I've gone back and forth over the years trying to figure out if I'm an introvert or an extrovert. I love to be around people...don't like living alone, yet I spend a whole lotta time by myself, and I like it. My time at gatherings is about 2 hours tops. I am very sociable for that period of time, then it seems to all sizzle. But why? So wondering if I was an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert led me to come to some conclusions after talking to a lot of people about it.
I am an empath. Empath is just another word for clairsentient, which is really a psychic gift. A super power, so to speak.
When I put myself in those social situations, I do absorb all the energies of all the people around me. Some I connect with on a psychic level. So that can be quite overwhelming after an hour or two.
I tried the old "white light" protection trick and various other methods of psychic protection, but I realized that some part of me enjoys experiencing other people's feelings. It's a way I have of educating myself about them. I also use my ability to feel what others are feeling as a healer. I use my psychic abilities when I do readings for people. It helps me to understand what is going on with my clients and then to properly advise and counsel them.
I found from my students that most of them are empaths, and suffer in varying degrees from it. All seem to need time to recharge and be alone. The ones who have no knowledge of their psychic abilities suffer the most, because they aren't aware that what they are feeling belongs to someone else. It's like being bombarded by the feelings of so many people and you can't sort out your own feelings from theirs. Kind of like when a bunch of necklaces get all tangled in your jewelry box. And since most of my students are healers in training, my theory might just apply to them, I don't know. But a person is usually called to the healing arts because they have experienced some degree of pain and suffering, and can also feel this in others and wish to alleviate it.
I'm sure that in this world there are genuine introverts and misanthropes. My "study" is in no way scientific, but I'll venture forth a guess that many people who have identified as introverts are really long suffering empaths.
Some things should be avoided as much as possible. These would be hospitals, violent movies and video games, busy malls and airports. No degree of psychic protection can really block it out. But if you have to go to these places, try and limit your time there. And definitely learn to distinguish your own feelings from other people's feelings. Especially those ones that come out of the blue. That's a good clue.
Understanding this about myself, I realized I don't dislike people and am clearly not an introvert, I'm just an empath who needs to clear it all out sometimes. We can only hold so much of other people's feelings. So when we reach saturation point, we shut down and go somewhere quiet to sort it all out.
And that's OK.