When you tell someone you have a chronic illness what is the typical response? “Aww I’m soo sorry, but you don’t look sick?” “You look good and at least you’re skinny” have been common responses for me. I always felt the need to change the subject as soon as a person say , “but you look really good”. I always took that response as “Why are you complaining?” . . . . Maybe I’m being oversensitive, but its hard to connect with people that do not live with your illness. So the response of “well you look really good” is their way of being sympathetic because they can’t relate. Unlike a response of , “Wow I can’t imagine the pain you go through but thank you for sharing and if you ever need anything . . . . ”
I found the below video which I think perfectly illustrates the difference between empathy and sympathy, do you agree?