The more we understand each other, the better we can help each other out.
There’s a big difference between saying “I feel sorry for you” and “I’m sorry about the situation you’re facing.”
“I feel sorry for you” is sympathy while “I’m sorry about the situation you’re facing” is empathy.
A lot of people have trouble with the difference between these two phrases, though. That’s why “Sesame Street” asked both Murray Monster and Academy-Award-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo to explain empathy.
In this “Sesame Street” segment, Ruffalo reminds us that we can practice empathy every day.
We can choose to put ourselves in other people’s shoes to better understand the difficulties they face. That way, we are better equipped to help them if we choose to because we can imagine what they feel and can anticipate their needs.
He uses a simple example of stubbing your toe: Most of us have done this, so we can relate to the pain, which makes showing empathy a lot easier.
Of course, empathy isn’t only invoked by understood physical pain, though; emotional pain can also be extremely empathetic. You know that terrible feeling of losing your favorite toy? See! Now you’re empathizing.
Watch Murray and Ruffalo hilariously explain empathy in this fun video:
This write-up is brought to you by the letter “E” for empathy.