Often, when I am writing the Resentment part of a 4th Step/Inventory, in the 4th column -- the "my part" in the resentment -- one of the things I write is "unrealistic expectations of other people." (Since that's what is often at the root of a resentment for me today.)
The shorthand for this in my head sometimes is "don't expect hungry babies not to cry." (That's not a reference to sponsees -- personally I don't call my sponsees "babies." It's a common term in some of the meetings I go to, and it is not used in a pejorative fashion -- nothing wrong with it. Just not my style is all.) But when I say that to myself about hungry babies, it's along the lines of "Well what did you expect, Mr. SponsorPants? This particular reaction from a person in this state is totally understandable/predictable/sadly-not-that-unusual. Hungry babies cry. Frightened people lash out. etc. Remember and deal."
Lately, when I drill down a little bit, I can see that underneath the 'unrealistic expectations of others' is the nearly unconscious idea that people should/would react the way I would if I were in that situation -- it's almost as if I'm surprised and disappointed when they don't. (Again this is somewhat unconsious. It's an attitude lurking underneath my thinking.)
This is of course a subtly ego-based way of looking at the world. (And quite possibly further proof of my arrested development, since I imagine this is a pretty infantile stage of ego development.)
But even as I write this it occurs to me that there's some arrogance in there as well. Sort of a murky thread running through this attitude, along the lines of "If I were a hungry baby, I certainly wouldn't cry." When in fact there's a body of evidence from my alcoholic behavior that not only would I cry, but I would cry the loudest! And try to put a pillow over the baby in the next crib to boot!
What's the point of all this inventory taking, this writing, this ongoing self examination? Clarity. Which both makes it easier for me to be compassionate towards those I resent (since I am then potentially able to identify with them) and also helps me not be overwhelmed by my resentments, since by mapping them out in this way I can see their roots and understand what makes them tick.
Self examination is always enlightening, occasionally entertaining (though not in this case I'm afraid) but very rarely enjoyable.