My experience/education with this type of behavior (I would consider it manipulation) is that it is born of early life trauma, often starting in utero, when the fetus doesn’t feel safe & develops a hyper vigilant nature, which the child then relies upon to attempt to feel safe outside the womb.
In using this ability to sense the energy field around them, they develop patterns of interpretation, stories they assign to how certain energy feels. By no means is this wrong – it just is. But these stories are often more loyal to narratives that protect them from information they may not feel safe hearing or integrating. They are so geared to protect their psyches & resist what feels intolerable – that which they haven’t developed the ability to hold within themselves without fracturing/breaking down.
It becomes manipulative when the empathic person taps into someone’s energy field without permission, tells them how they feel &/or suggests there is something wrong with them. Well, if the person tapping into your energy field has violated your boundaries in some way, you can sure as shit bet they will sense that something is wrong! But in this more insidious case, they will often interpret what they sense in a way that protects themselves, points the finger on the person they are reading without permission & focuses on bolstering their own desire to feel powerful &/or prophetizes their energy reading skills to compensate for how they feel deficient or insecure. This all happens because of an unwillingness to consider they may have done something wrong – that someone is upset with them – someone does not want them near them.
Enter Rejection. If an empathic individual with heavy early life trauma from rejection feels rejected, they may feel so terrified of it, they dissociate. And it’s easy to dissociate if you have a strategy that helps you do that. “I read your field & stay in denial of any information that field read may have to say about how I am behaving – i take no ownership.” Again, associating the ability to read it as a symptom of power.
This is really counter to the normal narrative about codependency. We are told that it is related to taking ownership of everything – having no boundaries. This is true, but many codependents merge with everyone yet take no ownership, and just deflect every bit of intel they get from their reads. Its the dark mother complex. It’s rampant. And insidious.
And to sum all that up – even when someone is uncomfortable, it’s not for other people to force them to discuss it. For example, I get uncomfortable when my hubby is upset. I can sense that. But it’s not for me to push him to discuss it if he doesn’t want to. He has the right to feel his feelings, without me invading his need to contemplate how he is feeling on his own accord. It’s for me to learn to stay in my energy lane & realize his experiences are his, & figure out how to be ok with sensing there is a disturbance in the force, without trying to control or contort the situation – or the person to serve my comfort.
I hope this helps.