Top Definition
Sympathy differs from empathy in the following ways:

With sympathy, the helper:

Helps within his/her comfort zone
Makes a cursory judgment of the person's needs
Often will get upset when it is explicitly revealed that their help is misguided or unwelcome (after a long buildup)
May feel as if he or she is the 'mentor', or the 'superior'

With empathy, the helper:

Relates to the person on a personal basis
Forms a deep emotional bond with the person on many levels
Learns to see the situation from the person's perspective
Sees the person more as an equal, and 'walks in their shoes'.

The two should not be confused. More often than not, sympathy is the form of 'caring' that is given to those in need, and can be quite misguided, especially in dire situations that most are not used to dealing with. Most therapists, teachers, and unfortunately parents will often give this kind of 'help' to a troubled or very upset person. However, if they were willing to step outside their comfort zones, they could learn how to relate effectively.

Despite these huge differences, many indeed DO confuse the two.
I don't want your sympathy, I've had just about enough of it.
#empathy #pity #therapist #parent #intention
by Shadow Creator November 11, 2007
A word in the dictionary which falls alphabetically between the words shit and syphillis.
You want sympathy? It's in the dictionary between shit and syphillis!
#compassion #care #rue #sorry #poor
by B.J. Morley April 03, 2007
1. to care about someone else's feelings when they experience sadness or negative emotion due to an unfortunate event or situation.

2. two or more people have a goal, interest or opinion in common.

3. to feel support for a person or thing.
1. "I am sorry for your loss."

2. "I would like to extend my sympathy to the family."
#sympathy #sympathetic #sympathize #feel sorry for #sorry
by cavanobrien August 06, 2014
a word between shit and syphilis
her eye was burning when i blasted it with jizm, now she wants some sympathy.
by DR. NastyNuts April 14, 2004
Someone who has a mental age of 2 and sticks his teeth out permanently to show he needs sympathy
someone i used to know
by bbvx November 12, 2003
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