By Rachel Puryear
No matter how introverted you may be, and love your time to yourself, empathic people still need friends – and romance – just as much as anyone else.
That includes having some fellow empathic friends. Don’t get me wrong, we all need variety in our friendships, too – but empathic friends understand us in ways that most others won’t.
If you’re single and looking for a lover, it’s also important to meet potential matches who will understand you, and share how you want to live life, too.
The problem is; parties, bars, nightclubs, and other widely popular places to meet people don’t tend to be the best places for empathic types to shine – which can make it challenging to find one another, if we don’t know where else to look.
Accordingly, here are some great places to meet new friends – and maybe also lovers – who are empathic, too:
Several friends hiking in the desert together. By Jed Villejo.
Note: In general, empathic and introverted people tend to strongly prefer places that are less crowded rather than more, and on the quieter side. Keep that in mind when selecting the following kinds of places, in terms of timing and so forth. At the same time, you don’t want the place to be so deserted there’s no one else there if you’re trying to meet people, – so just avoid the busiest and noisiest times.
Most empathic, introverted people I know enjoy the outdoors, and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Live near a beach, park, lake, desert vista, forest, or mountain? That’s likely a promising place to meet like-minded folks. Or, you could take a road trip. While you’re enjoying the peace and serenity these places can offer, you might also meet someone else to do your next trip with.
Shadows of couple at top of hill, looking out at coast at Seal Point.
Where You’ll Find Books…
Libraries. Book shops (especially locally owned, more independent ones). Reading cafes, and book clubs. Anywhere there’s lots of books, and places to relax and read.
People who are introverted, thoughtful, and empathic tend to love these places. And although such hangouts tend to be quiet, they still lend themselves to laid-back social interaction.
Interior of grand library. By Francesca Grima.
Spiritually-Oriented Places and Events (the Non-Repressive Kind)
Many empathic people are drawn to spirituality – just not the powerful, proselytizing, mega-church variety that believes everyone who doesn’t follow them (or give them money) is going to hell, and think church-state separation gets in their way.
However, I’ve met plenty of empathic types at smaller, informal gatherings of people exploring traditions like Paganism, Wicca, Buddhism, spiritualism (efforts to communicate with spirit worlds); as well as decidedly progressive, anti-bigotry, open-minded, community-helping, all-welcoming sects of major religions, such as Unitarians or United Church of Christ.
Many empathic folks are also atheists, humanists, or agnostics. If you are, too, you could meet others like yourself at local atheist/agnostic gatherings, too.
If you can find a local event (try Meetup, for instance) specifically for empaths, HSP, introverts; that’s obviously perfect. No such group in your area? Consider starting one, if that options calls to you.
Even so, you’re not limited to groups that are that spot-on, either.
Gatherings for activities like meditation, self-acceptance, alternative lifestyles, learning to connect more deeply with others, creative and artistic interests, fantasy-oriented interests, playfulness and games; as well as interests around other suggestions in this list; tend to draw a lot of like-minded folks.
Many hands on a log.
Note: Empathic/HSP-oriented events will attract a lot of awesome people, and the vast majority of them are great. At the same time, just because someone identifies as empathic, doesn’t mean that they cannot also be toxic and abusive. Always listen to your instincts with people.
Where Animals Are
Most empathic people enjoy being around animals, and will appreciate that same quality in others, as well.
If you have dogs, you could look for people at dog parks. You could visit a cat cafe, and look for fellow cat lovers. Or, there are lots of pet parents clubs online of varying kinds.
You could, if able, also volunteer at your local animal shelter. Depending upon your skill set and local demand, you could also look for work in a veterinary office.
Likely, In Your Own Life, or Nearby
Chances are, you already have people in your social circle who are empathic like yourself, and whom you would enjoy getting to know better.
That doesn’t mean you cannot also explore the other possibilities on this list – but it doesn’t hurt to also look more closely at those you already know.
Is someone else in your life giving and kind, but quiet about it – and disinclined to draw attention to themselves? Maybe you’ve always thought you should learn more about them, but neither of you tends to make the first move.
Send them a text (unless you’re pretty sure they are comfortable with calls), and offer to hang out, or go somewhere they might like (maybe some of the places on this list, or something else this person likes). Be yourself, listen to them as well, and talk about the deep, important stuff. The rest might turn into history from there.
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Check out my other blog, too – Free Range Life, at https://freerangelife.net. It’s about road trips, parks and cool places to see, van and RV life, making a living remotely, and how wealth is built – and lost.
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