Being emphatic can be both good and bad.If you can tell how someone feels then you could develop your abilities.Being empathic can come pretty handy when meeting new people as to get a feel of their character.It can just as easily be a pain if anyone in your current location near to you is sick,in pain having a really bad day.Long and the short of it depending on how sensitive you are(your empathic ability) the more you will pick up on and the more others moods will affect you as yours can affect them.
Being an empathy sucks at times, especially if your unable to control and block. I am a strong empathy, hate it at times. I am not a fan of emotions, but am ruled by them. Its taken me a long time to be able to block, yet if someone is a strong personality with a strong emotion I still feel it. Which is why I prefer to socialize online rather than person. But it can be handy when you need it.
mind reading is another matter sometimes. I can hear peoples thoughts sometimes, but it seems to me the harder your try to read ones thoughts, the harder it is. IS that how it is for you?
I've realized for me, its easier if I just reach out oh so gently and try to get a whisp of what ones is thinking.
But mostly it happenes by accident. I actually haven't tried to strengthen that ability for whatever reason.