Most of the time we are not even aware that we are attributing thoughts and feelings to people. Sure, afterwards I construct elaborate clauses about what I thought about what you thought about what I thought. But when it's happening, it's fast, messy, and mostly nonverbal.
I want to go to a workplace party this Christmas, but the idea of standing in a crowded room on my own fills me with dread.
Rather than lots of fancy features, it is likely that what humans enter the world with is a general ability to learn. We have an amazing ability to be able to pick up on various things and group them together.