Some believe it's better to address their own needs before concerning themselves with anyone else's, although they can carry the belief to narcissistic extremes. Others fail to prioritize their own problems for fear of appearing selfish. How well do you balance "me" with "we"?
Most of us wish we could improve certain things about ourselves. Lasting change is difficult: Many of our habits are deeply ingrained, and certain core personality attributes may be immutable. But even the oldest of habits and character traits can be altered to varying degrees, as it's never too late to change; with effort and determination, it is possible to be the person you want to be.
Acting with an unselfish regard for others doesn't always come naturally, even though many psychologists believe we're hard-wired for empathy. After all, cooperative behavior did allow our ancestors to survive under harsh conditions.
In a 2004 national survey, the AARP found that 44.4 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult, and the estimated annual value is $257 billion. To do so is a beautiful act of love and devotion, but also a great drain on one's physical and psychological resources.
Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: can people change? How do others perceive me? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? One's personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: it is hard to assess our own personality, and impossible to overlook that of others.
Human beings are social animals, and the tenor of our social life is one of the most important influences on our mental health. Without positive, durable relationships, both our minds and our bodies fall apart.