How would you describe yourself, introvert or extrovert?
Many Empaths identify with being an introvert, for the reason that introversion tends to go hand-in-hand with an Empath’s journey. But that’s not to say there are no extrovert Empaths.
If you started life exhibiting more extrovert ways, the way the world makes you ‘feel’ can trigger or build introvert leanings, such as: a regular need for solitude, not enjoying spending time around people, experiencing social aggravation when around crowds, etc.
Did you know that nearly 75% of the world are extroverts? So, if you consider yourself to be an introvert Empath you are a minority and that is something to be celebrated. But even if you consider yourself to be extrovert, you may also carry many introvert tendencies.
Sadly, many Empaths, or those who sit in between the spectrum of introvert and extrovert as an ambivert, often feel that their introvert ways can hold them back in life.
Generally speaking, most Empaths go through a stage of excessive introversion at some point in their life, especially around times of awakening, spiritual development or major life transitions (extreme introversion can also be a sign of major imbalance or even nutrition deficiency, please see this post for more information), it tends to be part of their path of evolvement. Introvert ways also become more clear with age.
Having introvert traits, in this extrovert-driven world, often brings challenges and hurdles to overcome. So much so, it can leave many Empaths feeling out-of-place, as though they’ve been dumped into a reality where the rules have been written for everyone else. It’s a world where fitting in with social expectations often means living a lie.
There is so much pressure to show extrovert ways, both in the workplace and in social situations, that many introverts are having to ‘fake it’ in order to ‘fit in’.
But, if there’s one thing an Empath dislikes its having to pretend (unless they’re actors up on stage) or act in a way that does not represent their truth. They do not like to conform and they do not like having to live a lie by changing their true behaviour to appease others.
Many introvert Empaths prefer not to be the centre of attention and often dislike networking, small talk and fake friendliness. But as this is an expected way to progress in the modern world it can leave a number of Empaths at odds with themselves.
Some may believe their lack of social skills is down to shyness, but there is much difference between being shy and being introvert.
Although some introverts can be shy, that is not always the reason they do not like excess social interaction.
Shyness is born from a fear: a fear of judgement or social rejection and experiencing social anxiety when interacting with others. An introvert can happily engage others in conversation (when not drained or overwhelmed) at social events, they just don’t like having the pressure to do so if it’s not what they want. They prefer to observe a room rather than work it. And as an Empath can become easily overwhelmed by the dichotomy of energies produced by large groups, social engagements can be a thing of dread.
Their dislike of conforming to social expectations can make others consider the introvert Empath to be antisocial or stuck up. They may also come across as being intimidating.
Most extroverts do not understand an introvert’s quietness and need for solitude or why they prefer to engage with a small group of trusted friends as opposed to a larger group.
The thing is, an introvert prefers to be on the outside of a group and not in the heart of it, they like to listen and observe as opposed to taking centre stage, especially when with people they are not overly familiar with.
It is understandable to see why an Empath may consider introvert mannerisms to hold them back in life. But they’re really quite an asset to have.
Although it may take a while to learn that far from holding you back, introvert ways can propel you forward and take you to places you never imagined possible.
Most introvert Empaths are philosophical and creative, having an active right-brain, they also tend to be spiritual, intuitive and see the bigger picture without being shown. Their creativity and deep-thinking leads to some incredible concepts and opportunities.
Quiet, reflective time, away from people and distraction, is essential for the Empath’s creative mind to flourish. Solitude and self-reflection is all part of this path.
It should also be noted that, as an Empath, it really helps to recognise the energy of other people’s judgements and opinions. The introvert Empath often feels the social expectations and judgements of the extrovert population, which they may then interpret as their own. This can lead them to feeling pressure to be more socially engaging or it could cause a contradiction with their own true inner-traits.
One of the most important things an Empath can do is learn to discern the energy they feel and determine where it is coming from (see this post for more information on how to discern the energy of others). Too many take on what they think is their own emotions and feelings and wrongly interpret them. Especially those who came to discover later in life of their Empath abilities.
The introvert Empath needs to spend time in deep contemplation. It’s their time to figure out life and its many complexities. It is during their quiet time that they get the answers they are looking for. This may be seen as self-indulgent, anti-social or unfriendly, but these introvert ways are priceless gifts when it comes to creativity and uncovering life-paths.
While society will probably continue to make an introvert Empath feel like an outcast or an oddball, knowing it’s ok not to give in to peer pressure, to ‘fit in’, is liberating in so many ways. It opens a whole other dimension for the Empath and gives them the freedom to live authentically and find their truth.
Hope this helps on your journey.
Until next time,