Sympathy or Empathy : Narayan Seva Sansthan
Sympathy or Empathy
Sympathy or Empathy
  20 Apr'2018

Without even acknowledging the fact consciously, one tends to ‘feel bad’ for a disabled. This feeling is nothing but sympathizing with the person. A differently able person deserves equal treatment and wishes to be seen and felt normally but In order to be nice to them, we become over the top helping and this gives them a sense of helplessness. A feel that, because they cannot do it, you are doing it for them and this makes them feel handicapped.


Handicapped is not a condition, it’s an emotion. A feeling a differently able goes through when he/she is provided everything and not made to work for it. In a situation like this, one should be acting as normal as he/she is with others and help them do something themselves and earn it for themselves is the correct way to go about it. Differently able is well aware of his disability but the fact that everybody he meets keeps on reminding the same thing over and over again and thus, hurting them emotionally over something they can’t control physically.


A total contrast from the emotion of sympathy comes the term empathy. Though it’s impossible to gather the amount of courage it takes, but understanding the pain a person goes through, through his own perspective. It is like imagining yourself in his/her shoes and living the life they go through and then deciding if your actions can hurt them or not. Psychologists say, empathizing is the best kind of affection you can offer to a person with a disability and it is very important for the people dealing with victims or patients of mental or physical disability to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy and significance of the latter. A person, irrespective of the world class medical facilities can still get offended with just a word from your mouth and it won’t take a minute for all the sympathizing and pity to backfire on you. Everything you say verbally or non verbally including body language counts up to the kind of response you will get in a treatment or in general life. Empathizing with someone who has dealt with all the pity before can actually turn the tables in your favor and you not only can make the person happy but learn how it feels to be them. You can’t change things beyond your control but at least this will make them feel that they are not alone and somebody feels for them.


If you want to do good to them,

Understand how it feels to not be able to do good for self,

You and they will then come at par,

Maybe this can decrease the pain they have gone through.”


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