Empathy is a feeling different from sympathy. When one is sympathetic, one implies pity but maintains distance from another person’s feelings. Empathy is more a sense that one can truly
understand or imagine the depth of another person’s feelings. It implies feeling with a person, rather than feeling sorry for a person.
Empathy is a translation of the German term Einfühlung, meaning to feel as one with. It implies sharing the load, or “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes,” in order to appropriately understand
that person’s perspective.
Among those with an equal level of innate emotional intelligence,
the person who has actually experienced the widest range and variety of feelings
-- the great depths of depression
and the heights of fulfillment, for example, -- is the one who is
most able to empathize with the greatest number of people from
all walks of life. On the other hand, when we say that someone
"can't relate" to other people, it is likely because
they haven't experienced, acknowledged or accepted many feelings
of their own.