Empathy vs. Sympathy
A few blogs back we showed you one of the most important videos about healing from addiction: The Opposite of Addiction is NOT Sobriety. In that video Johann Hari tells us that human connection is critical for healing an addiction.
In this short video Brene Brown shares (via a cartoon) HOW we can connect and what can cause disconnection. She talks about how sympathy disconnects us while empathy connects us.
This is SUPER important especially for those who have addictive tendencies. Empathy is often about allowing yourself to feel pain. Addiction is about using something to cover up pain.
If you have a porn addiction or sexual addiction there may be people in your life experiencing a lot of pain because of the ways you have acted out. If you want to heal in those relationships it means being able to empathetically respond to their pain. Pretty tough to do when your actions are the source of that pain.
Empathy is also important when a fellow struggler is sharing their pain. Rather than say “did you try this” or “you should do that” next time share how you relate to their experience. To learn more about how to relate to fellow strugglers check out 3 Ingredients Every Recovery Friendship Needs.
If this all still sounds a bit confusing check out this video.
Until next time…Tribe on.