It can help you, because you know that you are helping others Doesn't matter if they don't reciprocate ... I am an empath myself and find myself giving giving giving sometimes to get nothing in return, but that's the thing. I don't care if people don't reciprocate (at least now, I used to care), because I know in my heart that have helped someone and what goes around does come around, eventuallly.
Being an empath is very difficult. You feel other people's feelings a lot more than you even want to, sometimes. There really isn't any way to shut it off. It's like being an open antenna.<br />
I don't think you can look at it as something that is going to help you, other than as a learning experience. Through empathy you will acquire knowledge and experience of human nature that will allow you to understand people at a level far beyond normal. That in turn is going to contribute to your own growth and wisdom. That's not to say that that process is not going to be a painful thing in and of itself, simply because the human experience is full of pain and you will sample it firsthand.<br />
You have the capability of becoming a first rate psychologist. Perhaps you should put your talents to work.
Be careful. Being an Empath is one thing. People who have healthy self-esteem are good to themselves, and others. On the other hand, sometimes people who don't feel good about themselves take disrespect or abuse because they don't feel entitled to better treatment, or think they need to in order to be liked, etc.<br />
Understanding people and being kind is great, but don't fail to set healthy boundaries. :)<br />
If you're letting people step on your feelings, it's time to learn about changing those limiting subconscious beliefs. :)