What Is the Difference Between Empathy and Compassion?

What Is the Difference Between Empathy and Compassion?

Although they are frequently used interchangeably, empathy and compassion have different meanings.

To be compassionate implies having sympathy and care for the suffering of others and wanting to walk in their shoes.

While empathy is more closely associated with comprehending and empathizing with another person’s emotions.

Let’s examine them both:


To feel compassion for someone is to sympathize with and care about that person or object (i.e. a pet or an endangered species).

The desire to improve the life of the other person, the willingness to suffer alongside them, and the capacity to hold space for them during trying times are the driving forces behind compassion.

Being compassionate entails showing support in speech, mind, and deed.

Offering words of comfort is one way to express compassion verbally.

Have you ever been to a funeral and given condolences along with supportive remarks? So that’s compassion.

Compassionate listening is another way to demonstrate compassion for ideas.

A method to offer support and inspiration at a trying time is to let someone know they are on your mind and in your prayers.

An act of compassion is letting someone know you are thinking of them, praying for them, and holding space for them so you can listen and support them.

Compassion in action is demonstrated by taking care of others’ bodily needs while they are going through a difficult time in life.

An illustration of compassion in action might be picking up your friend’s child from school while she visits her husband in the hospital.

Compassion can be seen in action in a variety of situations, including caring for the home, preparing meals, making phone calls, and assisting with paperwork.


When you have empathy with someone, you are able to feel what they are going through either because of a similar experience you have had in the past or because of your own superhuman ability to empathize.

Empathy is demonstrated when one person shares their ideas and feelings with another.

Another is being aware of how another person is feeling. Empathy is the ability to comprehend, identify with, or relate to the emotions of another person.

How to Have Greater Compassion

Starting with yourself is one of the best methods to learn compassion:

• When your inner critic wants to take control, think kinder, gentler thoughts.

• Be more compassionate starting with yourself.

•  and as the latest post says remind yourself that you deserve self-compassion, and leave the guilt outside.

Take on extending that compassion to others once it becomes a new habit for you to have.

You may and should only give compassion to others once you have filled your own compassion cup.

How to Increase Empathy

Here are a few techniques to improve your empathy if you discover that you are not the most empathic person in the world and would like to:

  • • Listen – one of the best ways to become more empathic is to practice listening without passing judgment, without the need to answer, and without thinking of a million other things.
  • • Relate: Make an effort to imagine what it could be like to be that person or go through that experience.
  • You can be more empathic by trying to put yourself in another person’s shoes before judging
  • Be Real — present yourself as unpolished and open, and you’ll be on your road to developing greater empathy. Dropping your guard makes it possible for someone else to enter.


These are the distinctions between empathy and compassion and how to practice each quality more throughout the day.


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