Observations on Resentment

This morning after reading a vague emotional post by a woman who has decided to write off white women...

Two friends and I set up a rule — no more white women for 2017. We are not accepting friend requests online or in real life. We don’t have the energy required to vet people and then wait for the other shoe to drop.

Can't help but muse that people who truly develop self-esteem can't get this upset by not being seen by others. People who establish good boundaries are not subject to surprises by who she thought other people were.

You cannot base your self-esteem on accidents of your birth. Your race. Your height. How good looking you think you are.

Neither can you base your self-esteem on your relationships. The people who try this always end up resentful and bitter. (And, apparently, more than a bit racist.)

I suspect the most important thing to your self esteem that you can do is to look at the world and decide what you're going to try to be. Then do it. Then check in and ask yourself how it's going.

It is my prediction that people who are intentional and rational harbor fewer resentments toward others. There are probably fewer incidents of misplaced trust as well. When you begin with the idea that no one else owes you anything, every kindness is a gift rather than an expectation. The people in whom you take pleasure are enjoyable for their own sake for as long as those interactions last.

What is the relationship between expectation and resentment? What is the relationship between ideas about moral duty and expectation? How is it that people you barely know can "betray" you so badly you are "waiting for shoes to drop"? What would happen if you just accepted people the way that they were and interacted more with the ones you sincerely enjoy without trying to change the ones you enjoy less?

These are all questions of attitude. And they are worth muddling through for a person who seeks to understand themselves and spend more time acting out of self-worthiness than resentment of others.

That's a worthy goal isn't it? To spend more time acting out of your self-worthiness. Sounds good, anyway.