Empathy is showing compassion. When someone is going through a challenge, you can show empathy by saying, “I am sorry you are going through this. It must be difficult for you. How are you doing?” This lets the person feel seen and supported. No further action is required unless the person asks for help and you feel good about helping.
Sympathy, on the other hand, is like jumping into the swamp with the person. You want to know all the details. You start to take on the vibration of the person’s challenge. You then tell others about this person’s challenge. You feel dragged down by it. Sympathy doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help the other person. It just drags you down.
A woman in Woman Energy™ shows empathy. A woman in Mother Energy™ - Intrusive would want to jump in to solve the person’s challenge. A woman in Mother Energy™ - Taken Advantage of would feel overwhelmed that she is going to be required to solve the challenge and a woman deeply ingrained in Daughter Energy™, whether Entitled or Self-Abusive, wouldn’t even care about this person.
Empathy benefits you by showing compassion, which is always uplifting to your soul and it benefits the other person. This is great self-care.
Excerpt from The Thriving Woman’s Guide to Setting Boundaries