Dr Brené Brown presents a beautiful and insightful difference between empathy and its more selfish cousin, sympathy. I’ve always thought of sympathy having positive connotations, but when she explains that sympathetic statements often come from a place of judgment or self-righteousness it totally made sense. She says that so many sympathetic statements begin with “at least.” It immediately cuts a person’s problem down and discourages that person from experiencing or sharing their full emotions. Empathy, rather, forces us to be at our most vulnerable. We must bring ourselves down to the lowest point and expose our weaknesses and faults with others, thus deepening our connections with them.
It’s a short and sweet video that’s certainly worth your time today.