Something I learned from improvising really helps in communication.
There are basic improvising techniques and exercises, like the mirror exercise where
you become my mirror, and whatever I do, wherever I move, you have to do that at exactly the
same time, as if you were the mirror with no lag time.
假如我是那个正在看镜子的人 而你是我的镜子 但你无法成为我的镜子
Well, if I’m the person looking into the mirror and you’re my mirror, how can you be my mirror
unless I help you be my mirror
I’m responsible for your being with me in-sync at every moment.
这是一种很好的象征性的画面 为交流的意义所在 因为这是我的工作
And it’s a wonderful image of symbol ,of what communication is, because it’s my job—if
you don’t understand—it’s my job to help you understand.
In improvising, each improviser has the job of making the other one look good.
You share the experience.
The principle of “yes, and…” is an example of that.
It’s an improvising tool to use this idea of “yes, and…”
比如 我们处在同一个场景中 你向下看并说道
For instance, if we’re in a scene together and you look down and you say, “Whoa look
“哇呜 看下面的水” 而我说 “那不是水 那是地板”
at all that water down there,” and I say, “That’s not water, that’s the floor,” well
maybe I’ll get a laugh out of that from the audience, but I’ve just destroyed the scene
and I’ve made you look foolish.
You called it water, it’s obviously a floor.
That’s not even “yes,” it’s just “no.”
而你可以说“没错 但是…” 然后用“但是”中断 但如果你说
And you can say “yes, but…” and cut it off with the “but,” but if you say,
“yes and：是的 看那些水 让我们跳进去 游到鲸鱼那里
“Yes, and: yeah, look at that water, let’s jump in and swim out to that whale and catch
onto the whale and swim away with the whale!”
Now I’ve accepted what you’ve given me and I’ve added to it.
This is a really valuable technique in communication: to not say to the person, “Yes, but you
know that’s not true.”
There’s something about it that may be true.
或许另有深意 有人说 “我希望自己知道这个世界的运转机制
Maybe it’s under the surface: the person is saying, “I wish I understood how the universe
worked, and I think the universe works like this: we’re all connected psychically and
we’re all telepathically…” and it could go off into someplace where you don’t really
agree at all.
But the person is trying to figure out things, and you can agree about that because nobody
has the final answer on anything, I don’t think.
所以 对此你可以说“是” “而且”
So you can say “yes” to that part of it “and” you can explore some part of it that
you both can explore together.
但关键是 若切断联系 沟通也就结束了而你的工作
But the idea is, if you cut off the connection then communication stops, and it’s your job
to keep the other person with you.
你的行事之道 与别人沟通的方式 就是坚持解读
And the way you do that, the way you keep the other person with you is, keep reading
the clues you’re getting from the person: the person’s face, the person’s eyes, the
他的语气 肢体语言 以及坐椅子的方式
tone of voice, the body language, the way they occupy a chair, all of these things are
所有这些都是 和他们交谈时 了解其想法的线索
clues to what’s going on in their head as you try to communicate with them.
And the funny thing is, I think I found that this works not only when you’re talking to
them face to face, it also works when they’re separated from you by time and distance, like
when you write something for them and you don’t know who’s going to read it where or
什么时间读它 但写下第一句之后 却知道
when, but you can figure out when you put down the first sentence what that’s done to
Where are they now
So where is my next sentence going to pick up on where they are now and take them to
the next place
And if we don’t think about the person we’re writing for, we’re just formulating thoughts
头脑中的想法 （那么）我们仅仅考虑了自己 而没有想到他人
in our head, we’re caring about ourselves, we’re not caring about the other player.
I think communication is a partnership.
You have to think about your partner and help your partner.
It’s not me pouring stuff into your empty brain.
首先 你脑子里应该已经有很多东西了 而那些是我应该要了解的
First of all, you’ve got plenty of stuff in there already that I ought to want to know about.
While I was writing this book I thought, not everybody is going to be able to go to an
And then I started to think: not only that, I don’t go every couple of days to an improvising class.
And this strange thing about empathy is, as valuable as it is, we tend to lose it, it
tends to evaporate.
It’s very easy to lose your touch in making contact with other people.
I see it happening to me, I see it happening to other people.
所以我在想 自己可否做些什么 建立同理心 并使
So I thought, is there something I can do on my own that would build empathy and keep
my empathy thermometer at a high enough temperature?
So I started experimenting on myself.
I love to experiment on myself.
