The emotion of sympathy was first noted by the ancient Greeks and Romans in the 4th century BC, who used it to describe feelings of compassion for someone they thought was suffering. We all experience sympathy at times, whether we’re watching a scene of tragedy unfolding or finding ourselves in tears at the news that someone we know has passed away. However, in today’s world where most people do not have direct contact with those they sympathize with, it is important to understand how to use sympathy as a tool if you want to build a business around building empathy with customers. To understand what is going on inside people when they are affected by something, you need to understand the emotions involved and how those emotions change over time. You also need to be able to decipher which emotions are (or should be) appropriate for your product and which ones you should avoid using.
2. What is Sympathy?
Sympathy is a feeling of pity, regret, or sorrow for someone who has experienced adversity. The word “sympathy” is derived from the Latin words “sympathia”. There are many forms of sympathy; but all of them have a common element: when people feel sorry for someone because of his/her suffering or distress. Moreover: sympathy can be used in the same way to talk about the emotions felt by others. In this text, I will focus on the latter meaning; since it seems to be so widely understood: Sympathy means “a feeling of pity, regret, or sorrow for someone who has experienced adversity”.
3. Examples of Sympathy
You probably already know this, but how many times have you seen a video of someone who is facing some hardship and the camera zooms in to show a distressed look on the person’s face? It is so common that it is almost expected. Couldn’t we do better than that? For example, could we make our products more empathetic as well? After all, empathy is not just about feelings. It is also about listening. To know if you have sympathy for a particular person you must listen to what they have to say and figure out what they need.
4. Types of Sympathy
Chances are that you’ve been on the receiving end of some form of sympathy in your life. You may have sneered at a friend or family member who has suffered a tragedy or been moved to tears by someone else’s pain. You may have gone to the aid of a friend in need (perhaps even with your own hands). All this is completely natural and expected, but it can also be potentially harmful. We all have an instinctive desire to relate well to others, but we often alienate ourselves in the process. We put out feelers and signals that are not very helpful and can actually be detrimental. It’s hard to think about when empathy is useful and when it’s a hindrance — but it seems obvious enough that people don’t want their fellow humans feeling any sort of pity or sorrow for them — especially when they already feel like complete failures. But what if we could learn how to do better? What if we could teach ourselves how to get along better with others? To understand more fully why we do what we do? Then the possibility of effective empathy would become much clearer. Here are some ways you can start doing just that:
• Be mindful of what you say about other people: It matters how much you say about them at any given time; in particular, it matters how much you say when trying to bond with someone new, or as a way of dealing with conflict or change in their lives (it will make things easier on them too). And it matters even more so when trying to connect with someone in a different culture: if you view this person as an alien presence, not worth talking about because they aren’t like us (they’re “other people”), then your attempts at empathy will probably be more difficult than necessary.
• Refrain from making assumptions: Just because someone is from another country doesn’t mean they won’t understand something about you (or vice-versa). Don’t assume everyone’s going to instantly understand every word that comes out of your mouth; consider whether there is any benefit in trying to start an argument by assuming everyone’s either mute or from another planet — otherwise, why would anyone bother having conversations with each other?
• Be observant: Try not only paying attention while you’re around others, but also while they’re not around you. Watch how they interact with others
5. How to Feel Sympathy for Someone
This is a very easy topic to write on but also a very hard one to write about. It is difficult to talk about sympathy when you don’t have empathy, which is the ability of feeling empathy for another person. There are several aspects of sympathy:
1) understanding (which can be demonstrated through the ability to explain what has happened and why);
2) identification (the ability to identify with another person;
3) empathy (the ability to feel for the other person);
4) remorse (the ability to feel guilt and sorrow for what has been done or not done;
5) compassion (the ability to feel one’s own pain as though it were someone else’s);
6) acceptance (the willingness of being able to see the good in someone regardless of their actions).
The point here is that sympathy should be an emotional process, not a rational process; if you don’t feel it, it doesn’t exist. And right now we don’t feel any level of sympathy for our customers; we just want them to fix their problems and get off our back. But we are aware that if this continues, their sense of well-being will suffer and so we need something sweeter than simple apologies or promises. This requires a deeper understanding than we currently possess.
“It’s ok to be a little sad. It’s ok to pity yourself. It’s ok to feel grateful for the things you have. What you do with those feelings is up to you.” – Joanne Barclay