We Need Less Sympathy and More Empathy
I am amazed at the way people seem to don’t care about what others are going through or dealing with in life unless it happens to them or affects them in some way. If it’s not affecting them, they don’t give a HOOT! I believe this is another one of the many problems we have in our society and in the world in general. I am not saying that we are to take on other people’s personal issues (I would never say that), or to turn a blind eye if their personal issue is affecting their lively hood. But I am saying when we are told of an issue we should, at least, take a moment to put ourselves in that person’s shoes and show some form of understanding of what they may be experiencing, and acknowledge, the fact that they are going through something. We see it every day when a child or spouse or even a friend comes to us with a problem and we are too busy at that moment to listen. We say things like “I am busy right now, can we talk about it later?” only to find out later was forgotten about and therefore never arrived.
I am not saying we can save all those that feel lost, or who are going through a tough time, but we should be able to provide them with “real” “sincere” understanding and possibly hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe you are strong and can handle your own problems without the help or concern from others. Yet, not everyone is that strong. When people share their negative experiences with others, it is not sympathy they want; it’s empathy. They want to know that when they are speaking to you, that you are really listening and hearing what they are saying, that you are placing yourself in their shoes to get a better understanding of how they may be feeling, and maybe provide some form of relief or helpful advice.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of hearing news reports about a young person going through or dealing with various problems who felt like no one understood what they were going through, and they end up taking the matter into their own hands, either by hurting themselves or hurting others. Let’s do better by one another by making a point to show some empathy toward how others are feeling. We are all here to be of help to one another. What people don’t want is our sympathy…what they want is to be understood, so let’s try to be more understanding of what others are going through. It could help someone in ways we can never imagine.