Colour Theory_46

empathy

fuels connection

sympathy

drives disconnection

~

Brené Brown

~

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11 thoughts on “Colour Theory_46

  1. I’m not entirely in agreement with the video. No doubt empathy goes further than sympathy but sometimes sympathy is all we can offer. For example, the recent terrorist attacks on Paris. I can only sympathise. I have never experienced such a terrible thing so I can’t empathise and I can’t fully imagine what that must have felt like. That’s why I don’t like ‘Je suis Paris’. In fact I think that minimalises the extent of trauma that those poor people went through. I can only empathise with pain in general.

    • no easy solutions
      ~
      I feel it is
      only
      a starting point
      ~
      nothing
      we ever do or say
      could encapsulate
      another’s pain
      ~
      sometimes
      it feels pointless saying
      my condolences
      after someone’s loss
      ~
      but really
      what can I say
      or do ?
      ~
      but
      maybe
      being present
      and
      listening
      in their sacred space
      is all
      I really can do …

  2. The video is humorous and thought provoking. I also feel we need more descriptive language to express human relationship. We tend to lump an enormous range of human response and reaction under the heading of empathy. Rene Brown’s attempts to do this is a good beginning for dialogue on the subject… but as Ashely illustrates in her comment….there’s a great deal more to examine.

  3. This is profoundly excellent – made my day!!! I always like to hear what Brené Brown has to say, such a deep intelligent woman. And this little animated video makes the point humorously and perfectly. I think there is a lot of sympathy expressed in blogging in various ways, which is sad, but inevitable. But every now and then empathy is revealed from one person to another, and that’s very special, considering we are talking in text. Yes, empathy is what we need more of! :o)

  4. I think this is a good, quick summary of ms brown’s idea … but, i think if you watch more of her talks (i.e. TED talk), you get a better sense of what she’s saying. I agree that it can be tough to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy … but, i think that empathy is, in many ways, the better option. sympathy can often be a platitude – ‘oh, i’m so sorry .. i know how you feel.’ .. but then the feeling can be easily dismissed, whereas empathy forces us to think deeper, harder … trying to imagine … we still don’t want to say ‘oh, i know how you must feel’, because that’s always a dumb thing to say… but, it seems to me that empathy is meant to make us think about something on more than just a surface level… empathy says ‘you know, i may not know what going through X is like’ … but, as I begin to think about it on a deeper level, when i link my humanity to yours, when i begin to think about your pain on a more personal level, i think that makes us better.’

    i think in this busy world, where we are so involved in our own little bubbles, sympathy seems the appropriate, quick response, without every really forcing us outside our bubble. empathy requires us to step out of the bubble, to step into someone else’s bubble – shared connections, as ms brown calls them… it enriches us.

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