我认为这没什么 这和解读情绪有关 何乐而不为呢
And I thought okay it has something to do with reading emotions, so why don’t I—as
我沿着街道行走 当走进饭馆或是和朋友交谈时 为何不试着去
I walk down the street, as I go into a restaurant or I talk to friends—why don’t I try to
了解他们的感受呢 如果我能说出那种感觉 就太好了
figure out what they’re feeling and maybe it will be really good if I name the feeling.”
我曾与一位心理学家谈过这个 他说 “是你自己想到的吗”
And I was talking to a psychologist about this and he said, “You came up with this by yourself?”
I said, “Yeah.”
He said, “I’d like to study that.”
之后 他做了一项为期一周的研究 并让人们在每个白天都进行测试
So he did a study where he had people doing this during the day for a week.
He gave them a standard empathy test at the beginning of the week, and at the end of the
又给他们另一个移情测试 通过他们曾做过的事控制变量 看看经过训练后
week he gave them another empathy test to see if their scores in empathy would go up
by doing this exercise, and he had other things they did to control variables.Now what was
interesting was: not only did their scores go up the more they did it, so that the people
who only did it twice didn’t go up very much but the people who did it a hundred times
during the week their scores went up considerably, not only that: it wasn’t just naming the emotion
that they thought they saw in the other person, it was just noticing the other person, noticing
your hair, noticing your eyes.
What color are your eyes
It’s amazing—just think about this the next time you’re talking to somebody: how long
do you talk to somebody you’ve just met before you really notice what color their eyes are
What shape is their eyebrow
What color clothing are they wearing
If it’s a woman or a man, are they wearing jewelry
What is it
Where did it come from
How are they sitting
What clue am I getting from them
我们不可能真的那么在意一个人 不会真的想那么多 那些在意他人的人
We don’t notice one another nearly as much as we think we do, and those people who noticed
the other people got higher scores in empathy at the end of the week.
And I found it has built up my empathy—at least I think it has.
But I find myself much more comfortable with other people.
This is an amazing thing: I find other people less annoying!
Isn’t that funny
Because I get a little more empathy about what they’re going through or what I think
的事有更多的同理心 或者说我能理解他们所说的话 而不是被他们惹恼
they’re going through or what I can hear from things they say, and instead of being annoyed
by them I think: ‘I think I know where this is coming from and it explains it.’
And just getting the explanation of what might otherwise be annoying behavior or an annoying
或讨人厌的话都不那么讨厌了 我所有的厌烦情绪都消失了 不是同理心让我成为
thing they’re saying, the annoyance kind of evaporates.It’s not that empathy is making
me a better person, it just gives me a little more patience.
I find—and I think other people who have studied empathy have found—that there’s
more patience associated with empathy.
所以 在这方面 它可能会让你更容易与人相处
So in that regard it probably does make you a little easier to get along with.
但我注意到当我更具同理心时 声音变得更亲密 脸显得更热情
But I noticed when I get more empathic my voice gets more intimate, my face is more
welcoming, and the funny thing is I think I see that happening on the person I’m talking to.
I think they’re responding to what’s happening to me and I’m getting from them a more relaxed
tone, a more relaxed, accepting visage.
It’s a good idea to monitor your own empathy a little bit, to be aware of the empathy as
you experience it.
And I’ll give you kind of a concrete example of this.
I have a friend who went to a doctor with a foot problem, and he examined her and he
said, “Oh my God, I think you’ve got plantar fasciitis!”
她（听后）吓死了 心想 这会不会是不治之症啊
She got scared to death, she thought, ‘Is this an incurable disease?!’ because she hadn’t
heard the term before.
这是个痛苦的状态 医生曾经遇到过这种情况 因此一旦他发现
And it’s a painful condition, and he had had the condition once, so once he figured out
她有这种情况 就会想 ‘噢 天啊 她一定觉得很痛
that she had this condition he thought, ‘Oh my god she’s going to feel terrible.
I experience her pain.’
He was swamped with her emotion.
He was swamped with her pain.
And I interviewed someone, in writing the book, who teaches scientists, teaches doctors
to be empathic.
And one of the things she teaches them is: you have to get inside the other person’s
head, but then you have to get out again.
You have to manage your own empathy and you can’t be swamped with it.
It becomes what she calls ‘affective quicksand’ where you just sink into the feeling because
part of the theory of empathy is that you understand what the other person is feeling
because you feel it yourself, you recognize a feeling in yourself and that gives you an
understanding of what they’re going through.
But if you sink into that feeling and get lost in it, and if it begins to rule your
你们交流的结果 那么它就不再是一个工具 而是某种与你为敌的东西
end of the communication then it’s no longer a tool, it’s something that’s working against you.
You’ve got to have possession of your own tools.