It is up to the GM if he allows Manipulation in a particular combat scene. If usually allow it in the beginning of a combat or if there is a natural paus in the fighting (both sides are taking cover or moves or something).
A person who breaks in Empathy either run and hide somewhere or become violent and start to hit things. Regardless of what he is still broken and should act accordingly (or if the player can't, the GM will temporary take over). The violent could be that he attacks the guy with the sharp tongue or the tent text to him or he might threw a vase at a wall. It shouldn't be something thoughtful. One way to do it is to let the broken in Empathy (angry version) to attack whatever caused him to be angry or things that are in his to him but disallow him to take any defensive actions (or smart actions).
“Thanks for noticin' me.” - Eeyore