What is LF Contents:
|Helping a Hurting Friend: Help a Friend|
Understanding the Times and Knowing What to Do
Living Free Every Day®
Thoughts for Today
There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. With accurate empathy, we can correctly perceive the feelings of another person without being captured by that person's emotions. If we sympathize, we may actually feel what our friend feels, preventing us from being objective in a helping relationship since we are likely to be caught up in our hurting friend's emotions. The focus may become pity and prevent healing. Compassion and understanding assist the helper in perceiving the other person's feelings and experiences accurately.
Even if you have never experienced the same hurts as your friend, with accurate empathy you can help. A helping relationship starts with the development of empathy.
These thoughts were drawn from
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