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亲密关系中的两性谈话(节选)

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译者:MaZhuzu 原文作者:Deborah Tannen
发布:2017-04-20 23:13:01 挑错

Male-female conversation is cross-cultural communication. Culture is simply a network of habits and patterns gleaned from past experience, and women and men have different past experiences. These cultural differences include different expectations about the role of talk in relationships and how it fulfills that role.

两性之间的交流是跨文化交流。文化只不过是由以往的经验获得的习惯与模式系统,而女人和男人有不同的过去经历。这些文化差异包括,人们对交往中的谈话角色及如何履行这一角色的不同期待。

Everyone knows that as a relationship becomes long-term, its terms change. But women and men often differ in how they expect them to change. Many women feel, “After all this time, you should know what I want without my telling you.” Many men feel, “After all this time, we should be able to tell each other what we want.”

每个人都知道,当一种长期关系得以确立以后,它的条件也会改变,但女人与男人对变化的方式总是有不同的期待。许多女人觉得,“ 相处了这么长时间,我不说你也应该知道我需要什么。”而许多男人却认为,“相处了这么长时间,我们完全可以告诉彼此所需要的。”

These incongruent expectations capture one of the key differences between men and women. Communication is always a matter of balancing conflicting needs for involvement and independence. Being understood without saying what you mean gives a payoff in involvement, and that is why women value it so highly.

这些不一致的期待捕捉到了男女之间的关键区别之一。交流永远都是对牵连和独立的一种平衡冲突的需要。“ 不言而喻” 是对牵连的回报,这就是女人十分看重这一点的原因。

If you want to be understood without saying what you mean explicitly in words, you must convey meaning somewhere else—in how words are spoken, or by metamessages. Thus it stands to reason that women are often more attuned than men to the metamessages of talk. When women surmise meaning in this way, it seems mysterious to men, who call it “women’s intuition” (if they think it’s right) or “reading things in” (if they think it’s wrong). Indeed, it could be wrong, since metamessages are not on record. And even if it is right, there is still the question of scale: How signifcant are the metamessages that are there?

假如你希望无需清晰的表达就能够被理解,你就必须通过别的途径传达你的用意,比如变换表达方式, 或通过言外之意。所以,女人比男人更适应交谈中的言外之意就是理所当然的了。当女人用这种方式来猜测含义的时候,男人会觉得难以理解,称它为“女人的直觉” ( 如果他们认同的话),或“强行臆测” ( 如果他们不认同的话)。的确,她们的猜测有可能是错的, 因为言外之意并没有确切根据。 即便它是正确的,那还有一个适用范围的问题:言外之意在这里有多大的意义呢?

Metamessages are a form of indirectness. Women are more likely to be indirectly, and to try to reach agreement by negotiation. Another way to understand this preference is that negotiation allows a display of solidarity, which women prefer to the display of power (even though the aim may be the same­­­­­­­­­­­—getting what you want). Unfortunately, power and solidarity are bought with the same currency: Ways of talking intended to creat solidarity have the simultaneous effect of framing power differences. When they think they’re being nice, women often end up appearing deferential and unsure of themselves or of what they want.

言外之意是一种间接的表达方式。女人更愿意选择这种方式,并试图通过协商达成一致。理解这种偏好的另外一种方式是,协商允许团结的展示,而女人宁可展示权力(即便目的或许相同:得到所需)。不幸的是,获取权力与团结的方式相同:刻意谈话去创造团结的方式,同时也会影响形成权力差异。当女人认为自己在表现友善时,她们常常以显示顺从、对自身与所需缺乏信心来收场。

When styles differ, misunderstandings are always rife. As their different styles create misunderstandings, women and men try to clear them up by talking things out. These pitfalls are compounded in talks between men and women because they have different ways of going about talking things out, and different assumptions about the signifcance of going about it.

当方式变了时,误会就会经常发生。因为他们不同的方式产生了误会,男人和女人就会尝试把事情谈开来消除它。在男人与女人的谈话中这些错误会变得更加复杂,因为他们在谈话中有不同的方式, 而且对其意义也有不同的设想。

Why are women more attuned to metamessages? Because they are more focused on involvement, that is, on relationships among people, and it is through metamessages that relationships among people are established and maintained. If you want to take the temperature and check the vital signs of a relationship, the barometers to check are its metamessages: what is said and how.

为什么女人更适应言外之意呢?因为她们更看重相互牵连,也就是更看重人与人之间的关系,也正是通过言外之意,人与人之间的关系才得以建立和维持。如果你想测试某一关系的冷暖及其重要征兆,言外之意就是晴雨表:即表达了什么和如何表达。

Everyone can see these signals, but whether or not we pay attention to them is another matter—a matter of being sensitized. Once you are sensitized, you can’t roll your antennae back in; they’re stuck in the extended position.

每个人都能发现这些信号,但是否留意则是另一回事­­——是否敏感的问题。一旦你变得敏感起来,就再也不会收起你的直觉,它们将保持持久的姿态。


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