Some people self-identify as having empathy while other do not. Some people demonstrate empathy while others don't. We tend to determine the level of empathy in others through observation or how they react to people we care about, including self. For those who self-identify as having empathy, how is that determined? What constitutes "proof" of having empathy.
It is possible to project personal feelings into someone else which is a bit different from empathy. It is also possible to have selective empathy where it is felt in some cases and completely disregarded in other cases. Can genuine empathy be selective, or is it a general disposition towards perceiving reality?
I'm wondering how it relates to ego/self. Is empathy an extension of how far one's ego (sense of self) extends, or is it a perspective from a different vantage point than self.