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什么是自恋狂? – 译学馆
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What Is Narcissism?

在我们这个时代 指责他人自恋是相当辱人的一件事
Accusing someone of narcissism has become one of the great and tempting insults of our
age. It is what we are inclined to label anyone who appears overweening, boastful, entitled
冠以自恋的头衔 但这个词语
or excessively pleased with their own existence. But it’s possible to wonder whether the
是否真的能很好地描述自大类型的人尽管我们已经习惯了这种描述 这是值得我们思考的
word really fits the conceited and bombastic types we’ve grown used to applying it to
—在更大程度上 我们是否理解对了 也使用对了这个词语
– and, a larger point, whether we’re really understanding, and therefore correctly addressing,
the origins of the regrettable behaviour to which it refers. Behind our enthusiastic use
隐藏了一个人性理论:当人们打心眼里迷恋自己的时候 他们会过分关注自己
of the term lies an implicit theory of human nature: that people seek undue attention for
炫耀自己 吹嘘自己
themselves, grow pretentious and inclined to bombast when – at heart – they feel
an extraordinary love for who they are. It is their hugely high estimation of themselves,
combined with their robust pride in everything they are and do, that is at the root of their
导致他们常常高谈自我成就 并想方设法地令陌生人崇拜自己
tendencies to talk up their own achievements and to try to secure the admiration of strangers.
但经过仔细观察 这份躁动和自我炫耀并非
But, on closer examination, it seems that the agitation and peacock displays cannot
真正来源于一种情感 这种情感表现为彻底的 希望得到他人回应的自我迷恋
really stem from a feeling of being perfectly and requitedly enamoured of oneself. Those
我们随口叫的自恋狂 并不真地那么高估自己
whom we loosely call narcissists can’t actually think so well of themselves; they boast and
他们自我吹嘘的原因在于 找不到一个能使他们自我满意的方法
show off because they can’t find a way of being sufficiently content with who they really
同时也被一种近似疯狂的恐惧萦绕 害怕自己平庸、害怕自己得不到关注
are – and are driven on by a manic, haunting terror of their own invisibility and mediocrity.
The behaviours we associate with narcissism – the vanity, the greed, the lies – aren’t
这些都不是自恋的症状 而是缺失自恋的症状 这种缺失可怕又可悲
symptoms of self-love, they are proof of its dangerous, tragic absence. Let’s recall
让我们一起追溯到该单词的古希腊神话源头 纳西瑟斯 一名来自希腊中部的猎人
the original Greek myth from where the word descends. Narcissus was a hunter from central
Greece, the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He had long flowing
他拥有着秀丽的长发 深蓝的双眸 无瑕的肌肤和圆润迷人的双唇 一天 他经过了
locks, deep blue eyes, unblemished skin and full enchanting lips. One day, as he walked
一汪清泉 偶然发现水中的倒影 在没认出是自己的情况下
past a quiet pool of water, he caught sight of his own reflection, failed to recognise
迷上了水中的少年 他从未见过如此迷人的人
himself and was entranced with the image. He had never seen anyone quite so enchanting
– and could not stop falling profoundly in love with himself, the most admirable and
最令人着迷的人 照这个说法 自恋听起来极其荒谬可笑
bewitching being he had ever spotted. Framed like this, narcissism sounds laughable and absurd. But derogatory
但贬义的表述 会让我们对(自恋)真正的好处视而不见
remarks make us lose sight of the genuine benefits of having been able, when young,
比如 儿时在监管人贴心的看护下 我们能毫无保留地爱着自己
under the tutelage of kindly caregivers, properly to admire oneself without reserve, to have
能趾高气扬地歌唱 欣然地接受自我 还可能有一段时间
been allowed to strut and sing and feel utterly home in one’s own skin and, for a time,
delight amply in the sheer wondrousness of one’s existence. There might be such a thing
as good narcissism: a phase of coming to love oneself that is the precondition for knowing
how to love anyone else. Most of the problems of the world are created by people who do not love themselves. Who cannot
inwardly believe in their own worth; those who grew up with a searing hatred and shame
about who they were – and who now cannot stop insistently claiming an attention of
他们以前被剥夺的关注 只有那些之前极端厌恶自己的人
which they were once deprived. One has to hate oneself really rather a lot before
才有可能会认为 倾尽一生向陌生人极力证明自我价值 是一个好主意
it ever seems like a good idea to devote one’s life to trying to prove valuable in the eyes
相比而言 我们当中真正能自我满足的人 是那些
of complete strangers. By contrast, the really self-contented ones among us are those who
不需要热烈吹捧的人 他们知道怎样从
have no burning need for adulation and know how to draw quiet satisfaction from nothing
more than their own unadorned, ordinary being. We should want to build a world not where
there are fewer people who have loved themselves but where there are many more, a world richer
in what we can term healthy narcissism. We will be modest and self-effacing, ready to
不动声色地表达对他人的兴趣和关注他人 乐于放下自己的华而不实和疯狂吹捧
be quietly interested in and attentive to others, happy to forego baubles and manic
当我们有机会注视着自己的倒影 想着它是多么美好
acclaim, when we’ve had a chance to gaze at our reflection awhile and think it really
美好到我们能够走出去 开始不惜地向周围的人
pretty nice – nice enough for us to go out and start generously to spread kindness and
selflessness to those around us.
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