Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How is Empathy different from Sympathy - Dr. Brene Brown


  1. Different from, not different "than."

  2. The way empathy is defined here seems different from the way the term is generally used. Is this a new "teich" by the presenter or does it reflect an industry-standard distinction between sympathy and empathy among psychologists?

    Also, even though the video seems to be asserting that empathy as defined here is better than sympathy, I remained unconvinced. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


    Different From vs. Different Than

    Different from is the standard phrase. Most scholars obstinately avoid different than, especially in simple comparisons, such as You are different from me.

    However, some of the experts are more tolerant of different than, pointing out that the phrase has been in use for centuries, and has been written by numerous accomplished authors. These more-liberal linguists point out that a sentence like It is no different for men than it is for women is clear and concise, and rewriting it with different from could result in a clumsy clunker like It is no different for men from the way it is for women.

    They may have a point, but many fine writers have had no problem steering clear of different than for their entire careers.

  4. excellent video, and explanation of the fine line of divide between these two modes of "caring".

    All too often we convince ourselves that our sympathies are so real and grand... and conveniently side step the BURNING need for empathy.

    Believe it or not, it can even be done, to a significant degree, in blog exchanges!

  5. The 2 approaches, I think, are the 2 Leshonos in the Gemara to be Mefaresh the Passuk Proverbs 12,25. See Rashi in Mishlei there.

    I think it depends what the Daagah is. If it is a lost cause in which the person simply needs to come to terms, then if you give him something bigger than he lost, you have consoled him. But if it is an ongoing issue, it needs to be recognized and dealt with so sweeping it under the rug won't help and you need to be Noseh Be'ol.


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