I really appreciated the article about the difference between empathizing and sympathizing. I ended up sharing the article with my 8th grade class, and they seemed to find it pretty interesting (as did I)!
Thanks so much for this article and your input! You are giving me some of the vocabulary I need to make sense of this stuff.
I'm a middle school teacher, so while I'd never heard the strange ability middle schoolers have to compartmentalize referred to as empathy vs sympathy, I very often do see kids express feelings of great kindness, but then turn around and say and do the cruelest things. They don't--as the article says--FEEL the other person's feelings.
I like the idea of making the difference between empathy and sympathy more explicit for them, but after they have the experience, to get them to think about why we had them hear about the story and then live it.