For as long as I can remember, I've been extraordinarily sensitive to the moods of people around me. In fact, I've usually been more attuned to how others are feeling than how I am feeling myself. Again and again, friends have advised me to focus more attention inward and worry less about what's going on around me. But that's easier said than done, when you're psyche is configured the way mine is. I'd be hard pressed to recall a time when I was intensely caught up in a mood that wasn't the result of identifying with someone whose mood was similar. And that's a problem, obviously, one that's been brought home to me with renewed force in the past few days. At the same time, I don't want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. While it may be a bad idea to be consistently other-directed, I think that some disregard for the self might turn out to be a positive, in the end. So where -- and how -- do I draw the line?