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There seems to be several definitions of sympathy.

1.  Someone is suffering and you feel sorry for them.

2.A.  Feeling similar or recalling having the same feeling. 
someone is feeling suffering and you remember a time when you had a similar feeling. 
The person says, my father died, and you say, I remember when my father died.

2.B.  Feeling matching.
A person comes highly agitated and you match the feeling by being very agitated.

”With empathy, I'm fully with them, and not full of them - that's sympathy.” Marshall Rosenberg

 "Oh you poor thing.

Dysfunctional Team? It Could Be an Empathy Problem

"Just to be clear, empathy is different from sympathy:
Sympathy is feeling compassion or even pity for someone else because you recognize that they are in a difficult or troublesome situation.

Empathy is an understanding and connection at a deeper level. Empathy involves being able to actually put yourself in another person’s shoes to understand what they are feeling and the dilemmas they are facing."

The difference between sympathy and empathy
Faydra Koenig 
"The first thing I taught her was the difference between sympathy and empathy. Brene Brown is a leader in the study of shame. She defines empathy as activity that fuels connection and sympathy as activity that fuels disconnection.

Sympathy comes about when someone is sharing their pain and the other party, who can not directly relate, begins to offer solutions or counter points in an effort to solve the problem. This comes from the place of trying to perform rather than support.

Empathy comes about when someone is sharing their pain and the other party allows themselves to go to a place where they experienced great loss too. Through feeling similar or same emotions, and therefore the same reference point, the two become on the same page."

What Empathy Isn't - Marshall Rosenberg Compassionate Communication
Empathy, give the full attention to someone. Give full presence. 

YouTube Video

  • Intellectual understanding - get this at university -i.e. theories and ideas. This blocks connecting to the felt experience of the person in the moment. 
  • I understand how your feel - but they really don't understand. instead demonstrate understanding. 
  • Sympathy - Feeling sad for someone. we are talking about ourselves. 
  • Fixing - (stimulates loneliness) 
  • Giving Advice - (stimulates loneliness)