Difference Between Empathy and Compassion

Empathy vs. Compassion

Empathy and compassion are generally treated as synonyms.  Both of these terms are used to invoke feelings, however on different planes. In English language, these two words have different meaning and implications. They suggest different meaning when it comes to describe the nature of feeling.

When you feel concerned for a person it is called compassion. You genuinely feel sorry for the person and pity him without even a hint of his actual agony. You may not feel his very state and the whirls of agony going in his mind.  Thus, compassion is the feeling which is invoked without an understanding the intensity of the problem and results in feeling sorry for his state.

Empathy is another level of emotion. This emotive behavior involves you as not just a witness but makes you feel as if the whole thing were happen to you. It is a very strong feeling. You just step into the place of sufferer and experience the very agony that is jeopardizing his mind at the given time.  You become one with the sufferer and understand his predicament. On the other hand, you don’t share the feelings of person while expressing your compassion towards him. You feel sorry and step aside.  It is easy to have compassion for someone rather than see yourself in one’s shoes and experience his sorry states of affair every time. Empathy is complex in nature and involves emotional state of humans.