Empathy versus Sympathy

Here is a short little film that explains the difference between Empathy and Sympathy, a very important distinction to make when helping a friend or loved one who may be grieving.


What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? Quick fixes don’t work. Especially when it comes to dealing with a loved one or friend who is grieving. Reminding them to count their blessings may sound good on paper, but I can assure you they are well aware! Consider taking 2 minutes to watch this beautifully animated RSA Short, where Dr Brené Brown reminds us of the difference between empathy and sympathy.

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About edcol52

The Infinite Fountain of Love and Loss flows unceasingly into the pool of memory and sorrow. I created this blog in response to the most dreadful tragedy every parent fears, the death of a child, our 24 year old son, Jake. We are now on an unimagined journey along this road of grief and recovery. If you can find some comfort within these pages, than I will have succeeded in some small measure.
This entry was posted in Coping, Friends and Family, Healing, Jake Colman, Support, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Empathy versus Sympathy

  1. Anne Rodman says:

    Wonderful, wonderful short film, which gets right to the core of the matter. Thank you for posting, Ed.

  2. Cathy says:

    You write and I read every word. I never met your son, but I wish I had. It is obvious this world will never be the same. He is missing and I am so sorry. If only sorry did anything.

    You mention the men – here is a man, writing of the sudden, tragic loss of his daughter, Margot June. This page, in the Margot portion, links to many of his posts about living in the realities of her death. Unbearable realities.


    Grief is my native language. Not because I want it to be – and who would ever want that? But it is.

    I grieve with you, too. Jake Colman’s life matters even to strangers in the dark in Missouri.

    Thinking of you, of your son,


    (The blog above is not mine; only, sadly, one of many places where excellent writers are pouring out their souls to encompass a grief that won’t be spanned.)

    • edcol52 says:

      Cathy- Thank you for finding me and visiting. Thank you, also for your kind words. Yes, I think you would have liked Jake. Everyone he met did. I went to the blog you provided a link for, and it is both heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. Kind of like each day I can get out of bed. His story is so different, yet we write about the same things. It is so gratifying to me, and to the memory and spirit of Jake, that his life matters in some way to you, people neither he nor I ever met. I am curious as to how you found me, and what your story is; clearly we speak the same language. If you want to share it here, there is a page called “Share Your Story” at the top of the page in the menu bar, that would be wonderful. If you want to share it privately, there is a link in the menu bar where you can email me. Anything you say will be kept in strictest confidence, I promise. In any case, thanks for the connection. As I said, we cannot do this alone

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