Meaning of Sympathy

What is Sympathy:

As sympathy we designate the feeling by which we naturally and spontaneously profess an affective inclination towards another person, and which is generally reciprocal.

The word, as such, comes from Latin simpathĭa, and this in turn from the Greek συμπάθεια (sympátheia), which means ‘community of feelings’.

We feel sympathy for people who are pleasant to us, whose company and conversation are pleasant to us, and with whose way of thinking, feeling or seeing life we ​​have a certain affinity. Sympathy, in this sense, applies above all to interpersonal relationships.

However, sympathy can also refer to the character and a certain way of being in a person that makes them pleasant, charming. At the social level, sympathy is a highly appreciated characteristic, as it allows people to feel comfortable with each other, and show a good disposition with others.

Sympathy, on the other hand, is extensive, in the sense of affinity, towards other things or living beings, not just people. We can feel sympathy for animals, for a new law, for an ideology, for an artistic or musical trend, etc.

Synonyms of sympathy are: affinity, empathy, attraction, inclination, charm, grace, esteem or appreciation. The antonym of sympathy would be antipathy.

In English, as sympathy translates sympathy. For instance: "The most famous song of The Rolling Stones is ‘Sympathy for the Devil ’"(The Rolling Stones' most popular song is" Sympathy for the Devil ").

Sympathy and empathy

Sympathy and empathy are not the same thing. Empathy is a feeling that allows us to identify or put ourselves in someone's place at a certain moment. It is an aptitude that allows us to relate in a better way with the other, and that is learned and developed over the years. Sympathy, on the other hand, is a feeling of affection or inclination that we manifest towards another person, and that comes naturally. We feel sympathy for people with whom we get along, who we like, with whom we have a certain affinity.

Thus, for example, a person may have empathy for refugees from a war, without necessarily feeling sympathy. In the same way, a person may feel sympathy towards an acquaintance who tells him that he is separating from his partner, but not for this reason he is capable of having empathy towards his breaking situation.

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