The difference between sympathy and empathy is like the difference between knowledge and understanding. The two words are very similar but leave a gap between them that may be significant.
Sympathy seems to focus on concern for another, to know they are in pain and to express care in their time of trouble.
Empathy happens on a deeper, more personal level. Empathy is the experience of understanding how another feels because you have felt that way.
Maybe your friend’s dog dies and you remember how you felt when your dog died. You have empathy; you feel with them. Or, as the kids would say, “I feel you, bro
by Bruce Conn