wilhelm-dilthey made the distinction between elementary and full empathic understanding to describe different levels of interacting with the world.
Elementary understanding is what an infant might show during early development. Before a child learns to talk, it is already able to interact in various social contexts without necessarily having a deeper acknowledgment for the meaning of social cues. We learn how to make ourselves understood and how to negotiate through verbal and nonverbal communication. A single expression may be enough to lead to basic actions.
Projecting your ego on someone else, based on your own experience, and inferring meaning from there is the second part of understanding.