Can you ever be totally sympathetic to someone, especially if you have no way of understanding their situation?
I wonder this a lot because, to be honest, I rarely sympathize (or is it empathize? I can never remember the difference between those two) with others. Yes, I listen to and care about my friends, but if they are going through something that I have no frame of reference for, I have a hard time understanding.
Which is probably why I usually don't go to others with my problems. If I don't understand them, why would they understand me?
Or, if I do ask for advice, it's just to gather a sort of survey of others' feelings. Then I go ahead and do what I want anyway.