Because shyness can grip us in such powerful ways,
it’s tempting to think of it as an immutable part of our emotional make-up
with roots that extend far into our personalities and perhaps biology,
and that we would be incapable of ever extirpating.
但事实上 羞怯是关于这个世界的一系列想法这些想法通过理性的过程 能够非常温和地做出改变的
But in truth, shyness is based on a set of ideas about the world that are eminently amiable to change
through a process of reason, because they are founded on some touchingly malleable errors of thought.
Shyness is rooted in a distinctive way of interpreting strangers.
The shy aren’t awkward around everyone– they’re tongue-tied around those who seem most unlike them
on the basis of a range of surface markets:
年龄 阶级 品味 习惯 信仰 背景或宗教
age, class, tastes, habits, beliefs, backgrounds, or religions.
With no unkindness meant, we could define shyness as a form of provincialism of the mind
and over-attachment to the incidentals of one’s own life and experience
不公平地将别人当做令人畏惧的 高深莫测的 不可知的外国人
that unfairly casts others into the role of daunting, unfathomable, unknowable foreigners.
On contact with a person from another world or province
the shy allow their minds to be dominated by a forbidding aura of difference.
他们可能尴尬 并在心里默默的告诉自己 我现在不需要去说些或者做些什么
They may silently and awkwardly say to themselves that there’s nothing to be said or done
because the other is famous while they belong to the province of the obscure,
or because the other is very old while their province is firmly that of 20-somethings,
or because the other is very clever while their province is that as a non-intellectual,
or because the other is from the land of very beautiful girls
while they hail from the province of average-looking boys.
这就是他们不能嬉笑 开玩笑 或者感到从容的原因
This is why there can be no grounds to laugh, hazard a playful remark, or feel at ease.
The shy person doesn’t intend to be unpleasant or unfriendly; they simply experience all otherness
as an insurmountable barrier to making their own goodwill and personality apparent.
我们可以想象 在人类历史上 羞怯总是第一反应
We can imagine that in the history of humanity, shyness was always the first response.
The people over the hill would have triggered the feeling because they were farmers while you were fishermen,
or they spoke with a lilt in their vowels while your diction was monotone and flat.
然而逐渐地 出现了一种与陌生人相处的更全球化 更少排外的方式-
Yet gradually, there emerged a more worldly, less exclusive way of relating to strangers–
what we might call a psychological cosmopolitanism.
In the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome
prompted by ever increasing encounters between peoples who lived very different and mutually unfamiliar lives,
thanks the developments in trade and shipping an alternative to shyness developed.
Greek travelers who worshiped human-like divinities learnt that Egyptians revered cats and certain birds.
Romans who shaved their chins met barbarians who did not.
Senators who lived in colonnaded houses with underfloor heating
encountered chieftains who lived in drafty wooden huts.
And among certain thinkers, an approach developed that proposed that all these humans,
whatever their surface variations, shared a common call…
and that it was to this that the mature mind should turn in contact with apparent otherness.
It was to this cosmopolitan mindset that the Roman playwright and poet, Terrence, gave voice when he wrote,
“I am human so nothing human is foreign to me.”
And that Christianity made use of, in rendering universal sympathy, a cornerstone of its view of existence.
有人成为一个心理世界主义者 不是基于乐观的 爱交际的本性
Someone becomes a cosmopolitan not on the basis of having a buoyant or gregarious nature,
but because they are in touch with a fundamental truth about humanity…
因为他们知道 无论外表如何 我们内里是同一个物种 –
because they know that irrespective of appearance, we are the same species beneath–
an insight that the tongue-tied guests at the party or awkward seducer in the restaurant
are guilty of implicitly refusing.
Traditionally, rank or status have been major sources of shy provincialism.
The peasant felt he couldn’t approach the lord,
the young milkmaid stammered when the earl’s son visited the stable.
而今 由于这些禁锢的影响 容貌平平的男孩感觉他永不能和漂亮的女孩出去约会
Today, in an echo of such inhibitions, the boy of average looks feels he could never hang out with a beautiful girl,
or the modestly off will lose any ability to talk to the very wealthy.
The mind just fixates on the gulfs.
My nose looks like a child modeled it out of plasticine…
yours is as if it had been carved out by Michelangelo.
I fear losing my job while you fear that the expansion of your business into Mexico
won’t be as profitable as you’d forecast.
The cosmopolitan is well aware of differences.
They just refuse to be cowed or dominated by them.
它们透过差异察觉到 或者更实际的说 只是猜测到群体的统一性
They look beyond them to perceive, or in practical terms, simply to guess at a collective species’ unity.
Shyness does have its insightful dimensions.
It’s infused with an awareness that we might be bothering someone with our presence.
It’s based upon an acute sense that a stranger could be dissatisfied or discomforted by us.
The shy person is touchingly alive to the dangers of being a nuisance, yet in most cases,
we simply pay an unnecessarily heavy price for our reserve around people
who might well have opened their hearts to us if only we’d known how to manifest our own benevolence.
We cling too jealously to our province.
The pimply boy doesn’t discover that he and the high school beauty share a taste in humor
and a similarly painful relationship with their father.
Races and ages continue not to mingle to their collective detriments.
Shyness is a touching, yet ultimately excessive and unwarranted way of feeling special.