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Almost everyday
with slightly dispiriting inevitability,
someone in our vicinity will hurt us in some way.
It could be a friend,
a colleague,
a child or, most likely,
a partner.
They'll be neglectful of something that matters
immensely to us.
They'll be, to a greater or lesser extent,
unkind, thoughtless, offensive or brusque.
We may never have given much thought to observing the way
we characteristically respond.
And yet, our style of reacting to maltreatment
goes right to the heart of who we are
and can make the difference between:
A life of constant frustration and bitterness
and one of tolerable coexistence.
A crucial part of the art of living
seems to lie in knowing how to
complain constructively and sanely to
those who do us wrong.
There are broadly 3 main ways in which one might complain.
The first is live fury.
Here, we explode, shout, insult, belittle and
attempted to crush our opponent.
What lies behind this response is, at heart, panic and agitation
and a catastrophic feeling of hurt and betrayal.
The slight to our dignity cuts us so deep,
unsettled us so much,
we attempt to ROAR our way out of humiliation.
Our bark may be loud but it
comes from a place of extreme vulnerability.
We're living without a psychological skin.
Unfortunately, of course,
live fury is guaranteed to
prevent our complaint from ever being heard.
In the face of our ranting,
those who've offended us, will themselves get offended,
begin to resent us,
refuse to listen and accuse us of a raft of things
which entirely bury our original
complaint against them.
We achieve nothing.
There is a second option:
Cold fury.
Here one says very little but
hates very deeply and quietly.
We don't dare to complain directly from a despair
that the other would ever understand.
Fuelled with a feeling that we don't
deserve ever to be listened to.
A primitive self-hatred encases us in
cynicism and melancholy.
We become experts at withdrawal.
We've probably been like this from a young age.
The adults we grew up around were probably
too touchy, busy, domineering or absent to
give us much of a hearing.
So we learn to swallow our pain and while seething inside,
act with brittle courtesy and veiled aggression against those hated
characters who've done us wrong.
Then comes that far rarer achievement:
Mature complaint.
In order to master such a feat,
we must work with a background sense that
we don't fundamentally deserve meanness
and also that it won't on its own ever
be able to destroy us.
We are calm because we like ourselves well enough,
a legacy of being cared for by people who
liked us and refuse to endure
punishment quietly or with masochistic patience.
We have the confidence not to
be thrown into complete disarray by insult.
We can seek restitution and
tend to do so fairly fast while the incident
is still fresh in everyone's mind
but with a measured, strategic, calm manner
of people secure in their right to have their say.
We're careful not to insult or
belittle our opponents.
We always simply say: How we feel.
Rather than declaring: You're vindictive and selfish for doing X;
We say: I feel hurt by the way you do X.
We don't give others easy excuses to get
insulted and block their ears in turn.
We don't want to make it that simple for them.
Nevertheless we don't have
unlimited faith that people are always
going to understand and accept what
we're trying to tell them,
yet we want to speak out anyway.
Because we know it's not good for us to swallow our
complaints and we don't want ulcers.
We are at once realistic about the chances of
dialogue and determine to talk in any case.
We deserve a huge amount of
compassion for our failure to know how
to complain wisely.
Our inability is a snapshot into our past and into some
properly troublesome dynamics that occurred long ago.
But by sketching the ideal style of complaining,
we can start to imagine what we're not natively capable of
and to fill in through reason and reflection
what we haven't been able to achieve
through upbringing and love.
We can take our first stumbling steps
on the path
to mature complaint.
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如何抱怨 (How to Complain)

6306 分類 收藏
Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 5 月 14 日    Adeline 翻譯    Evangeline 審核
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