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  1. #51
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    I agree, the last year of IVF and fertility treatment has been super hard for us and my best friends, and family, while amazing, really just don't know what to say or how to be there...that's why we stopped talking about it with them.

    The people who truly understand, who ask the right questions and don't try to make it better but just deal with the situation as it is, are the people who have gone through it themselves.

    I really do believe there are things you just will never get on that deeper level without having gone through it.

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    http://dictionary.reference.com/help...guage/d23.html

    getting a bit technical here I know, but that link explains the subtle difference between empathy and sympathy

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  4. #53
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    Interesting discussion. I think you most def can have empathy for a situation without having experienced it and those that haven't still can most certainly be a source of support and love. Just as those in a similar situation can be unfeeling and unsupportive.

    But I feel sometimes you need to directly experience something to understand. I can imagine how hard having a born child pass must be, but I don't really know, how can I? I remember having a discussion with someone who had lost a born child who was upset with those that m/c making a big deal of it. My response was that someone that m/c a baby at 10 weeks but hasn't lost a child after birth has nothing to compare against. That 10 week loss is *their* experience which has crushed them. I'm positive that the pain of the passing of a child is so much worse than a pg, but bc I haven't experienced that, those m/c are my low point.

    That probably makes zero sense, I know what I mean lol

    From experience I have found those that don't face infertility just don't understand. They think they do, but they don't. I don't mean that in a negative way, again how can they?

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  6. #54
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    Millions of things. Poverty. Racism. Cancer. The answers are endless. One could just say 'everything'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    I think think there are subtle difference between empathy and understanding. Definitely there is no substitute to going through a similar experience. That doesn't mean that such a person will give you comfort or understanding.
    no one who goes through anything is going to have exactly the same experience, so even having 'the same' experience as someone else isn't going to be exactly 'the same'. I don't know that tallying up experience is particularly helpful or useful, if that makes sense?
    No two Syrian refugees will have the same experience. There are certainly some that will feel they are more deserving of resettlement than others (rightly or wrongly so)
    I know Vietnamese refugees who came here by boat who think we should stop the boats. I know plenty of comfortable white Australians who have more empathy for boat people than people who have personally arrived here by boat themselves.
    WRT to the boat people, I think that just because someone has been through something and understands doesn't necessarily make them a sympathetic person. Some people are just selfish.

  9. #56
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    Can't seem to quote at the moment, but after reading responses I think my answer has changed to 'everything and nothing'- because anything is understood differently if you have experienced it. A person who has never eaten an apple cannot understand what apple tastes like. But I still think 'nothing' is right too because every single human experience is different. No one in the world can truly understand what YOU have gone through. There will be times when having people around who have experienced similar is important, of course. But I don't think anyone can ever truly, TRULY understand if that makes sense?

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  11. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyno1onboard View Post
    WRT to the boat people, I think that just because someone has been through something and understands doesn't necessarily make them a sympathetic person. Some people are just selfish.
    No I disagree. Some people have had a completely difference experience of arriving by boat. The journey would have been similar, but their arrival in Australia was celebrated- they were people we were happy to be rescuing from that particular war. That would completely change the way they understand their experience. The way we remember isn't the way things actually happened. So even though two people have experienced the exact same thing, their personality, culture, and history before and after that one event will completely change their understanding of it. It's a really interesting topic, I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    Can't seem to quote at the moment, but after reading responses I think my answer has changed to 'everything and nothing'- because anything is understood differently if you have experienced it. A person who has never eaten an apple cannot understand what apple tastes like. But I still think 'nothing' is right too because every single human experience is different. No one in the world can truly understand what YOU have gone through. There will be times when having people around who have experienced similar is important, of course. But I don't think anyone can ever truly, TRULY understand if that makes sense?
    I was reading along with this post earlier yesterday, before the philosophical comments started. I had a similar thought! It reminded me of a paper I read in Philosophy for Psychology - basically it boiled down to: you can never know what it is like to be a bat, because you cannot be both objective and subjective at the same time, and in order to fully experience what it is like to be a bat, you need to be objective and subjective.

    I'm grateful for those with wonderful empathy and who try to understand, even if they've never experienced what you've been through.

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  14. #59
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    Also I want to clarify that I don't think empathy is exactly the same as understanding, I just think that in some cases empathy could be more useful than experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    Also I want to clarify that I don't think empathy is exactly the same as understanding, I just think that in some cases empathy could be more useful than experience.
    Absolutely! This thread has certainly changed from what I started it as.


 

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