Many of us probably have a nagging feeling
that we don’t listen enough to other people.
我们并不是想告诉你“倾听是有意义之善举 尽管它很无聊” 来加深你的愧疚
Here we’re not going to make the guilt worse by telling you that listening is a good thing,worthy but in fact rather dull.
We’re going to show you that
listening to others is first and foremost an interesting thing to do,
something that could be as pleasurable for you as it is for your speaking companion.
We commonly locate pleasure in conversation as follows:
Talking about myself is fun and hearing you, talking about you, is boring.
And as a result we try to minimize how much we are listening
– and maximise how much we are talking – because that’s how it feels like we’ll have the
most interesting lives. But is this analysis of pleasure really accurate? Of course there
is a basic pleasure to be had in, as we put it, ‘hearing the sound of our own voice’.
但是在我们内心深处 也有声音在说 谈论自己的快乐并不在于此
But we can also venture that this isn’t the real pleasure of talking about ourselves.
The real pleasure of talking about ourselves lies in understanding ourselves, becoming
能对自我 我们的感受 欲望 和行动方向更加明了
clearer about who we are, what we feel, what we want and what we might do next. The pleasure
of talking about ourselves lies in self-clarification, not merely in hearing our voices. Generally
我们往往会认为 只有发声 才能得到更清楚地自我认知
we tend to believe that Self-Clarification will only be possible if we ourselves actually do the talking.
But something far more interesting and redemptive is in truth the case: we can sometimes end
有时 聆听他人的故事 才能更了解自己
up best understanding bits of ourselves by listening to the stories of other people.
This might sound like a merely convenient – and sentimental – thing to say. But
it is soberly true and the proof lies in an area we know very well: literature. Novels
小说是他人之事 我们却愿意倾听 因为好的小说
are stories of other people that we don’t mind hearing; because they are also, at their
best, stories that teach us about ourselves.
我们十分乐意花数小时去聆听托尔斯泰 普鲁斯特 弗吉尼亚·伍尔芙等名家的
We’re prepared to spend hours hearing other people – like Tolstoy or Proust or Virginia Woolf
– talking about their ideas and adventures.
And remarkably, we don’t mind not getting a single word of our own into the arena because
we’re actively understanding bits of ourselves by listening to their stories.
This is what Marcel Proust had to say on this, he wrote: ‘Every reader of a novel is in effect the reader
of his own life, whose shape he is better able to appreciate thanks to the spectacles
更好地欣赏自己人生的形态” 我们或许会这样回应 这句话说得很好
which the novelist has offered him.’ We might well reply that this is all very well,
but that the average person we have to listen to is a lot less interesting than Marcel Proust.
所以 我们愿意倾听小说家的故事 而不是普通人的故事 这也就不足为奇了
So no wonder we want to listen to the novelist and not the average person. But the people
we have around us are a lot more interesting than we think – if only we knew how to listen
to them and edit them properly.
The reason why so-called great writers are interesting to listen to (even when they talk about themselves) is that
they have mastered the trick of teasing out from their experiences what is Universally Relevant from what is Locally Specific.
So-called ‘great writers’ might be telling us a story about their aunt’s childhood or a
trip to the woods, but in the way they tell us these things, they will be adept at teasing
out the Universal Dimension – so that their stories end up being not just local anecdotes with no echoes in the minds of others,
but Universal Stories that simultaneously narrate pages in the Universal book of Humankind:
they end up being their stories and our own.
In truth, we are all living out stories in the Universal Book of Humankind. But we’re
apt to describe this life so badly, to get so bogged down in local details and unnecessary
不必要地离题 最终使听众感到厌烦 让他们对“倾听”产生了消极的印象
digressions, that we bore our audiences, giving Listening to someone very negative associations.
We haven’t got the wrong sort of life; we have the wrong techniques for narrating that
life. And by narrating badly, we help to create an enduring suspicion of the act of having to listen to someone else speak.
