How to understand people better
Put yourself in their shoes
Think of times you’ve been in a similar situation and explain your reaction
Can the behavior be explained by a more “universal” model than a person-specific one?
How are they empathizing with you, given they are projecting?
How are they empathizing with you, given what you know about how they perceive others?
What successful model have you used to explain similar behavior for similar people?
Is your conclusion affected by your attitude towards the subject?