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【美文诵读】第40课: expressing one’s individuality 个性的表露  

2016-05-28 19:35:50|  分类: 【英语】阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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A most curious and useful thing to realize is that one never knows the impression one is creating on otherpeople. One may often guess pretty accurately whether it is good, bad, or indifferent — some people render it unnecessary for one to guess, they practically inform one — but that is not what I mean. I mean muchmore than that. I mean that one has one's self no mental picture corresponding to the mental picture whichone's personality leaves in the minds of one's friends. Has it ever struck you that there is a mysterious individual going around, walking the streets, calling at houses for tea, chatting, laughing, grumbling, arguing, and that all your friends know him and have long since added him up and come to a definite conclusion about him — without saying more than a chance, cautious word to you; and that that person is you? Supposing that you came into a drawing room where you were having tea, do you think you would recognize yourself as an individuality? I think not. You would be apt to say to yourself as guests do when disturbed in drawing rooms by other guests: “Who's this chap? See ms rather queer. I hope he won't be a bore.” And yourfirst telling would be slightly hostile. Why, even when you meet yourself in an unsuspected mirror in the very clothes that you have put on that very day and that you know by heart, you are almost always shocked by the realization that you are you. And now and then, when you have gone to the glass to arrange your hair in the full sobriety of early morning, have you not looked on an absolute stranger, and has not that stranger piqued your curiosity? And if it is thus with precise external details of form, colour, and movement, what may it not be with the vague complex effect of the mental and moral individuality?

A man honestly tries to make a good impression. What is the result? The result merely is that his friends,in the privacy of their minds, set him down as a man who tries to make a good impression. If much depends on the result of a sing le interview, or a couple of interviews, a man may conceivably force another to accept an impression of himself which he would like to convey. But if the receiver of the impression is to have time at his disposal, then the giver of the impression may just as well sit down and put his hands in his pockets, for nothing that he can do will modify or influence in any way the impression that he will ultimately give. The real impress is, in the end, given unconsciously, not consciously; and further, it is received unconsciously, not consciously. It depends partly on both persons. And it is immutably fixed beforehand. There can be no final deception…

一件认识起来很奇异也很受益的事是,一个人常常不清楚别人对他的印象是什么。是好呢,是坏呢,还是不好不坏,这些倒是能够十分准确地猜测出来——有些人甚至没有必要让你去猜测,他们差不多就讲给你听了——但是我想要说的不是这个。我想要说的远不止这个。我想要说的是,一个人头脑中对自己的印象和他本人在他朋友们头脑中的印象,往往很不一致。你曾经想到这样的事吗?——世上有那么一个诡异的人,到处跑来跑去,上街访友,又说又笑,口出怨言,大发议论,他的朋友都对他很熟悉,对他早已知根知底,对他的看法早有定论——但除了偶尔且谨慎的只言片语外,平时却很少对你透露。而那个人就是你自己。比如,你走进一家客厅去喝茶,你敢说你便能认得这个人就是你自己吗?我看不一定。很可能,你也会像客厅里的客人那样,当你难以忍受其他客人的骚扰时心里就盘算说:“这是哪个家伙,真是怪异。但愿他少讨人嫌。”你的第一个反应就是略带敌意。甚至就连你突然在一面镜子前面遇到了你自己,穿的衣服也正是你心里记得很清楚的那天的服装,怎么样,你还是会因为认出了你是你这件事而感到吃惊。还有当你有时到镜子前去整理头发时,尽管是在最清醒的大清早时刻,你不是也好像瞥见一个完全陌生的人吗?而且这陌生人还让你颇为好奇呢。如果说连形式颜色动作这类外观准确的细节都是这样,那么对于像心智和道德这种不易把握的复杂效果又将怎样呢?

有人真心实意地去努力留下一个好印象。但结果怎样呢,不过是被他的朋友们在内心深处认为他是一个刻意给人留下好印象的人。如果一切只凭着单独会一次面或见几次面,——这个人倒很能迫使另一个人接受他本人希望造成的某种印象。但是如果接受印象的人有足够的时间来自由支配,那么印象的给予者就干脆束手静坐了,因为他的所有招数都丝毫改变不了或影响不了他最终所造成的印象。真正的印象是在结尾,是无意而不是刻意造成的。同时,它也是无意而不是刻意接受的。它的形成要靠双方,而且是事先就已经确定的,最终的欺骗是不可能的……



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