Here is some of what goes wrong when we try to narrate our lives:
第一 我们纠结于一些事实性的细节：时间 地点
Firstly we keep latching onto factual details: we go on about times, places, external
movements – not realising that things become interesting only when people say what they
人们对发生之事的感受 而不仅仅是那件事情 第二 我们不知该如何表达
feel about what happened, not merely what happened. Secondly we often get overwhelmed by an
我们当时感受到的情绪 只会不停地强调它 却不尝试去解释它
emotion we experienced and insist upon it rather than attempting to explain it. So we
say, again and again, ‘it was so beautiful’ or ‘it was the scariest thing in the whole world’
but without accurately unpacking the feeling and thereby being able to make it live in someone else’s mind.
第三 就在我们保证有趣的部分要来了时 我们常常退缩
Thirdly just when we promise to get a bit interesting with our narration, we often take fright.
We get scared of our own emotions, which can threaten to trigger feelings of unbearable sadness, confusion and excitement.
于是我们选择了用浅薄的语言去描绘它 第四 还有一个问题
We take flight into superficiality. Fourthly, another problem,
我们不能专注于讲述一个故事 我们脑子里有太多东西 以至于我们忍不住不停地讲一些不重要的情节
we don’t stick with one story. There is so much in our minds, we keep opening up new subplots.
我们不够专注 好的倾听者遇到这样的倾诉者时 他们不会慌张
We’re not focusing. When the Good Listener encounters these unfortunate ways of talking, they don’t panic;
they try to act like good editors. Being a good listener is like being a good editor in a publishing house.
Consider the relationship between the American writer Raymond Carver,
和他的纽约编辑戈登·李什的关系 李什大改过卡佛的东西 或者 我们也可以说
and his NY editor Gordon Lish. Lish heavily edited Carver – or, as we might put it,
listened to him in a hugely creative and transformative way; a way that can teach us about the art of listening in ordinary life as well.
– Lish hugely boosted Carver’s confidence; he made
him feel the world was listening and that it was worth properly unpacking his experiences.
He did the editorial equivalent of what in conversation we can call looking closely into
someone’s eyes with tenderness and sympathy. – He stopped Carver from descending into local tedium.
He took Carver’s experiences in rural America
让它们成为“普世故事” 使得卡佛的名声远扬 从韩国到德国
and gave them a universal dimension, ensuring that Carver is now famous in Korea and Germany as well.
最后 他还不让卡佛离题 使他的每个故事都围绕一个中心主题
– Lastly he stopped Carver digressing; he kept him focused on a central theme in each story he wrote. What
we need to do as listeners is a version of what Lish did for Carver. In listening, we
倾听时 我们同样可以塑造 提炼 删减 强调——为了让那精彩的故事
can also shape, tease out, cut out, emphasise – in the name of getting the latent really
在倾听者同伴的脑海中浮现 所以在倾听时 阻止你的同伴离题
good story to emerge from our companion’s mind. So when listening, stop your companion
digressing; say things like, ‘So a minute ago you were saying that….’ Bring them
back to the last coherent and emotionally ‘alive’ part of the story. Draw them away
让他们抛开肤浅的细节 深入描述他们真实的情绪 问他们：“那带给你怎样的感受？”
from numb surface details to deeper emotional realities. Ask: ‘what did that feel like
for you…?’ Allow for the unusual and the weird. Use signs that suggest an open mind.
Maybe someone is about to say that they felt attracted to their sister or stole money from
a company. Don’t do anything that might close off a vulnerable confession. ‘Say
说“继续说……” 你不是法官 而是朋友
go on…’ You’re not a judge, you’re a friend. The Good Listener knows that one
好的倾听者知道 看明白人生中某个问题的最佳方法之一 就是透过别人的人生来看这个问题
of the best ways to understand an issue in one’s own life is to hear it discussed through the life of someone else
– and furthermore, they have the editing skills to make sure they can find themselves in the words of others.
That way, listening will no longer a chore.
It’s about the most interesting thing we can ever do with somebody else.
We believe in making the world a more emotionally intelligent place.
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As well as other merchandise that re-enforces some of the themes illustrated in our videos.
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