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  • A lot of discomfort about going to social engagements is rooted in what can sound like a rather high-minded concern: a hatred of small talk.

    在社交場合中感到不自在的原因往往是討厭寒暄,這個看似高傲的理由。

  • We can develop a dread of parties because we know how likely we are to end up wedged into conversations about the weather, parking, traffic or the way we plan to spend the forthcoming holidays.

    我們變得害怕人群,因為我們知道自己最後將被迫閒聊關於天氣、找車位、交通,或是接下來的假期安排。

  • When there would be so many deeper and more dignified topics to address.

    但明明有許多更深入、更嚴肅的話題可以討論。

  • The future of humanity, the fate of the nation, or the melancholy state of our hearts.

    像是人類的未來、國家的命運,或是我們心裡的憂愁。

  • We resent parties for holding up an ideal of community and dialogue while trapping us in unproductive and insincere banter.

    我們不滿人們看似理想地延續了社群間的對話,卻將我們困在空泛虛偽的玩笑之中。

  • For making us more lonely than we ever would be in our own homes.

    在這樣的場合裡比獨自在家還孤單得多。

  • But we are perhaps misunderstanding what small talk is for, what it could be in our hands and how we might gently find an exit from its more airless corners.

    但或許我們誤解了寒暄的目的、透過寒暄我們能達成什麼事,抑或其實我們可以在寒暄之際找到出口、喘一口氣。

  • Small talk exists for a noble reason: it is designed to prevent hurt.

    寒暄的存在有個崇高的理由:為了防止人們的內心受傷。

  • It provides us with a rich source of information so that we can safely ascertain the frame of mind of our interlocutorand therefore gauge what more in-depth topics of conversation might safely be broached.

    我們能透過寒暄獲得大量的訊息以確定對方的心境為何,並以此判斷有哪些更深入的話題可以被提出來討論。

  • The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once darkly reminded us that we should always remember, when meeting new people, that they might be only be a few steps away from wanting to grab the nearest weapon and end their own lives.

    德國哲學家叔本華曾隱約提醒我們:永遠記得,初次和他人見面時,對方的心境可能是差幾步就會抓起離自己最近的武器自盡。

  • A few moments of small talk give us the signals we need to find out who we have on our hands.

    我們可以接收透過寒暄帶來的信號,讓我們了解要如何應對這個人。

  • It lends us time to circle intimacy from on high before determining where we might wish to land.

    透過寒暄,我們有更多時間可以決定這段對話中要如何從中切入,進入更深層的對話。

  • Furthermore, a rigid hatred of small talk overlooks that it isn't ever the subject matter per se that determines the profundity of a conversation.

    此外,一味地討厭寒暄讓我們忽略了,一段對話的深度本來就與其內容本身無關。

  • There are ways of talking about death that are trivial and ways of addressing the weather that feel significant.

    我們可以一派輕鬆地談論死亡,也可以將天氣講得至關重要。

  • A truly deep mind can exercise itself as much on the game of a child as on the puzzles of philosophy.

    真正有深度的人可以自行將兒戲化為深度哲學謎題。

  • And it is unfortunate snobbery to discount a topic merely because it has never featured in erudite academic curricula.

    而僅因該談話主題未曾出現在高深的學術界裡就被貶低,實在是虛榮又不合理。

  • We should take inspiration from how many great artists have based their work around what were, at heart, versions of "small talk".

    有這麼多傑出藝術家的作品,其內容實際上皆來自於我們所謂寒暄的主題,我們應該以此學習。

  • In the early 1820s, the English artist John Constable painted fifty studies of the clouds above Hampstead Heath in London.

    1820 年代初期,英國畫家约翰・康斯特勃在倫敦漢普斯特德荒野公園描繪出 50 種類型的浮雲。

  • Finding extraordinary beauty and complexity in the ever-changing quiet aerial drama above him.

    他發現天空的瞬息萬變與錯綜複雜宛如一場戲劇表演,交融出獨一無二的美。

  • With no less open-mindedness, at the end of the nineteenth century, the French artist Paulzanne paid close attention to the varied beauty of apples.

    19 世紀後半葉,同樣保有寬闊心胸的法國畫家保羅・塞尚細細觀察各種蘋果的美。

  • Painting dozens of studies of these modest snacks laid out in bowls and on sideboards.

    他創作了一系列蘋果畫作,有些以碗中呈現、或是散落在櫥櫃上。

  • Buddhism teaches us that, to those gifted enough to see properly, the whole world can be found in a single grain of sand.

