Since a very early age, I have been a story teller. I was entering storytelling contests and engaged in non-stop chattering as far as anyone can remember. I have always rooted for the underdog, unless it was either the New York Yankees or the Mets playing. And quite often, other people around me want to offload their problems on me, even strangers. I once shared with you all how a man was having a panic attack on a commuter train and although the train was not full, he chose to sit next to me and ask me to talk to him so ease his anxiety. On Amtrak, people always prefer to sit next to me. People will often stop me on the street for directions.
And at work, forget about it. I should have a couch in my office for all the disclosures that occur. I don’t mean to make light of it. My first week at two different jobs, on different coasts of the United States, I had people come to my office and disclose that they had been raped at one point in their life. Its heavy stuff. I hear heavy stuff. I listen and nod. Sometimes I provide feedback, but I often just sit non-judgmentally. And that is the crux of it all. I have a fairly experssive face but when people are disclosing tough issues, I am a wall. The only think I try to show is sympathy and empathy. I also make really silly jokes.
By the time I get home, between the employee disclosures and the random strangers, I feel grand fatigue. Of course, work in itself is tiring. Taking all this into account, many would say I am an empath. Apparently, that is my superpower. Which doesn’t thrill me because I think being a villain is so much cooler. An empath. Would that make me part of the Xmen? But what good is it to be an empath when that means that you can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems?
One cool part of being an empath is is that you know when someone is not being honest. That I do love about myself, if I can so boast. I am prety good at reading people. But considering that we now supposedly live in a post-truth world, does my ability to tell when someone is lying even matter. Is it even real? There is no more reality, afterall.
The other thing about empaths is that they do not like to be around overly egotistical people. That is a bit I can definitely relate to. Although, I do get a kick of egotitiscal people at times. Many egotitistical people tend to lie. They lie about very small things all the time. Thus, it becomes a game of trying to find out what is the exagerated truth bit. It can be fun for a bout two hours maximum.
According to a recently released research study residents of Rhode Island, Montana, Vermont, Main, North Carolina, Illinois and California have the most empathy. I guess I am amongst good company? But I must tell you I am not too sure that I really get the empathy feel from Los Angeles. I mean, there are tent cities everywhere where the homeless are forced to reside. And, residents of Alabama, Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, Idaho and Pennsylvania have the least empathy. I think I can agree with that. Although sadly, considering how much bourbon is in Kentucky you would think people would be more able to be empathic with each other. Anyway, I am not about to move anytime soon and even less so based on a silly so-called academic study of empathy (based on a survey).
I have digressed and need to get back to my original question. Am I an empath? Perhaps. But what can I do with that? Maybe since I am in Lala Land, I can become an actress. Hmmm. From psychologist to actress. Its not completely unheard of. I think it can be done.