What is the difference between pity, empathy, and compassion?
Empathy is feeling with someone. It is seeing another person’s pain and feeling from inside what that pain might be like. Compassion is empathy in action; she feels empathy for another soul and then take-action to alleviate a part of their suffering. Compassion is not giving away life and limb to “save” another person. Compassion is healthy; it is not enmeshed in rescuing, enabling, or fixing others. Compassion empowers the giver as well as the recipient. Compassion does not stay in toxic or abusive relationships. Compassion does not please another to avoid conflict or please another by neglecting her needs; that would be inauthentic and codependent. Compassion is circular, both self-compassion and compassion for others are essential pieces of the flow. We must first have compassion for ourselves and set proper boundaries for appropriate self-care so that we may meet the world with an empathetic heart and act with compassion. Empathy is not feeling sorry for another human being, that is pity. Pity is judging another to be less fortunate than we are. [...]