Most of the day I kept thinking about how we can never, ever be totally empathetic with anyone! There is no way that we have ever been through all the exact same circumstances, at the exact same age, dealing with the exact same other circumstances, with the exact same mind set, at the exact day!
Sympathetic is easy, especially when you like the person you have sympathy for. Empathetic will never happen completely, for any of us! That word "empathy" gets thrown around alot these days, I'm not really sure how it can be thrown around when you really think about the meaning of the word!
empathy em·pa·thy (ěm'pə-thē)
Direct identification with, understanding of, and vicarious experience of another person's situation, feelings, and motives.
This is the definition I was taught and it is still the one I identify with the most! I also remember being told it was like "being able to stand in someone Else's shoes"! Ever notice how someone Else's shoes never fit right, even if they are the right size. Other's shoes are worn in to their feet and their way of walking and the places they walk and have walked!
I'm one of those that want to help others by what I have learned and learn from what others have learned. I know that teaching and learning are both good things and sharing with, should never stop! However, I realize, no matter how much you want to "empathize" with someone or help them, you never truly know what it is they are going through and sometimes, thinking your being empathic just gets in the way! Sometimes, I just need to be there and not have complete understanding and that's OK!