If we were totally sane,
we would respond to the present only on its own terms;
we would worry or be angered or give way to anxiety
only as much as the circumstances before us actually dictated.
But we are not –of course – most of us quite sane,
但是 当然了 大多数人都是理智的
as evidenced by the way that
we respond with such disproportion to certain events
in the here and now.
We have tendencies to get wildly more worried,
angry and anxious than we should,
就会有更加疯狂的担忧 生气 焦虑的趋势
if we were simply following the facts in front of us.
What causes us difficulty is that
we are wired to feel and respond according to precedent ,
rather than on the basis of a dispassionate evaluation of the present,
and in particular we follow emotional tracks laid down in the distant past –
when many of us were victims of deeply unrepresentative and unusually painful experiences,
from which we continue to make panicky, gloomy and unhelpful extrapolations.
由此我们会继续恐慌 沮丧 陷入负面情绪无法自拔
In other words, we are, to use the inelegant but useful contemporary term,
easily ( far too easily) ‘triggered’.
That is situations in the present elicit from us with undue haste
responses formed by, and frankly better suited to,
a past whose details we have forgotten
and whose distinctiveness we cannot now perceive.
A tricky but not objectively existentially
troubling email will hence convince us at once that this is The End.
An item in the news will plunge us immediately into
devastating guilt or boundless fury.
The prospect of a party we have to go to or a
speech we need to give brings on unbudgeable, monumental terror.
The triggering happens so fast,
there is no chance to observe the process and see
the way in which we cede our powers of evaluation from present to past.
Our minds are simply
flooded with panic, we lose our bearings,
the rational faculties shut down and we are lost,
perhaps for days, in the caverns of the mind.
We get triggered
because we don’t have a direct link with objective reality:
each of us approaches the outer world through the prism of an inner world
with a more or less tenuous connection to it.
In this inner world of ours lies a repository of expectations formed
through our unique histories;
our internal working models, or our best guesses,
of what the outer world will be like;
how others will respond to us, what they will say if we complain,
how things will turn out when there is a challenge.
Crucially, and this is what we of course miss when we have been triggered,
the inner world isn’t the outer world.
It contains generalisations and extrapolations from a past
that may be far harder, stranger
and more dangerous than the present.
Psychologists have a handy rule of thumb to alert us
to the disproportionate side of our responses:
if we experience anxiety or anger above a five out of ten, they tell us,
our response is likely to be fuelled
not by the issue before us, but by a past we’re overlooking.
In other words,
we have to believe (contrary to our feelings)
that the issue won’t be what it seems to be about.
The best way to free ourselves from being so eagerly triggered
is to refuse to believe in most of what
overwhelmingly and rapidly frightens or angers us.
We must learn to adopt a robust suspicion of our first impulses.
It isn’t that there is nothing scary or worrying in the outer world whatsoever,
simply that our initial responses are liable
to be without proportion or without calculation
of adult strength, resilience, resourcefulness or options.
一种忽视成年人长处 恢复力 谋略 选择项的思考上
Another way to approach our panic and anxiety is to remember that,
we are not a single person or unified ‘I’.
We are made up of an assemblage or a blend
of parts dating right back to our earliest days.
In a way we can’t easily track,
different events will engage with different parts of us.
Some of our most troubled moments are
when a difficulty in the present isn’t handled by an adult part,
but by a part formed when
we were six months or three years old.
We end up so scared because the challenge of
public speaking or of a seduction or a worry at work has,
舆论 诱惑 忧虑在向我们发出挑战
unbeknownst to the adult part of us,
been left in the hands a very scared toddler.
In the circumstances,
it can help to ask ourselves at points not what ‘we’ are afraid of
but what a ‘part’ of us is worried about –
and to learn more carefully to differentiate the parts in question.
What might we tell a part of us
in order for it not to be so scared?
It is a milestone of maturity
when we start to understand what triggers us and why
– and to take steps to mitigate the most self-harming of our responses.
Whatever our past seems to tell us,
perhaps there won’t be a catastrophe,
perhaps we’re not about to be killed or humiliated unbearably.
Perhaps we have adult capacities for survival.
Too much of our past is inside us
in a way we don’t recognise or learn to make allowances for.
We should dare to approach many
of our triggers like a starting pistol or a fire
alarm that we will from now on, for well-grounded reasons,
simply to refuse to listen to.
Our resilience cards are designed to help us become tougher
in the face of adversity.
To learn more follow the link on your screen now.
If we were totally sane,