Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Encouragement Words

Sympathy or empathy. Do you know the difference? Which one helps you deal with life?

Sympathy is defined in Webster as "an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other; inclination to think or feel alike; emotional or intellectual accord." This could be joining in a friend's pity party in a way that is useless and damaging to the person, letting them stay in the pit they created for themself.

Empathy means "the capacity for participating in another's feelings or ideas." Identifying and understanding how a person feels is the beginning of genuine interest and awareness in what is happening in anothers' life. Empathy sets the stage for change by challenging a person to examine why they hold on to certain beliefs and behaviors.

Can someone hold your hand, listen to your problems and at the same time kick you in the pants to get it together and get moving toward resolutions in your life? Or do you like to be stroked and coddled til you decide to step up to the plate on your own? Which way encourages you the best and helps you grow?

The answer you give tells the real story!

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