Reading through this made me realize how I think I’ve been overwhelming myself by going the empathic route always, and probably avoiding only sympathy.
Focusing on someone else’s emotions is different from feeling them for yourself, and the latter can and will cause stress if always done.
I don’t remember when I learned subconsciously not to only give sympathy; maybe it was when the trending discussion was to prioritize understanding how others might feel, as a means to help them (?).
I’ve known myself as an empathic person for a long time. What I normally struggle with is “not caring”. On an added note, lately, a feeling of helplessness keeps coming back in waves; I usually don’t know what to do with it when it’s here, but once it ebbs away, I try to reframe it to remember that I can’t do everything for everyone. And it is what it is.
Maybe that’s kinda related to the compassion being explained here. Or how sympathy isn’t all that bad, once grounded within oneself.