#5127 – Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
- The Nonduality Highlights - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - Edited by Jerry Katz
The material for today's issue was provided by long time reader Valerie Cooper.
Brené Brown on Vulnerability, Human Connection, and the Difference Between
Empathy and Sympathy, Animated
by Maria Popova
In 2010, shame and empathy researcher Dr. Brené Brown gave us the wonderful and
culturally necessary The Gifts of Imperfection, exploring the uncomfortable
vulnerability and self-acceptance required in order to truly connect with
others. In this charming short film, the folks of the Royal Society for the
encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, better-known as the RSA, put a
twist on their usual live-illustrated gems and take a page out of the TED-Ed
book, teaming up with animator Katy Davis to bring to life an excerpt from
Brown’s longer talk on the power of vulnerability and the difference between
empathy and sympathy, based on her most recent self-helpy-sounding but
enormously insightful and rigorously researched book, Daring Greatly: How the
Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
"The truth is, rarely can a response make something better — what makes something
better is connection."
And that connection often requires mutual vulnerability. Brown writes in Daring
Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it
always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions
and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness
is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out
of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing
that gives purpose and meaning to living.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy,
accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or
deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
Watch Brown’s full RSA talk below: