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  • Liking ourselves,

    喜愛我們自己

  • having high self-esteem as we tend to put it

    也就我們所說的「擁有高度自信」

  • is crucial to any feeling of well-being.

    跟我們自身的快樂有很大的關係

  • What's odd, then, is just how unpredictable the allocation of esteem often turns out to be.

    但奇怪的是,人們擁有自信的程度時常難以預測

  • There are people with modest jobs,

    有些人擁有一般的工作

  • unspectacular bodies and unglamorous friends.

    普通的外表、乏味的社交生活

  • Who confidently nevertheless lay claim to buoyant levels of self-esteem

    卻依然很有自信且擁有很高的自我滿足感

  • They seem to like themselves

    他們似乎很愛自己

  • despite the absence of any vigorous signs of approval from the world at large.

    儘管他們並沒有得到社會的認可

  • And then there are others,

    相對的,有另一部份的人

  • for who no amount of achievement, prestige and financial security

    不論擁有多高的成就、多好的聲望和多少財富

  • ever seems to do the trick.

    似乎都沒有用

  • They anxiously chastise and critic themselves.

    他們會焦慮的責罵、批評自己

  • Always feeling that they've underperformed,

    永遠覺得自己表現不夠好

  • never quite trusting that they really deserved to exist.

    不怎麼相信自己有存在的價值

  • Having sound levels of self-esteem

    自信程度的高低

  • ultimately appears to have precious little to do with hitting any verifiable benchmarks.

    結果顯示,似乎與達到客觀指標沒有什麼關聯

  • It seems connected up with a stranger, more internal, more subjective kind of logic

    反而與一種特別的、較內心、主觀的邏輯比較有關

  • with factors immune to standard notions of achievement.

    而那些成就不受外在成就所影響

  • Three factors stand out in particular

    有三個特別的原因

  • Firstly:

    第一

  • What your same-sex parent did

    與你同性別的家長做過什麼事,會影響到你的自信心塑造

  • the single greatest determinant of how much you will esteem yourself

    自信心塑造,最簡單及最好的判定標準就是

  • is how you compare with your same-sex parent.

    自己與同性別家長的比較

  • Whether you have achieved more or less than mum or dad.

    無論你的成就比父母親高還是低

  • Rather brutally, it seems like comfortable levels of self-esteem

    現實告訴你,想要擁有高度的自信

  • are only available to those who've managed to outpace their same-sex parent.

    就必須設法超越與你相同性別的家長的成就

  • Those from a poor background have a big unwitting advantage here.

    那些家境清寒的人有一個很大的優勢

  • You might only be driving a beaten-up old taxi around Manhattan

    你可能在曼哈頓開一輛破舊的計程車維生

  • and living in one room in Harlem.

    並以黑人住宅區的一隅為家

  • But, if your same-sex parent was a subsistence farmer from Eastern Burkina Faso

    但假如與你同性別的父母,只是個在布吉納法索東部以牧農為生的農夫

  • you will at times feel princely nevertheless.

    你偶爾就會覺得自己其實過得還滿好的

  • Similarly, yet more darkly,

    同樣意思地(但有點黑暗)

  • you might have grown up in ostensibly privilege circumstances

    你也許在非常優越的環境長大

  • but if your same-sex parent made a few hundred million

    但如果你的同性別家長是億萬富翁

  • and you're only managing to pull in a middle-class salary

    而你卻只有中產階級的薪水

  • you're liable never quite to shake off the haunting feeling that you're a disgrace.

    你永遠都會擺脫不了「你是個恥辱」的感受

  • Second thing:

    第二

  • What your peer group is up to.

    同儕的工作

  • We don't feel inadequate in relation to everyone who has more than us

    我們不會看到所有比我們好的人就感到沒自信

  • Only those who we've come to see as belonging to another

    只有在看到同儕得到成就時

  • crucial determinant of self-esteem:

    ——他們也是自信心高低的關鍵因素

  • our peer group.

    ——同儕團體

  • By this we mean the people who were educated with us

    這邊指的是跟我們一起受教育的同學

  • who are around our age

    年紀都差不多

  • and who live in our part of the world.

    且跟我們活在同一個生活圈的人們

  • These people matter infinitely more to our sense of well-being

    這些人對於我們的「過得好不好」的影響

  • than the population at large.

