"If we do not respect ourselves, we are the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out – since our self-image is untenable – their false notion of us. We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: a gist for imaginative empathy, evidence of our willingness to give...At the mercy of those we cannot but hold in contempt, we play roles doomed to failure before they are begun, each defeat generating fresh
despair at the urgency of divining and meeting the next demand made upon us."
-Joan Didion, On Self Respect