You are doing the right thing, getting into it with a mindset of wanting to understand it and wanting to learn. A lot of people just want such things to go away, so they can go back to not believing in them and just focusing on the so-called "material" world.
When you tried speaking to the spirit (or whatever it is), what did you say?
I recently answered a question for a young person who was very upset by what he sensed was a spirit at his grandmother's house. I told him to think of it as being similar to a squirrel living around her house--I can't imagine where I got that analogy, but I do like it. Here's the post: http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/spiritu...gs-296695.html
(I hope I did the link right--if not, perhaps someone will let me know how best to link to other posts in AMHD).
Sometimes a presence will try to get your attention in ways that seem like it's attacking, such as trying to trip you. But really it is just trying to be noticed, and doesn't realize that what it is doing is rude. It's just like dealing with a new person you meet at your school. If they are doing something to you that you don't like, you need to be firm in telling them to stop. However, you can also let them know that this does not mean you don't like them, and that you would be willing to learn about them, and help them if they need help, but only if they never try to do anything to hurt you.