I would like to recommend that you check out The Empath Survival program, which you will find in the upper left hand corner of the Home Page here, under Elise's picture. There is a lot of help there for these type of problems. Before I knew I was an empath, I became physically ill from absorbing other's feelings, and sometimes still have to tell someone that their bad mood is making me a nervous wreck. I am no longer timid about saying so, lol!
The Dial-down technique seems like it would be very helpful with what you and Lynda are experiencing, and there are other things you can try as well. If things like that don't help, you will probably need to learn how to shield, and I would suggest a good shield to Kithor as well. There are many techniques for shielding, some on this site, many in YouTube videos, and you will need to find one that fits you. You may want to join the Tools for Empaths group.
I am exposed to a lot of people like Kithor mentioned, ones who never admit their failures, and those are their good qualities, lol. As a result, I have to clear my aura, clear and align my chakras and then shutter all but my base and crown chakras, ground myself, and then put up a strong shield. I do this daily before getting out of bed. It sounds like a lot to do, but only takes maybe 3 minutes. I also wear crystals that make me feel more loving toward others, like clear or rose quartz when I go out in public, but you may find other stones work better for you, depending on how what you pick up usually makes you feel. Many wear black tourmaline for extra shielding protection.
You're now in a place where you can find friends who understand you, and how being overwhelmed with stimulation can cause a retreat from others. We've all been there!