By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
It wasn’t long after the Parkland, Florida high school shooting that I heard about the March For Our Lives movement and the plan to hold a march in Washington DC on March 24, 2018. I immediately put it in my calendar to keep it on my radar. While I thought it sounded amazing, I had no plan, expectation or even a desire to attend. My husband knew immediately that he needed to be in DC, though he could have attended one of several local marches. “But not me,” I told everyone.
You see, I am an extroverted introvert. Or is it an introverted extrovert?
I enjoy talking with and meeting new people. To others, I appear as an outgoing individual.
Sounds like the classic extrovert, right? But I’m actually an introvert. People think being an introvert means keeping to oneself and speaking sparingly to others. But being an introvert actually describes how one replenishes their energy. Like other introverts I boost my energies best when I am by myself, and often in a space with minimal sensory input.
In addition to being an introvert, I am also an empath. This means I sometimes knowingly, and sometimes unknowingly, pick up the energies and emotions of others. Being an empath can feel exhausting and overwhelming for some, and it has felt that way for me for most of my life. For all these reasons I thought that being at a national march was a ridiculous idea for me. Why would I knowingly and willingly place myself in the middle of a huge group of people who are feeling sadness, anger, frustration and other strong emotions? Why would I willingly be in a group, most likely standing in close proximity to many others, with no opportunity to move to a location by myself? [Read more…]