    佛教的真理告訴我們:唯擁有用心體會的天賦,才能從一粒沙看見整個世界。

  • We should perceive no insult in a call to glimpse the grandest themes through the lens of small talk.

    我們不應貶低寒暄的存在,因為正因如此,我們才能從這些瑣碎的對話裡深入更豐富的主題。

  • The skilled conversationalist doesn't insist that atmospheric or traffic conditions or where a person has been at the seaside are inherently unworthy of discussion.

    健談的人不會堅持認為天氣、交通概況或去海邊等話題本身不值得被討論。

  • They know that what a person feels about a cloudy afternoon might be a highway to their soul.

    他們知道,一個人對多雲午後的感受,或許就是通往他們心靈深處之路。

  • Or that their experiences around parking might provide clues as to their attitudes to authority or their relations with their parents.

    或者他們的停車經驗可能暗示了他們對權力的看法,或他們與父母的關係。

  • They are not put off by having to work with humble matter.

    健談的人不會因為寒暄的內容瑣碎又普通而推遲不做。

  • They are deft enough to use whatever is to hand.

    他們的談話技巧已熟練到任何話題到手都能應對自如。

  • The fear of small talk reflects a worry, hugely understandable and with roots in childhood experience.

    害怕寒暄反應出我們的焦慮,這完全可以被理解,而原因也跟我們的童年經歷有關。

  • That we will be unable to influence the flow of a conversation by ourselves.

    我們可能無法自己掌控對話節奏。

  • That we will become the victims of the obsessions or pettiness of others.

    我們可能因對方的小心眼或困擾,而犧牲了自己。

  • And that conversation is fundamentally a natural, organic occurrence which happens to us but cannot be created or shaped by us.

    而人與人之間的談話本來就是個自然的、天然的存在;它發生在我們身上,我們卻不能創造或決定它的模樣。

  • It may at points be very engaging, at others hugely frustrating, but the outcome is not ours to determine.

    與人談話有時令人感到愉快、有時讓人十分洩氣,但這些後果不是我們能決定的。

  • We can feel that when a person says something, we must invariably respond in a similar way.

    我們可能會覺得當一個人說一件事,我們老是得用相同的方式予以回應。

  • An anecdote about a golf tournament needs to be followed by another.

    一個接一個說著高爾夫球錦標賽的奇聞軼事。

  • If someone has a story about a booking confusion at a hotel, the other must chip in with a corollary.

    當一個人講著自己在飯店的訂房趣事,另一個人勢必會搶先猜測故事的結果。

  • But in truth, we have far more conversational agency than this implies.

    但事實上,我們擁有的談話媒介比這些多太多了。

  • It's almost always in our power to raise more intimate or profound follow-up questions.

    我們在一場談話之後永遠都能再提出更私人、更深入的問題。

  • And we can do so with the confidence that few of us are ever committed to remaining on the surface.

    因為我們能肯定,大部分的人都不喜歡流於表面的對話。

  • We just don't know how to descend to the depths.

    我們只是不知道該如何將話題深入。

  • An individual who is currently talking at puzzling length about an airline meal has also inevitably been disappointed in love ;

    一個滔滔不絕談論機上餐點的人一定也曾在感情裡失意;

  • Had bouts of despair ;

    感到絕望;

  • Tried to make sense of a difficult parent ;

    想辦法了解如何為人父母;

  • Felt confused about their direction.

    或是找不到方向而感到茫然。

  • And will be longing, at some level, therefore to stop talking about cheese crackers and share the contents of their heart.

    他們某種程度上也渴望分享自己內心的想法,而不再是談論飛機上的起司餅乾。

  • The confident conversationalist does not take fright at small talk and others' occasionally, apparently firm attachment to it.

    有自信、健談的人不會害怕寒暄,也不會怕他人時不時會明顯依賴它。

  • They know that the small themes need only ever be the first, understandable and never insulting steps towards the sincerity and intimacy all of us crave at heart.

    因為他們知道,這些瑣碎的談話主題只是個開端,只需要更多步驟,讓我們不帶偏見地去理解彼此;因為我們都渴望真誠、親密的對話。

A lot of discomfort about going to social engagements is rooted in what can sound like a rather high-minded concern: a hatred of small talk.

在社交場合中感到不自在的原因往往是討厭寒暄,這個看似高傲的理由。

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實在太尷尬!討厭寒暄的時候該怎麼做? (What to Do If You Hate Small Talk)

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    Celeste 發佈於 2019 年 04 月 24 日
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