I contributed an article on a website that isn’t consciousness related awhile ago called, “Tips for Introverts Who Love People Time“. While I was writing it I kept thinking “empath” instead of “introvert”. I can see why my mind kept mixing up the two, as there are a whole lot of similarities.
The meaning of introversion is often taken to mean “shy”. ‘Tis not the case, introversion isn’t a fear of social interaction. Introverts are people who recharge by being alone. Too much people time will drain the introvert, and they need to be alone to regain balance.
An empath can feel the emotions of others. When a person’s energy is frenetic (feels spiky!) or negative (heavy!) it’ll take a toll. Even on days when the empath doesn’t spend extended time with anyone they’ll pick up random juju from others. In order to cleanse away everyone else’s stuff, empaths also need to be alone to recharge and regain balance.
As I was writing the article I started to wonder how many introverts are empaths as well. I’ve known introverts who aren’t at all into new-age ideas say things like, I feel off when so-in-so is around, I don’t know why, or they weren’t telling the truth, I can just tell. Both are affected by other’s energy more than the average bear, and both need to spend time alone to feel balanced and recharged. The term Highly Sensitive Person, a less “woo-woo” way of describing empaths, is even frequently confused with introversion.
Of course there are many empath traits that don’t apply to these folks, like feeling ill when exposed to even fictional violence, or crying when someone else is sad, or being highly expressive in general. However, there aren’t really any distinctive traits of introverts that don’t also apply to empaths. I’d even go as far as to say empaths are introverts. However it’s not mutually inclusive, as not all introverts are empaths.
Maybe they’re on the same scale, a scale of energetically sensitive homies, with empathic juju sponges being on the far end?