Research has long shown that empathy stems from two different factors. One is emotional, meaning empathy is triggered by your baggage, your family experience, what you bring to the table. The other is cognitive, which is your perspective, and, say, how interested you might be in hearing another person’s side of the story. Empathy is also different than sympathy; the former is sharing someone’s feelings because you understand that feeling, explains Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, in this amazing video. Sympathy is about feeling sadness for someone’s problems, but it doesn’t connect you to that person.
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