Mental Health in the Workplace Level 3 (VTQ)

62 videos, 2 hours and 49 minutes

Course Content

Empathy and Sympathy

Video 43 of 62
1 min 34 sec
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We are the Samaritans. We ask that our volunteers have empathy and not sympathy because we can only empathise with the person because we are very fortunate that we only are in that person's world for the time that they want us to be in it. And it is quite an honoured position to be that they have come to you to support them. We cannot sympathise with them because we do not know what their pain. When they say they have got this pain and that... I have not had that pain. All I can do is empathise with them and say, "Okay, talk to me about it. Explain to me. Tell me about your husband. Tell me about your mate. Tell me about the dog. Tell me... " "Okay, you have lost out on the flower show and it has really wound you up, well, what is your backup plan? What... Have you got any decent vegetables for the next show?" We empathise. We do not... We are not there for sympathy. Sympathy is when you say, "Yeah, I know, I know." And empathy is, "Well, I do not know, but I want to know." I think that is the difference between sympathy and empathy, as far as I am concerned.