We know it takes more than sympathy to build the kind of trust we’re aiming for. Sympathy relies on a common experience. If you’re clumsy, you might have sympathy for others who tend to bump into things. Empathy, on the other hand, is the ability to understand another person’s feelings even if you’ve never experienced them yourself. To be truly empathetic we have to acknowledge that we’re all human, we’re all flawed, and that life can be difficult. And we have to be willing to accept a little of this misalignment.