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Empathy Vs. Sympathy, A Short by Brene Brown 

In this short, Brene Brown beautifully describes the difference between empathy and sympathy. It seems that in general, many of us get these two confused.

Check out this video:

According to Brene Brown, empathy fuels connections, and sympathy drives disconnection. 

“Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable one.” – Dr. Brené Brown

Qualities of Empathy Are:

  1. Perspective Taking
  2. Staying out of judgment 
  3. Recognizing emotion in other people and then communicating that 

Empathy is feeling with people, not for them. 

Empathy is a sacred space. Engaging in empathy is joining someone in their dark, sacred place. Sympathy is feeling bad that they are in that dark space, but not joining them in it. 

An empathic response rarely begins with, “at least…”

Don’t try to silver line the negative. Don’t try to make things better in the face of difficult conversations. 

“The truth is, rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better, is true connection … Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection.” – Dr. Brené Brown


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