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  • Most machines of any degree of complexity, that we opt to live around.

    生活上,任何有一定複雜度的機器, 都會提供一份「使用說明書」

  • Are offered to us with an instruction manual.


  • A guide to how the unfamiliar machine works.

    我們對它能有什麼期望、如何讓它展現最佳狀態、 以及如何解讀它發出的訊號。

  • What we can except from it!

    這其中的預設是:有個方法能讓操作這機器 變得容易許多、也較不惱人,

  • How to get the best out of it!

    那就是事先花一點時間, 有系統地、有耐心地了解這機器的運作方式,

  • And how to interpret its signals.

    然而,有個領域,我們完全沒有使用說明書可參考: 其他人內在的運作方式

  • The assumption being,


  • that it would be so much easier and less enraging

    我們在尚未真正了解彼此的怪癖所在之前, 就進入了一段情感關係,

  • to deal with this machine,

    我們在不知情的狀況下繼續前進, 彷彿在途中就能依靠直覺學會對方的運作方式

  • when we have taken some time systematically and patiently

    卻可能耗費痛苦的幾十年 --或更久-- 才終於了解最基礎的部分。

  • to learn, how it operates.


  • And yet one area, when we tend not to have manuals to read


  • is when it comes to other people and their functioning.

    例如,他們通常不會解釋是因為童年發生的某個事件 而導致他們在機場發脾氣、尖叫

  • This causes us immense troubles.


  • We going to relationship without any real sense

    我們經常必須從外在行為推測背後可能的原因, 而且當事人又未能提供我們任何幫助。

  • of where the others peculiarities will lie


  • and vice versa.


  • We are wittingly proceed


  • as if operating another person might be an intuitive skill


  • will just pick up along the way.

    「我試圖在程序上控制你, 是因為我覺得在情感上跟你變得有點疏離」

  • It can take a painful decade or more

    如果我們知道如何提早給對方一些使用說明, 那會節省非常多時間。

  • to work out the very basics.

    如果我們能夠解釋: 「我感到受傷的時候,會變得冷漠」或者,

  • Mostly, human machines work in extremely odd ways.


  • And yet tend not to explain, the origins of their madness.


  • For example: They don't calmly lay out

    或者,「我需要跟其他可能發展出愛情的人聊聊, 因為我覺得自己在妳面前變得毫無吸引力了」

  • that certain incidents in childhood

    然而,取代這些說明的, 經常是在激烈衝突的過程中發現對方的弱點

  • have given them a disposition to shout at airport,


  • to be suspicious of authority

    也因此,會讓對方看不見自己善意的出發點 -- 這原本是導向原諒的關鍵

  • or to be shifty in owning up to debts.


  • We must work backwards, from outward behavior,

    可是,一旦讓伴侶感覺受到羞辱, 他們的行為就很難被以仁慈的眼光看待。

  • to possible causes,


  • without any help, from the machines themselves.

    我們只需要他們能夠看見自己的弱點, 並在沒有衝突威脅的情況下,讓我們了解這些弱點

  • Sometimes, the signals are just completely confusing.

    並且在相處良好的時刻裡, 為他們對我們帶來的困擾表達歉意。

  • "Fuck off, I really don't want to see you."

    換句話說,伴侶所能帶給對方最棒、最有愛、 最奢華的一份禮物,就是

  • Turns out to mean:

    一份「使用說明書」,說明自己那有點折磨人、有點怪 但終究總是值得被愛的 -- 靈魂。

  • I am so worried you don't want me

  • and I am getting in early with my revenge.

  • Please tidy away your clothes

  • and put away the dishes.

  • Might mean:

  • I am trying to control you procedurally

  • because I fell so out of touch with you emotionally.

  • We would save so much time

  • if we knew how to give one another manuals, early on.

  • If we could explain:

  • when I am hurt I go cold

  • or I am especially prone to be subservient,

  • but then, resentful

  • or I get brutal when I am at most vulnerable.

  • or I feel a need to talk about other possible lovers,

  • because I feel so unattractive to you deep down.

  • Instead, the weaknesses of machines

  • are usually discovered in a heat of conflicts.

  • In context where they would have wounded the other person.

  • And therefore

  • will be denied to the good will that might have ensured that could be forgiven.

  • Many of the difficult patterns of behavior of human machines

  • have very sympathetic points of origin.

  • But, once they have caused the partner humiliation

  • they are unlikely ever to be looked upon charitably.

  • We don't need people to be perfect,

  • We only need them to be able to see their faults,

  • to teach us about them, when we are unthreatened

  • and to apologize for the difficulties they causes in good time.

  • In other words, the greatest, most loving and luxurious gift

  • any partner could ever give another

  • is an instruction manual.

  • To their own rather tortured, odd

  • but ultimately, always really rather lovable soul.

Most machines of any degree of complexity, that we opt to live around.

生活上,任何有一定複雜度的機器, 都會提供一份「使用說明書」


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