In today’s world, empathy is a very rare quality to find in people. Everybody is concerned only about themselves and their life.
We live in a world that glamorizes selfishness and encourages us to only focus on ourselves and become successful.
The world lacks empathy and needs more of it. To understand another person’s pain, to be able to imagine yourself in their shoes, and to understand their emotions is what empathy is.
There are different kinds of empathy, so before you use empathy in a sentence, you should know these small yet significant differences.
Now, first things first.
What does the word ‘empathy’ really mean?
Empathy refers to the ability to be aware of, and to understand and be sensitive towards another person. It is the action of experiencing the feelings, emotions, thoughts, and the situation of another person without actually having the thoughts, feelings, experiences, and emotions completely communicated to you in an objectively explicit manner. It refers to the ability to relate to another person’s loss, pain, emotions as if it had happened to you or that you had experienced the pain yourself. Empathy is a noun, and it should be used as such in a sentence to avoid grammatical errors. To be able to fully recognize, understand and comprehend someone’s feelings and what they are going through is called empathy.
How many types of empathy are there and what are they?
To feel for someone else and to have empathy does not mean that you have gone through the same experience or situation in your life. Rather empathy is to be able to understand another person’s pain by understanding their perspective. In the following section, we will have a closer look at the three main types of empathy.
1) Cognitive Empathy
Understanding how a person feels or thinks about certain situations is known as cognitive empathy. People with this type of empathy tend to be good communicators because they talk so that it reaches the other person perfectly.
2) Emotional Empathy
Also known as affective empathy emotional empathy is the act of knowing and understanding the feelings of another person. Having this type of empathy helps you build emotional stability and connections with others.
3) Compassionate Empathy
Compassionate empathy is also known as empathic concern and this form of empathy has a much bigger scope. This type of empathy does not include just recognizing and correctly comprehending another person’s feelings.
It includes helping the other person and taking action to free him of the pain and agony.
Empathy is a trait that takes time and effort to adopt. But people usually start with cognitive empathy. Over a period of time, it changes to emotional empathy and then eventually becomes compassionate empathy.
Compassionate empathy is the peak and the ideal type. It is the kind this world needs. Compassionate empathy is not excessive. It does not include understanding someone else’s feelings more than necessary.
Rather it is the perfect blend of all kinds of empathy, just enough to help out another person with love and care.
What is the proper way to use ‘Empathy’ in a sentence?
The word ‘empathy’ cannot be used without context. To use the word properly and to fully capture its effect in a sentence, you need to take into account the feelings and thoughts of the readers.
The first step to using the word ‘empathy’ properly in a sentence is to fully understand the meaning of this word.
Confusion between the words ‘empathy’ and ‘sympathy’ is common as most people believe they are the same thing, although they are very different.
Using the words ‘empathic’ or ‘empathetic’ will make your sentence more valid and give it more gravitas.
Examples of sentences with the word ’empathy’
1) After hearing my mother’s life stories, I developed empathy for her.
2) A humanitarian has empathy skills.
3) The old lady that lives in the cottage all by herself was incapable of empathy or remorse.
4) The movie was directed so badly that I did not develop any empathy for the characters.
5) The policemen lacked empathy towards the people.
6) If I have empathy for the murderer’s childhood trauma, it does not mean that I agree with what he did as an adult.
Empathy vs. Sympathy
Sympathy is a feeling of sorry for a person’s loss or misery. Whereas empathy is the ability to understand whatever emotions, thoughts, or feelings the other person is going through without actually being in the same situation yourself.
It also includes, as mentioned above, the feeling you want to help the other person and actions done to resolve their misery and pain.
The word ‘sympathy’ is used in sentences to mean pity, commiseration, or feeling sorry for another person’s misery and misfortune.
The word empathy can be used more widely and had greater scope than the word ‘sympathy.’
It must refer to the ability of a person to imagine themselves in the other person’s situation. Once you understand the basic difference between the two words, it will be easier for you to place the word ‘empathy’ in the right sentence and context.
Origins of the word ’empathy’
The word ‘empathy’ came into existence about a year ago from the German word Einfühlung which means “feeling-in.” Many psychologists suggested other meanings of the word such as “animation,” “play,” “semblance,” or “aesthetic sympathy”.
Finally, two psychologists from the University of Cambridge suggested ’empathy’ as a translation for the German term Einfühlung. In which ‘em’ is for ‘in’ and ‘pathos’ means ‘feeling’.
In German, however, not only the word “Einfühlung” is used but also synonyms such as “Einfühlungsvermögen” and “Einfühlungskraft”, which mean pretty much the same but are a bit more nuanced.
Another important point to note is that in the early 1900s, the meaning of empathy was quite the opposite of that of today. Back then, it meant to enliven an object or project your own emotions and feelings onto others.
But by the mid-1900s, the definition of empathy began to change as some psychologists became interested in the science of social relationships.
In today’s world, it is very rare to find someone who has qualities of empathy.
We no longer care about others or work in their interest. Our hearts have become so hard that we don’t feel for others. We hear about deaths and tragedies, yet it does not affect us even a bit.
Having empathy is to have the ability to understand and comprehend another person’s pain, situation, and feelings and work towards helping them.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.