There are two natural reactions that an Empath has upon meeting someone that the form a link with. The first is to feel the emotional energy which is flowing out of the other person. The second is to interpret that energy, to find the best means in which to help that person. And in a reflectory way, the best way to approach that person and what facet of the Empathic personality to bring forward to handle the situation.
Think of your own personality as a multifaceted gem. Each distinct facet is a singular part of your own personality. One of these facets might be a mothering facet. While another facet might be a tomboy facet. Each one is unique unto itself based on the Empath's previous experiences and past associations in their lives. So how I react toward one person, may be completely different from how you will react to that same person. This is called Empathic perspective, which as stated above, is solely dependent upon the Empaths previous experiences and associations. But what lays beneath all of this, is a shared empathic intent ~ to offer support and give help where needed.
So taking those two reactions, and the underlying intent, one sees the Empathic experience a little clearer.
An good example would be this:
You, as an Empath, along with me, are introduced to a woman who has been physically abused. Upon meeting her, we both feel that hard energy clawing at us, demanding help, even as she smiles at us during the introduction and says nothing about her history.
I would react, based on my own past experiences of abuse (even if they are different types) and gentle my smile to put her at ease. And I would possibly speak in a softer voice, to make her comfortable.
I may choose not to bring up her experiences, given the fact that we've just met and they are still fresh wounds upon her soul. Adding the fact that it might make her uncomfortable and cause her to push away from me.
All of this is reflectory, based on her energy, her facial features (being the tightness of her smile which doesn't quite reach her eyes, the dullness of her eyes, the unkept look of her hair, the lose grip of her handshake, etc.) and her verbal and nonverbal reactions (like shying away from loud noises, being jumpy, etc.).
And in the same case, you may choose a different path. You might take her aside and gently probe her, manipulating the conversation, until she feels comfortable enough to be open about her experiences with you. This does not mean that you are manipulating to hurt the other party. Again, this is a reflectory reaction based on your own experiences and personality.
Neither of these reactions is wrong. Each rose out of a single intent ~ to help. And each was done in the best way possible to offer solace to the person who is in pain.
So, whats your reaction?