I'm writing a story and I can't think of a word that describes someone. The quote is,

Who do I want right now? Sympathy or _____

So I'm looking for a word that describes this character. If you're mad, she'll get mad with you. If you want to cry, she'll bring the tissues and be right beside you making her own river. In the moment, she will be angry with the main character, I don't know if that will help but that's the situation.

  • 2
    Does empathy work? Also, it seems like it should be What do I want, not who.
    – Jim
    Sep 11, 2014 at 1:34
  • "Who do I want right now? Sympathy or my best friend?"
    – SrJoven
    Sep 11, 2014 at 2:22
  • In my story, she's asking herself which friend she wants, her sympathy friend or her other friend. That's why I used "Who". Sep 11, 2014 at 2:47
  • 1
    You could use "emotional twin" to capture the type of friend that you appear to be describing. It's not an "official" term but I feel it would work here.
    – Ste
    Sep 11, 2014 at 13:39
  • Or Jim's "Sympathy or empathy" works well.
    – Ste
    Sep 11, 2014 at 13:40

9 Answers 9


Pushover, Dictionary.com, a person who is easily persuaded, influenced, or seduced.

Mush, Urban Dictionary, an old Romany word, meaning "my good friend".


This might be Sympathy vs Empathy.

Dictionary.com indicates that this contrasts Sympathy (feeling with) versus Empathy (feeling into).

Empathy knows what it's like. Sympathy feels your pain, but may not understand the circumstances.


Sycophant: a person who praises powerful people in order to get their approval


  • I like sycophant, especially for the alliteration but wonder if its pejorative sense might not match Courtlyn's criteria. I don't get the impression from her question that the character is necessarily self-seeking.
    – NMI
    Sep 12, 2017 at 5:49

A more negative term that you might consider a bit humorous is "Accomplice"

A more religious term is "Apostle"

One that rhymes is "Deputy"

Ref. Synonym of "Companion" at thesaurus.com


In most first instances, you would tend to get into the sarcasm mood. In such a mood, you would call that person an accomplice.

Accomplice relates to a partner who is totally with you into doing everything that is wrong, usually used as a legal term in crime cases.

However, accomplice also usually used when a couple "goes postal" on themselves, without a care in the world doing whatever they like, breaking any rules if necessary.

Mark and I will be in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving week. He has a lot of unplanned ideas up his sleeves, and I will be his accomplice.

The word accomplice then brings us to the word abet and the abettor. Even though abetting is usually used in criminal cases, it actually mean cooperating and encouraging actions whether good or bad.

Which then brings us to the word accessory. An accessory is someone who goes along with the perpetrator's ideas. She/he does not have the originality or motivation to devise or cook up ideas. She/he simply agrees to go along with it, giving every encouragement, cheering and whatever cooperation necessary to the perpetrator.

Satyanatan is a brilliant architect. He has had such vast experience, such depth of creativity. You see all these works we "designed together", all the awards we have won? I have merely been an accessory to his ingenuity and went along with all his brilliant ideas.

Dictionary lookup:

accessory (əkˈsɛsərɪ) n, pl -ries
  1. a supplementary part or object, as of a car, appliance, etc
  2. (often plural) a small accompanying item of dress, esp of women's dress
  3. (Law) a person who incites someone to commit a crime or assists the perpetrator of a crime, either before or during its commission adj
  4. supplementary; additional; subordinate
  5. (Law) assisting in or having knowledge of an act, esp a crime

[from Late Latin accessōrius: see access] accessorial adj acˈcessorily adv acˈcessoriness n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

accomplice (əˈkɒmplɪs; əˈkʌm-) n
  • a person who helps another in committing a crime

[from a complice, interpreted as one word. See complice]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

a·bet (-bt) tr.v. a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting, a·bets
  1. To approve, encourage, and support (an action or a plan of action); urge and help on.
  2. To urge, encourage, or help (a person): abetted the thief in robbing the bank.

[Middle English abetten, from Old French abeter, to entice : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see ad-) + beter, to bait; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]
a·betment n.
a·bettor, a·better n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


It depends on what you want to say.

Harmony might work, fits well with the idea of friendship, although it depends on if the person is seen as a true 'soul mate' or not.

Synchronicity, would work well with aliteration (of sympathy) but would see the other person as more 'mechanical' if that makes sense?


I think a better word you might consider is toady

  1. a person who behaves obsequiously to someone important

Since the main character is probably important and the person in question is constantly miming the actions of this important character, this would fit well.

  1. Who do I want right now? Sympathy or Support?

In writing Support with a capital letter, the author personifies this quality. In fact the OP's choice of the pronoun who necessitates that we speak about a person or people. Songwriters, poets, and authors have often used this literary device to great effect. For example the lyrics, "Hello darkness, my old friend/ I've come to talk to you again" by Paul Simon

support: give approval, comfort, or encouragement to
Your spouse is there to comfort and support you so depend on him or her a little.

  1. Who do I want right now? Sympathy or an an emotional crutch?

crutch: something that provides help and support and that you depend on, often too much:

  1. Who do I want right now? Sympathy or an Ally?

ally: A person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity


Perhaps wingman (forgive the gender bias)

a friend who accompanies one to offer (or receive) support [Wiktionary]

A related term (but not a noun equivalent) is got my back

An expression assuring someone that you are watching out for them. Comes from making sure you are safe by watching what's behind you when you're busy looking ahead. [Urban Dictionary]

The phrase my person also seems to be achieving some ascendancy

A person with whom you have attained the highest level of friendship. Coined from Grey's Anatomy. Beka is my person, I cannot imagine my life without her [Urban Dictionary]

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