Empathy vs Sympathy

I have been thinking a lot about the distinction between empathy and sympathy. I know empathy to mean the ability o really feel what another person is feeling. Sympathy, on the other hand, is the ability to understand what the other person is feeling and then exhibit the appropriate supportive response. I think that empathy is one of the greatest qualities possessed by humans, but I wonder if there are times when it would be more beneficial to have sympathy rather than empathy. Too much empathy could result in the dissolution of the individual and could result in a decline in self care. In this way, it can be good to practice sympathy as a form of self protection. On the other hand, there are many instances in this world when people are not motivated enough to help (as Singer would argue about global poverty), and in these cases more empathy is warranted. How should you toe the line between these two values, and in what situations should you choose to lean one way or the other?

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