“The healthier our self-esteem, the more inclined we are to treat others with respect, benevolence, goodwill, and fairness–since we do not tend to perceive them as a threat, and since self-respect is the foundation of respect for others. With healthy self-esteem, we are not quick to interpret relationships in malevolent adversarial terms.”

This is a quote from Nathaniel Branden’s Six Pillars of Self Esteem.

When I see somebody retaliate aggressively, I see a low self-esteem. Regarding yourself as valuable means you believe your time to be worth too much to position any of your efforts directly against a specific person. Building something for yourself will help you achieve your goals, knocking someone else down will not (unless your goal is simply to gain power over others).

Letting a knee-jerk emotional reaction take your focus away from building things for yourself is a sign of weakness. Knocking someone down out of anger is the reaction of a person who views himself in relation to others–not independent from them. Doing so distracts you from building yourself up individually.

When I get knocked down, I do not fight back. My gaze remains fixed on my own target as I continue moving towards it, unfazed. I am not concerned with who or what knocked me down, only with how I can move myself forward from where I am.

Resistance only leads to the drive to create more.