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Theoretically we are free to select the kind of person we love. We might have chosen someone else.
We're not being forced into a relationship by social convention or match-making or dynastic imperatives.
But in reality our choice of lover is probably a lot less free than we imagine.
Some very real constraints around whom we can love and feel properly attracted to come
from a place we might not think to look: our childhoods. Our psychological history strongly
predisposes us to fall for only certain types of people. We love along grooves formed in childhood.
We look for people who in many ways recreate the feelings of love we knew when we were small.
The problem is that the love we imbibed in childhood was unlikely
to have been made up simply of generosity, tenderness and kindness. Given the way the
world is, love was liable to have come entwined with certain painful aspects: a feeling of
not being quite good enough; a love for a parent who was fragile or depressed; a sense
that one could never be fully vulnerable around a caregiver. This predisposes us to look
in adulthood for partners who won't necessarily simply be kind to us, but who will – most
importantly – feel familiar; which can be a subtly but importantly different thing.
We may be constrained to look away from prospective candidates because they don't satisfy a
yearning for the complexities we associate with love. We may describe someone as not
"sexy" or "boring" when in truth we mean: unlikely to make me suffer in the way I need
to suffer in order to feel that love is real. It's common to advise people who are drawn to tricky candidates simply to leave them and find someone more wholesome. This is both
theoretically appealing and often practically impossible. We cannot magically redirect the
well-springs of attraction. Rather than aim for a transformation in the types of people
we're attracted to, it may be wiser simply to adjust how we respond and behave around
the occasionally difficult characters whom our past mandates we will find compelling.
Our problems are often generated because we continue to respond to compelling people in
the way we learned to behave as children around their templates. For instance, maybe we had
a rather irate parent who often raised their voice. We loved them, and reacted by feeling
that when they were angry we must be guilty. We got timid or humble. Now if a partner
(to whom we are magnetically drawn) gets cross, we respond as squashed, brow-beaten children:
we sulk, we feel it's our fault, we feel got at and yet deserving of criticism, we
build up a lot of resentment. Or perhaps we're drawn to someone with short-fuse – which
makes us blow up in turn. Or if we had a fragile, vulnerable parent who was easily hurt, we
readily end up with a partner who is also a bit weak and demands us to care for them;
but then we get frustrated by their weakness – we tiptoe round them, we try to encourage
and reassure (as we did when we were little) but we also condemn this person for being undeserving.
We probably can't change our templates of attraction. But rather than seek
to radically re-engineer our instincts, what we can do is try to learn to react to desirable
candidates not as we did as children but in the more mature and constructive manner of
a rational adult. There is an enormous opportunity to move ourselves from a childlike to a more
adult pattern of response in relation to the difficulties we are attracted to.
Consider this table, column A: Partner's tricky behaviour. Column B: the child-like response on our part.
And column C: The more adult response we should aim for. Raising our voice could lead to a sense of "it's all my fault"
The more mature response might be, "This is their issue, I don't have to feel bad."
Or if the partner is rather patronising the child-like response might be; "I'm so stupid." But the more adult response might be; "There are lots of kinds of intelligence. And mine is fine."
and so on... Take a moment to look at the chart.
We are almost certainly with somebody with a particularly knotty set of issues which
trigger our desires and our childlike defensive moves. The answer isn't to end the relationship,
but rather to strive to deal with their compelling challenges with some of the wisdom of which
we weren't capable when we first encountered these in a parent or caregiver. It probably
isn't in our remit to locate a wholly grown-up lover. But it's always in our remit to behave
in more grown-up ways around our lover's less mature sides.
We hope you enjoyed this film, for more from The School of Life you can subscribe to our channel and take a look at our range of products on our website.
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為何我們都會選擇難搞的伴侶? (Why We Pick Difficult Partners)

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Josephine 發佈於 2018 年 6 月 30 日    宋如意 翻譯    Evangeline 審核

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你有想過,為什麼我們經常遇人不淑嗎?又或是為什麼交往的對象總是和自己個性不合?根據心理學家研究,我們在交往對象上的選擇,其實受到童年成長歷程很大的影響,到底是怎麼一回事?一起看看影片吧!

1imperative0:13
這個字有兩種詞性,在影片中作為名詞,是「命令、規則;必要責任」的意思。另外一個詞性是形容詞,作為形容詞,imperative 是「必要的;命令式的,專橫的」等意思。這個字的字根是 imper-,有命令的意涵。而英文文法中的「祈使句」也是這個單字喔!
It is imperative that we fight for justice now.
現在是時候為正義而戰了。


*同場加映:
一秒變成你的場!如何「搶奪」發言權?(How to STEAL a conversation?)


2constraint0:22
constraint 是「約束;限制」以及「強制」的意思,若是要表示「對於某項事物的限制」,童常會加上 on 一起使用,例如:the constraint on something。
The goverment puts constraints on corporations in order to control business development.
為了控制商業發展,政府對企業頒布許多限制。


*同場加映:
允安竹:我們能打贏貧窮的三個理由 (3 reasons why we can win the fight against poverty | Andrew Youn)


3irate2:37
irate 是形容詞,有「生氣的、盛怒的」的意思,這個字跟 irritate 有點像,有些人也許會搞混,不過兩者的詞性可是不同的,irritate 是動詞,有「激怒;使煩躁」的意思,讀起來也不同,irate 的 i 念作 [aɪ],irritate 的 i 則是發 [ɪ] 的音。
Run! That irate lion is coming right at us!
快跑!那頭生氣的獅子正用全速追著我們!


*同場加映:
【經典童話】龜兔賽跑 (The tortoise and the hare - Stories for Kids)


4radically3:36
從字尾 -ly 可以判斷它是副詞,意思是「根本地;極端地;激進地」,形容詞是 radical,是「基本的;徹底的;與生俱來的」的意思。除此之外,radical 也有名詞的詞性,作為名詞,它有「根部;基礎;基本原理」的意思。
My life changed radically since he left.
他走後,我的生活完全地改變了。


*同場加映:
奇妙生態:狼群如何改變河川 (How Wolves Change Rivers)


5compelling5:00
compelling 有「引人入勝的;令人注目的」以及「強制的、不可抗拒的」的意思,原動詞是 compel,意思是「強迫」。談到強迫,大家可能對另一個單字更加熟悉,就是 force,force 也是強迫的意思,兩者差別在於 force 的強迫是透過各種力量實行,可能包含暴力行為等等,但 compel 的強迫較偏向於精神心理層面。
Although it may never be possible, the prospect of time travel is very compelling.
雖然可行性很低,但時空旅行的設想很吸引人。


*同場加映:
我們的宇宙是獨一的嗎? (Brian Greene: Is our universe the only universe?)


看完影片之後,希望大家無論在選擇對象或是在相處過程中,時時提醒自己,用成熟的心態和想法去處理遇到的困難,別再讓過去經歷綁住你!

文 / Stephanie Hsu

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