social distance before Corona…

I’m not weird.

But it’s a shame that it took so many years to learn the terms “introvert” and “empath” and what they meant because I am definitely both.

I could have spent years NOT thinking that I was weird.

Better late than never, right?

Growing up, I used to think that something was wrong with me because tears would come to my eyes if I saw someone else crying or hurting. When I would look around and see no one else reacting like me, I learned to quickly hide how I was feeling.

Nevertheless, I would always want to jump into the situation and help, not even looking at the consequences it would have on me. Like in elementary school, I regularly defended a boy who was bullied by others (including teachers) because he was overweight, quiet and never fought back.

When I was around, no one dared interfere with him and it didn’t hurt that everyone knew that I had a bunch of very tall older brothers already in high school…

When I look back now as an adult, I guess I knew what it felt like to be “othered” and couldn’t tolerate it happening to someone else who was nice.

Regardless, to this day, I still wish that I could find a way to NOT pick up on other people’s emotional vibes.

It’s utterly exhausting.

And when it comes to being an introvert, a large part of it is due to what I call my “child of immigrants” upbringing. But even without that, I think I would have been an introvert anyways.

I used to think that I was missing a “fun” gene – the kind that enjoys being socialize, the center of attention from time to time and with lots of friends to do lots of fun things with but no, I’m simply an introvert.

When I have to go out to events, parties and even small gatherings, the minute I arrive I’m already thinking about when I can leave.

Sure, I get lonely at times – I’m human. But “people” can take so much energy that I often prefer to keep to myself, keep my circle small and chill in my drama-free home zone.

I could play Introvert Bingo for a very long time and not get bored.

Which leads me to wonder if being an empath and introvert were part of the driving forces of me being attracted to writing.

I mean, writing involves putting yourself into the shoes of your characters and it’s a solo sport, right?

What do you think? Are you an empath, an introvert, both or neither?