Do you consider yourself a good person? Are you caring, compassionate, considerate, and forgiving? Perhaps you deny or are wholly unaware of your capacity to at times be bad? Can you recall a time when you were uncaring, insensitive, or perhaps even cruel? How do you act when you are inconvenienced or hungry? Hmm. Oh, and by the way, rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat 2,000 of something.

Do you have high standards for your behavior and interactions with others? In the absence of a healthy conscience, it is nearly impossible to be an ethical person. If you think evil is firmly outside of yourself, you are sadly mistaken, my friends.

We are all lacking in judgment, egotistical, and sinful at times. What unites truly evil governments and people is that they are completely convinced that they are doing the right thing. They would never take the position that they may actually be mistaken or misguided.

We do not have a monopoly on truth or justice. Or as it’s been said: Don’t you think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly? Think about it.

We must embrace how flawed we truly are. You are far better off giving others the benefit of the doubt, as you know that you need forgiveness and grace just as badly.

If you truly wish to be a better person, try reflecting on your life and tell me one thing you are grateful for each and every day. Remember that self-care is not the same as pampering yourself. Dedicate time to restore yourself. Take that hot bath, or that walk around the block. Sip that soothing, hot herbal tea with honey to calm your nerves.

Exercise will surely improve your mental health and give you more energy, not less. I know. You wish exercising was as easy as eating. I get it. Here’s to everyone who still goes to the gym after January. Then again, it’s been said: If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

If you like when others are complimentary and appreciative toward you, make an effort to do thoughtful acts for her today, as well. Do a small thing that makes him happy. It may just make his day.

Do not dwell on your past mistakes. Holding on to resentments will greatly impact your emotional well-being. Choose small goals for yourself and keep yourself accountable or ask him to help you be answerable.

Make an effort to practice the art of simply being nice. Start by learning to accept life’s reversals as a part of living. Do not try to frighten everyone else because of your own personal fears. Connect with her unique experiences through listening and empathy. Many things in life will still insist on going wrong. Traffic anyone? I know. You’d rather be stuck in mud than stuck in traffic.

Work on being more realistic about how things in life tend to go. Sure, we humans may be hardwired to be self-centered; but you can sacrifice your own gratification in the name of someone you care for or love.

Spare her too much exposure to your selfish, shadowy side and simply use good manners. For mercy’s sake, please see the humor in some situations and in yourself, my friends. It’s better to grow old with a sense of humor than no sense at all.

Be emotionally comforting, and do not rush to make assumptions about others, please. Become deeply aware of how highly needy and fragile we humans are. We all yearn for kindness, tenderness, and understanding. Yes, even you.

However dignified or distinguished he may appear, behind the scenes he, too, will have a struggling self. Become conscious of the effect you have on other people. Be more aware if you are helping or hurting her. Do not give in to the pressure of being flawless like actors on a screen or the latest influencer on I.G. Just put your grandma on speed-dial and call that Instagram.

Let go of ridiculously high standards for yourself and loved ones and of your fear of being judged. Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back. They’re behind you for a reason.

Stop always asking others what to do. Stay true to what you want, and trust yourself and your decisions. And don’t forget, sweet friends: It’s perfectly all right to reward yourself for your efforts. After all, you deserve it. It was once observed: I lost myself trying to please everyone else. Now I’m losing everyone while I’m finding myself.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at