Discussions/Questions (from readers of my book or in general): Dr. Hepker, I am seeking to understand the gray area between sympathy and empathy. Could you give me your perspective?
Response: Thanks so much for your question. QUITE humbly and respectfully, there is quite a ‘gray area’ within this dynamic. That said, when simply speaking (within the time I have here), empathy most often promotes strength in the persons giving empathy and those receiving it. Sympathy most often does not promote strength, and/or the splendid (and potentially spine-tingling loving) spark which is consistent with selflessly-shared and benevolent/altruistic empathy. As a trained psychologist, I can say that this exact issue has been redundantly researched. Researchers obviously don’t always get it right, but in this case I believe they have gotten it much more right than wrong. What I have shared herein is also quite congruent with the ages-old health/wellness philosophy set forth in my book. – Dr. Glen Hepker