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    Caring for Others in an Age of Self-Interest
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
    According to a study published recently in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, people in the 20th century seem to care increasingly more about themselves at the expense of others.

    What are your thoughts about the implications of this in your life? You might consider both how others being more interested in themselves has affected you and how you being more interested in yourself may affect others. Or, perhaps, you'd like to share your thoughts about how being in a self-interested culture affects us all.

    If you would like to read more in detail about this topic in my The Art of Relationships blog, click here .

    Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

    rohvannyn responded:
    Yet another great discussion! I hope everybody joins in.

    I really do think this era is more self centered than any other. Part of that can be traced, I think to how many folks were raised in the Baby Boom generation... some grandparents I know wanted their children (my parents' generation) to have all the things they didn't and as a result many folks in my parents' generation became very successful but rather self centered. No I am not saying everybody is like that. I'm just talking about tendencies I have observed.

    Some of it may have to do with family size also. I think bigger families usually have to learn to work more as a group. As an only child, I have a really hard time with teamwork and true sharing. I know the trend in recent years has been toward smaller families so that could have something to do with it. Media is a factor as well, but that is more driven by the culture it is created by. Unless the powers that be have a vested interest in us being really self centered? But that's another question for another day.

    A final thought I have on self centeredness is, it's hard to avoid "looking out for number one" as we feel increasingly embattled as people. As we feel greater stress and pressure from the world around us, we want to protect ourselves and we stop reaching out. I am working hard on learning how to reach out and care for others even though I am often feeling like I have to retreat and be self centered to protect myself.

    'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
    dfromspencer responded:
    Hi Dr. Leslie,

    Thanks, another awesome point of discussion!

    If you really want an example of self centeredness, look no further than the Republican party we have right now, in office!!! They are doing everything in their power, to rid themselves of the older people, the disabled, and even the Veterans! Why, because they serve the rich, only the rich because they themselves want to be, or already are rich themselves!!! Congress fights each other on this topic constantly. The rich became totally self centered, and pay everyone under them to be the same way, but only for them!

    If you follow politics at all, or just watch the news, you can see how divided this country is. There are the top ten percenters and their loyal serfs, and then, there is the rest of us. Now, if you look at the bigger picture, it is very telling on this topic!!!

    I like a lot of what Roh said, also! The smaller families, especially the one child families, tend to raise their children as Me-Me's! The child wants, the child says Me-Me, and they get it! Society has turned towards themselves for protection from the wealthy Me-Me's!!! They have sent all the good paying jobs overseas, wages have been stagnant for decades, they are busting up the unions, all for the greater good of the Me-Me's!!!

    Our society is in big trouble, and no one can stop it! Obama tried, and he got put in his place, just like all the past Presidents from Reagun till now!!! The Me-Me's want a two party system of those that have, and the serfs that tend to their every wish, and take what ever pay they feel like giving?!

    Wait, that is already happening!!! We just may be close to saying goodbye to the America we grew up in?! The bad thing is, we turned a blind eye to the rich, they were our job creators, right?

    Trickle down??? Yep, i suppose it did, but it sure had a yellowish tint to it, and it smelled funny?!!!

    Sorry if this sounds like a rant, it is not intended to be, just my observations of our once great caring society that is long gone, now! We are all living in the Me-Me's generation. And it doesn't look good for our future?!


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