It can be difficult to differentiate between your thinking ego and the messages from spirits or angels. Over time you can learn to tell what experience is you and what is the spirit. The only draw back is when you believe everything told to you in a literal sense. If you do not learn to keep your guard up and and stay grounded you can begin to weave an energetic reality within your mind that can unbalance you. Being able to walk that fine line is an important skill. We are beings of spirit and flesh, so we need to be able to function in both. Instinct, common sense, and a skeptical eye can held guard against a literal take on what you encounter with spirits.
Here are a few tricks you can use to help weed out good spirits from bad and keeping grounded.
Testing spirits is a great way to find the difference between your ego and a spirit. Asking for signs is a usual method. The spirit may say, "look for a red flag" or may show you images to keep an eye out for. Alternatively you can ask it questions that not even you know. Example: "My new friend's middle name begins with what letter?" Its ok to test spirits, good ones understand your caution.
Name of Deity
Bad spirits are cautious of the names of Deity. Most can not stand to be around when people utter them. When used with a push of energy behind it the name of Deity can be used to ward off bad spirits. This is another way to test the spirits you come into contact with. It doesn't matter what name you use for Deity, if it is sacred to you it can be used this way.
Shields and Protection
If you keep your shields up and the protection on your home up to date then there is a good sign your spirit may not be bad. Neutral spirits and good spirits are not always susceptible to the protection we place in our home. Especially if our intention is to keep "those that wish harm" out. Make sure to keep your shields up and have a space that you protect from all spirits just so you can get some peace.
Researching about the spirit is the number one thing to do when you discover it talking with you. Everything it says should be recorded and checked to make sure it really has happened. Or if its telling you how things work in the afterlife, research who they are and if they have any room to talk.
Beware the False Spirit
Bad spirits can be very alluring and charismatic in how they approach us. They can take on any appearance or tone. Some will even mimic the other spirits around people and try to gain their trust. This is why testing is important, even after developing a bond with a particular spirit. Intoning a spirit's name can weed out a mimic from the true spirit. Also using the name of Deity can be useful in getting rid of disguised spirits.
Use of Names
Once you have the true name of a spirit it is easier to clear out the who is who. The best thing you can learn from a spirit is its name. Not only does this help in your research, but also in weeding out mimics.
During your life and path you may experience something with spirits that just feels a little 'off.' It is not exactly bad, but its as if what you are getting isn't the whole truth. Sometimes your shadow, the subconscious side of us that carries our doubts and fears, can manifest or interfere with your intuition. It can block or distract you from true communication. It can also push you further from a grounded, stable state of mind. Your shadow isn't bad or evil, it is simply manifesting our doubts, fears, and anger. Working through your emotional problems is the best way to keep yourself balanced and your shadow from interfering.