Many years back, I learned from my wife’s psychology lecturer about the difference between the 3 words.
She used the analogy of a person who felled and got hurt.
- Apathy: You looked at the person and laugh, or look indifferent.
- Sympathy: You sit down next to the person and cry with him/her.
- Empathy: You feel the pain and help the person up to his/her feet.