When I was eleven, a buddhist monk for whom my mom had been volunteering for many years told her after he met me that I was an empath. I thought it was cool, but didn't give it much thought until high school, when I started struggling with normal human interaction and my self esteem started to plummet, most likely due to my sensitivity to energies and fear of negative energies directed towards me.
It wasn't until a few months ago, however, that I really started to take my abilities seriously after an inspirational bonding moment I had with one of my good friends who recently realized she was an empath. I started reading about it a lot, and every article seemed to describe reasons for the development of the exact problems I've been having for years with this sensitivity. Yet, despite my strong belief in what I can do, I'm still uncomfortable describing myself as psychic...
When most people think of psychics, I feel like they think of those who use their abilities to help people, or simply put their abilities to good use. For me, although I am sensitive to other people's emotions and energies, interpretation of those energies can be really difficult. I feel like I have this ability, but it goes to waste because I can never communicate these feelings clearly without simply restating what the other person already said they felt. No one is going to believe I'm psychic if I just repeat what they already know. People who go to psychics are looking for answers they haven't found yet.
So what do I need to know in order to learn how to correctly interpret energies?
What can I do with empathy when I have fulfilled the achievement? How can I use this to enlighten others?
Also, are there any good tips for distinguishing external from internal emotions?
Finally, do many empaths smoke cigarettes? It's a random question, I know, but I feel like smoking creates a barrier of sorts between myself and others, albeit a negative one... I just want to know if others understand what I'm feeling, too. I ask for the truth though, not a formulated answer to help me quit, if you're thinking about doing that... O.o