Sympathy and empathy are separate terms with some very important distinctions. Sympathy and empathy are both acts of feelings.
Sympathizing with someone is probably one of the most challenging tasks. Once we begin examining ourselves, we will experience catharsis many, many times. You become at a loss for words and are unable to express your feelings because you fear saying something, might further inflate the situation or the choice of words might create an awkward situation. Furthermore, if the person in trouble expects you to be there for them, it becomes even more of a necessity to sympathize and try to ease out their pain.
One of the most memorable events of my life was to sympathize with my best friend when her mother passed away. I’ve known their family for the past 10 years and I was the most close to them. It gets even harder when you are supposed to sympathize with someone who expects you to be there in there rough times. She was a mother figure even for me. I saw my friends’ mothers’ life pass away in front of me. She was a diabetic patient and then she got cancer as well. It was traumatic for the family, because they all knew she would die eventually, and they were counting days till her death. Finally the day came and she left them all as well as me. I was in a shock and at a loss of words which often happens in such events. I decided on a simple strategy, just be there for my friend and her family. No words were required because they knew I felt for their loss. I tried my best to be always available for them; I helped in the ceremonial ceremony, I was there when they were crying and I was there to cheer them up. I helped when they were gathering all of the demised belongings and I was with them to tell them that their mother looked at them from up above and that she was proud of them.
I realized that words were nothing as compared to our actions and that nothing needs to be said when your feelings are so strong. The other person, whoever it may be, can put complete faith in you because they know you are true and honest. What could be better than such a feeling? I could not replace their mother of course, but I was sure that I would always be a better part of their family. i tried my level best to sympathize her. At times the empathy is not felt because you have not been through the situation. You know that the other person is in pain but you have no idea about the intensity and even the severity of the problem. Since you have not been thought it, and since you are not able to judge the amount and strength of the pain, often words do not do justice to the one in pain which creates an awkward gap. But a person has to compromise with the situation.
I was able to empathize with them because I myself was able to understand her condition as this kind of tough time came on me also on the death of my dear aunt and had spent such a long time with her. I knew she was a great person and I felt her loss to. She would guide me through my problems, rejoice on my achievements and encourage me in times of despair. So, in this way I could feel my friends’ loss- the entire family’s loss – and I knew that no one could make a difference with their words or actions. Only time can heal the pain caused. And in this situation I was not able to avoid the reality. But I tried my best to be there for them and I think this made a difference.
The great thing about our conversation was that she was listening to me very carefully. I was the only best and nearer friend of her. The great part of our conversation came when I were trying to sympathize her. I was not able to empathize her because I have never met such kind of incident in my life and I do not have any such experience. The most critical moment which came on me was when she said me that you just can not be able to judge my feelings and condition. At that time I was really confused that what to say now to console her. Her Self Disclosure, detailing her childhood with her mother was very sad indeed. But anyways I appreciate her mindful listening and I consider it the great part of our conversation because the thing which she said was logically rite.