him because of the time difference……but whether he realises it or not he helped me greatly,made me laugh and put my ” problem ” into perspective….and of course if you are not tired and sleep won’t come…then regardless of the time there is always someone to chat with…x

    1. roseinbloom Post author

      Starlette. I just want people to use the word they already know to be a little kinder. A whole lot of people do not even know the word “empathy”. Seniors on the internet are among the educated elite, really. They may be self educated mostly.
      I also find patrick gifted in helping others. He seems to always know the right thing to say to people.

      1. roseinbloom Post author

        Starlette, I certainly hope empathy is a human trait, if not what binds us together as humans. Aggression is also a human trait and when people make small groups instead of the large group; trouble starts. We are here on this site to share together, and get and give support. We all need it all the time, I believe.
        Human experience does play a large part in empathy and I hope to get better, not bitter.

      2. starlette

        Rose whilst I would hate to appear pendantic, l think it is quite important that the meaning of words are explained…..this could or could not be of value to other chatters….a trait is a genetic characteristic….empathy in my reckoning is something that comes from within…..born of your own life experiences….. Not everyone possesses this……I know that you yourself like to get down to the nitty gritty of blogs….delve deeper maybe a better way of putting it……this is no bad thing…..but I know you would ask for a fuller exlaination of anything you didn’t understand as would I…..so for the sake of everyone to be able to understand your blog I have added my twopenth worth…..Star..x

        1. roseinbloom Post author

          Starlette, I am grateful that you have spoken, and I will just leave it at the more people hear the better, but the real issue is caring and needing care.
          They have cracked the genetic code but I don’t know where to find the results.
          We probably need a continuing discussion on this. I don’t know how the forums are supposed to work.

    2. kath

      …I agree and in addition; one doesn ‘t need the same experience to feel empathy…just imagine yourself in another ‘s shoes….honestly.

  3. lani36

    Hi Bloom, your blogs are always interesting ,but i,m afraid, I have to agree with Star Empathy and sympathy are different responses , Empathy to me means really feeling that other persons pain ,and sympathy is an expressed sorrow, however ,
    both are a neccesary part of a persons compassion….We all need both understanding Empathy at certain times and when deep sympathy is required that also must come from the heart,as it does with most of our chatters, when their is a serious calamity with our friends here…… I feel also that one does not have to walk in their shoes, but to walk close beside them, as they don,t belong to you , as a wise man once told me …..xxx.

    1. roseinbloom Post author

      lani, I appreciate your comment above and thank you. I wrote the blog to give people a kinder inclination. Some won’t get it but they may at least “get” say nothing or say something nice. Our chat rooms have been volatile lately. I think we know that. I am learning all the time about validating and not contradicting. I have learned a lot from you. I am glad that you were the first friend I had here.

  4. lani36

    Dear Bloom, it,s always my pleasure to see your smiling face in the lobby and to hear all the sensible and informative discussions you place on the Blogs…….I think we all learn a little from each other. and it is a delight to be your chatter friend …
    (((hugs))))xxx. Lani .

  5. rose4him

    Empathy means I can have compassion for what you are going through because you have been there, Sympathy means I haven’t. Thank you however, being a an RN for over 35 years the difference between these two I fully understand and have used at different times when appropriate to do so.

    Both empathy and sympathy are feelings concerning other people. Sympathy is literally ‘feeling with’ – compassion for or commiseration with another person. Empathy, by contrast, is literally ‘feeling into’ – the ability to project one’s personality into another person and more fully understand that person. Sympathy derives from Latin and Greek words meaning ‘having a fellow feeling’. The term empathy originated in psychology (translation of a German term, c. 1903) and has now come to mean the ability to imagine or project oneself into another person’s position and experience all the sensations involved in that position. You feel empathy when you’ve “been there”, and sympathy when you haven’t. Examples: We felt sympathy for the team members who tried hard but were not appreciated. / We felt empathy for children with asthma because their parents won’t remove pets from the household.

  6. roseinbloom Post author

    Rose4. I have graduate degrees in counseling and education that, I hope enables me to talk in a way that people can benefit. Those who know the difference, only need to be refocused, but none of us practice enough sympathy or empathy in the right way. I know I learn all the time.