What’s the difference between empathy and sympathy?
In this short clip produced by the RSA, Brené Brown talks about the power of empathy as fuel for connection versus sympathy which drives disconnection.
This clip highlights that in the face of difficult situations, we sometimes try to make things better by ‘silver lining’ them. At other times, we tend towards rescuing people out of their suffering because we can’t bear it ourselves.
But… what actually makes things better is not silver lining it or rescuing the other – it’s connection.
In therapy, we learn connection via the empathic therapeutic relationship; this is then internalised and we are able to connect with, and soothe the parts of ourselves that are suffering.