    比社會上其他人還要深很多

  • It's a piece of extreme bad luck

    而這會是個天大的不幸

  • and a matter for particular commiseration and assistance

    及需要他人的同情和幫助

  • if ever our peer group produces someone who starts a billion dollar company or,

    如果你的同儕中有人經營了幾十億元的公司

  • God forbid, ends up running the country.

    或是天殺的,最後成為治理國家的人

  • Every time someone we went to school with does better than us,

    每當發現自己的同學過得比自己好時

  • a small part of us will die.

    我們的內心就會有一小部分死掉

  • We should therefore take immense care,

    因此我們必須非常謹慎地

  • to attend very ordinary schools,

    去註冊比較普通的學校

  • and after graduation to throw all invitations to reunions straight in the trash.

    而畢業後,把所有同學會邀請函丟到垃圾桶

  • Thirdly:

    第三

  • What kind of love you received in childhood.

    你在童年時期得到什麼樣的愛

  • A lot depends on what kind of affection we were the recipients of in childhood,

    很大一部分的自信來自童年得到什麼樣的愛

  • in particular, how many conditions our love came attached with.

    尤其是我們得到的愛有沒有附加條件

  • Some of us had parents who only knew how to give out the conditional kind of love.

    有些父母只給予孩子有條件的愛

  • It was all about the grades and the schools reports,

    例如跟在學校的成績及課業表現如何有關

  • we therefore grew up of course, to be high achievers.

    我們長大後當然會有高的成就

  • But it's not so easy, running around your whole life long,

    但絕不是簡單的,必須花你的一生

  • desperate to put out the raging fires of self-hatred

    澆熄自身的自我厭惡感

  • striving to impress everyone you meet in search of an unsatisfied desire for a parental approval you never knew.

    努力讓大家對自己有好印象,因為你從來沒有得到父母的認同過

  • But others, the blessed ones,

    但有另一種人,被受疼愛的人

  • who've known unconditional love from the start,

    從出生就接受無條件的愛

  • will be ok just to be.

    這種人很會做自己

  • They won't have to do quite so much pushing

    他們不會需要做這麼多努力

  • they'll have an inner basic buoyancy

    他們內心很樂觀

  • guaranteed by the knowledge that they once mattered immeasurably

    因為曾經有過那份愛而已有足夠的自信

  • A big reversal like being fired

    巨大的翻轉,例如被炒魷魚

  • will be unpleasant.

    是件不愉快的事

  • It won't necessarily have to be a tragedy.

    但對他們來說不是悲劇

  • Knowing about the odd internal origins of self-esteem is crutial

    了解自信的內涵和來源很重要

  • because of how often we pursue goals in the belief that success will at last

    因為我們追求成功的同時,都是相信「成功」最終

  • give us the keys to feeling good about ourselves.

    為使我們充滿自信心

  • It seems the truth is slightly darker.

    真相似乎比較黑暗

  • You might ostensibly be doing very well at work

    表面上,你可能工作表現地光鮮亮麗

  • but if your dad was a big shot, or your school buddy became president

    但如果你爸超厲害,或是你的同學變成總統

  • or your parents didn't tank you up with the right unconditional sort of love

    又或許你的父母從前沒有給你無條件的愛

  • no amount of striving, goalscoring, and medal-winning is ever really gonna do it.

    因此,不論多少的努力、達成目標、或贏得獎牌,都不能讓你有自信

  • This changes where we should imagine our challenges lie.

    換個思路,其實通往成功的挑戰和自信心的建立關聯很小

  • Feeling good about ourselves

    自信心

  • isn't ultimately something we can bring about through professional

    並不是我們能從專業協助

  • or economic achievements alone.

    或是經濟成就中得到的

  • In huge part, it's going to be about coming to terms with ourselves.

    很大的一部分,是跟我們自己有關

  • The result of understanding our past

    我們必須了解自己的過去

  • and the dynamics of shame conditionality and humiliation might lie there.

    及其中隱含的羞恥及恥辱

  • It turns out that high self-esteem seems largely to be apprised of psychology

    結果顯示高度自我滿足感大多來自心理狀態

  • rather than the fruit of anything we might achieve

    而不是我們在外頭的世界

  • out in the world in relation to the economy.

    所獲取的成就

Liking ourselves,

喜愛我們自己

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人生課題:關於我們又愛又恨的自尊心 (Self-Esteem)

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