Categorized | Laurie's Scribbles

A Tough Time For Empaths


Empaths, like Laurie, prefer the hushed quality of a library over the ruckus atmosphere of a concert. Her extraverted husband, Randy, enjoys a loud concert with lots of people. 

By Laurie Stone

I used to fight this about myself and try and keep up with more extroverted friends and family, including my husband. But growing older, I learned I need big doses of peace and quiet.

Many of us know that feeling. We start reading today’s headlines with their endless litany of destruction, hatred and war. We feel almost ill. Our pulse quickens and stomach tightens. We get depressed and anxious. Does this happen to you? If so, you might be an empath. Here are three ways to tell

Violence and Cruelty Affect You Deeply

Even as a kid, I couldn’t handle anything dark or disturbing on television or in the movies. I cried for days after Bambi’s mother died. As I grew older, I became not only affected by seeing a violent movie in the theater but by noticing who sat in the audience. Once, years ago, I went with my husband Randy to see the latest Martin Scorsese movie, which I was told wasn’t that violent. Right.

motherhood, guilty pleasures, meals, mother, worrying, hopeful, boys, asleep, pedometerA few rows ahead of us, sat a boy about 12 years old with his father. I watched in horror as loud, violent scenes played out in front of this child. His father watched unflinchingly, eating his popcorn, as people were shot at close range. This little boy, perhaps just to please his dad, did the same. It almost disturbed me more than the movie. It broke my heart to see a child being so desensitized. I ended up leaving and finding a Will Ferrell film in the same Cineplex while Randy stayed to the end of the Scorsese film.

Beauty Affects You Deeply

For a sensitive person, I’m not a big crier and yet beauty often brings me to tears, sometimes in unexpected ways. I frequently get misty-eyed during live theater, even if I’m seeing a comedy or toe-tapping musical. There’s something moving about watching humans sing, dance or recite lines onstage. I don’t understand why that makes me cry, but it does.

Most sensitive people I know seek out beauty every day, whether it’s walking in nature or visiting art museums or hearing music. On Instagram, there are millions of followers for lovely, peaceful interiors, flowers, soft, adorable animals, or anything that brings us out of this rough world. As an empath, you might not only have a good eye for beauty but a big need for it as well. Few empaths I know can live without it. 

Crowds and Noise Deeply Affect You

As much as I’ve seen some great rock concerts in my life, after a few hours, I’ve had it. Too many people. Too much noise. Too much stimulus. I’ve finally given myself permission to seek alone time when needed. I used to fight this about myself and try and keep up with more extroverted friends and family, including my husband. But growing older, I learned I need big doses of peace and quiet.

That’s why you find many empaths in libraries. I’ve always loved the hushed quality of these places with their stacks of books and soft couches and chairs. There’s space to think and daydream and observe. Walking through nature with just the sound of birds and rustle of leaves can also be a tonic. Empaths must give themselves permission for solitude and privacy when needed.

Today, I’m heartened to see how many empaths (and I believe there are many) are standing up to the violence, oppression and aggression that have dominated this world too long. I believe our numbers are growing. At this time in the planet’s history, I can’t think of any greater hope than future generations.

Destruction, hatred and war might not ever be wiped out. But more and more, with the help of empaths, they can be lessened.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, “Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

5 Responses to “A Tough Time For Empaths”

  1. Beth Havey says:

    Wow, Laurie, this is also me. All of it. I have to walk away from violent films. I have never enjoyed crowds. And yes, a walk in nature soothes me and helps me decide, well this isn’t such a bad day after all. That is also why I get lost in writing. I can CONTROL my world. Wish you lived near me, so much we would share.

  2. Empaths are much needed in this world. Thanks for all you do.

  3. So interesting, thank you for educating us. The photo says it all (your expression is priceless!).

  4. Diane says:

    I know this will come as no surprise, but we are SO alike! I can’t even stand raised voices. And if someone shouts at me? Well, just call me gone! Screaming in music makes me cold all over. I love to dance and can handle loud music on the dance floor, but once I’m off? I’m out.
    I take to heart every story I hear. Husby loves war pictures, but the only stories I can handle are the ones that are sweet or so outlandish they could NEVER happen.
    As a mother of 6 and grandmother to 17 plus 4, I love to have everyone here. It’s positive chaos, but I love it. Then, when everyone goes home and there’s silence once more, I just take a deep breath of relief!
    And recharge.
    You and me, Laurie. You and me.

  5. Joan Curran says:

    Lori, I think you tear up because you are overwhelmed by the talent in these artists. You appreciate the hard work it takes to perform. I do as well, that’s what makes me say it.
    Crazy, but I love it.
    Great piece. Hope you enjoyed liberation in writing it. xo


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