I am looking for a word that describes:

A) When you are spinning, someone else feels dizzy

B) feeling full watching someone else eat

C) feeling happy watching someone else be happy.

My first thought was sympathy, but that only applies to feelings of "pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune" (Google).


3 Answers 3


Do you mean a vicarious feeling?


felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others: a vicarious thrill.


Empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Empathy is pretty close, but I get the impression that you're looking for something more literal.

Mirroring - is a psychological term to describe the behaviour in which one person copies another person usually while in social interaction with them. It may include miming gestures, movements, body language, muscle tensions, expressions, tones, eye movements, breathing, tempo, accent, attitude, choice of words or metaphors, and other aspects of communication. It is often observed among couples or close friends.

Again I think that's pretty close, but not quite perfect.

Sympathy - understanding between people; common feeling.

I think Sympathy is the best answer I'll be able to come up with. As argument I present Couvade Syndrome or "sympathetic pregnancy". It is the "proposed condition in which a partner experiences some of the same symptoms and behavior of an expectant mother.[1] These most often include minor weight gain, altered hormone levels, morning nausea, and disturbed sleep patterns. In more extreme cases, symptoms can include labor pains, postpartum depression, and nosebleeds.[2] The labor pain symptom is commonly known as sympathy pain."

  • Also sympathetic magic, where a symbolic item, usually a doll, is used to bring about sickness/healing in a person.
    – Mynamite
    Sep 14, 2013 at 23:00

Empathy is actually feeling what someone else feels. You do not need sensory input for this as you do with sympathy. It is a consequence of field conditions (see my recent book "Consciousness"). Sympathy is your interpretation of a situation. Just because you feel sorry and sympathize with me does not mean I actually feel bad. I could be indifferent or even happy. The empath knows the difference because they will follow the actual feeling rather than what they perceive the feeling may or should be.

I came here because I am writing about compassion in the sequel to Consciousness titled "Love." The opposite of compassion is ruthlessness or mercilessness. The value is still there only it is selfish. The selfless opposing applications of compassion are sympathy and MUDITA (feeling sorry or happy for another). The selfish opposing values of mercilessness are envy and apathy. Notice the standard thesauri mess these antonyms up.

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