Brene Brown gives a great explanation about the differences between empathy and sympathy.
If you are someone who want to know how to help those struggling with mental illness or chaos in their life, I invite you to connect with them. It will be one of the best gifts you can give.
Brene teaches how valuable it is to acknowledge the pain of another human being who is sharing their sorrow or experience with us. One of the most damaging responses we can have is to dismiss the real emotions and feelings and words of the other person by “putting a silver lining around it.”
One of the most valuable skills I am learning is the ability to ask a person a question about whatever they are experiencing… to sit with them and allow them to face it and feel it. The connection this brings allows empathy to flourish and gives life to hope.