爱思英语编者按:专家们表示,我们每个人都有情感方面的需求,无一例外,更不必说遇到分手、失业、心爱的人离世这样的情况了──这些时候我们会比平常需要更多的情感支持。我们都渴望被爱、被支持、被理解和被接受。
 
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不久前的一个傍晚,对着披萨和一瓶红酒,我的密友之一,一个我认识了20多年的男人说了句让我大吃一惊的话。
One recent evening, over pizza and a bottle of red, one of my closest friends, a man I've known for more than 20 years, uttered three words that took my breath away.
“你变得黏人了。”
'You're being needy.'
这句话触痛了我,但还是让我开始反思。需要一个你爱的人真的是如此糟糕的事吗?女人是不是比男人更黏人呢?情感需求难道不是旁观者的感觉吗?
Ouch. It got me thinking, though. Is it really such a bad thing to need a loved one? Are women 'needier' than men? Isn't emotional neediness in the eye of the beholder anyway?
专家们表示,我们每个人都有情感方面的需求,无一例外,更不必说遇到分手、失业、心爱的人离世这样的情况了──这些时候我们会比平常需要更多的情感支持。我们都渴望被爱、被支持、被理解和被接受。
Experts say we are all -- every single one of us -- needy in relationships. Never mind the situations -- a breakup, a job loss, the death of a loved one -- when we need more emotional support than usual. We all long to be loved, supported, understood and accepted.
来自马萨诸塞州剑桥(Cambridge)的独立注册临床社会工作者潘多拉•麦克莱恩-胡佛(Pandora MacLean-Hoover)说:“每一个情感健康的人都能承认他们有这方面的需求。能伸手寻求帮助是一件好事。”
'Everyone who is emotionally healthy is able to acknowledge their needs,' says Pandora MacLean-Hoover, a licensed independent clinical social worker in Cambridge, Mass. 'It's a positive thing to be able to reach out and ask for help.'
然而,寻求情感方面的支持有时会展现出你性格中的消极一面──黏人、烦心和脆弱。人们常常使用诸如“苛求”、“有控制欲”和“令人窒息”等辞藻来描述那些他们认为在生活中黏人的人──比如那些没人帮助似乎就找不到自己袜子的丈夫,一天发来35条短信的堂兄,以及住在2,400多公里外却打来电话问晚餐要做什么的姐妹。
Yet asking for emotional support has come to imply something negative -- being clingy, annoying, fragile. People will use words like 'demanding,' 'controlling' and 'smothering' to describe the people they view as needy in their lives. There are husbands who can't seem to find their own socks without help, a cousin who texts 35 times a day, sisters who live 1,500 miles away and call to ask what they should make for dinner.
显然,我们中的一些人比其他人更加频繁地要求获得情感方面的支持。对我的朋友詹姆斯(James),有段时间我曾经发过比平常更多的短信,试图纠缠当时正在国外出差的他说出他什么时候能回来。其中三条写的是:“嗨。”还有两条是:“你在吗?”最后一条是:“我最近觉得好孤独。”很快他便回复了最后一条:“没有同情派对!!”
Clearly, some of us ask for support more often than others. With my friend, James, I had been texting him more than usual, trying to nudge him to tell me when he would be returning from an overseas business trip. Three texts said, 'Hi,' two said, 'Are you there?' and one said, 'I've been feeling lonely.' He replied immediately to that one: 'No pity parties!!'
黏人这件事是否男女有别呢?专家们表示并非完全如此。比起女人,许多男人的确对黏人持负面看法。这或许是因为,男人在成长中通常被要求变得自立自强,不大表达自己的情感。他们可能认为,提出需要帮助无异于显示自己的软弱。
Is neediness a male-female thing? Experts say not entirely. It's true that many men view being needy more negatively than many women do. This may be because men often are raised to be self-sufficient and not to show emotion. They may equate needing help with being weak.
不过,我们表达情感需求的方式以及频繁程度,主要是由性格和一些心理学家所称的“依恋行为系统”(attachment system)决定的。尽管部分源自于基因,但我们一生的依恋行为模式,很大程度上还是取决于我们在童年时代是如何习得与父母保持情感关系的。
But the way we express our needs, and how often, is mostly determined by personality and something psychologists refer to as our 'attachment system.' Though partly genetic, our lifelong attachment style is largely a result of how we as young children learned to relate to our parents.
依恋关系包括三种基本类型──安全型、焦虑型和回避型。安全型的人温暖而富有爱心,这类人很可能是由一向非常体贴且总是对情感要求作出响应的监护人抚养长大的。回避型的人又被心理学家描述为“目中无人”,这类人会尽可能减少亲密关系,在他们的成长环境中,不容许情感上的依恋和不安全感的出现。
There are three basic types -- secure, anxious and avoidant. Secure people are warm and loving and most likely were raised by a consistently caring and responsive caregiver. Avoidant people, whom psychologists also call 'dismissive,' try to minimize closeness and often were raised in an atmosphere where neediness and insecurity weren't tolerated.
焦虑型的人被认为是典型的情感依赖的人。他们担心自己的伴侣是否仍然爱着他们。这些人很可能是由未能给孩子提供持续照料的父母带大的。来自盐湖城的注册临床社会工作者朱莉•汉克斯(Julie Hanks)说:这类人通常在情感上不知所措,“或者他们可能忽视、否认或最小化自己的需求,然后指使别人或通过其它间接的方式,指望他人填补自己情感上的空虚。”
Anxious people are the ones who typically are seen as needy. They worry about whether their partner loves them, and they most likely had parents who were inconsistently nurturing. They often are emotionally overwhelmed, says Julie Hanks, a licensed clinical social worker in Salt Lake City. 'Or they might ignore, deny or minimize their needs, and then look to others to fill their emotional void in manipulative or indirect ways.'
53岁的兰迪•布朗(Randy Brown)是犹他州邦蒂富尔(Bountiful)一家保险公司的老板。在他30年婚姻生活的大部分时间里,兰迪都希望妻子珍妮特(Janet)将他的需求置于首位。他会在妻子打电话或是与孩子们讲话时打断她,让妻子为他做三明治或是找邮票。他会在半夜辗转反侧时叫醒珍妮特,但却在珍妮特提出想花一个晚上的时间到朋友家绣十字绣时抱怨连连。兰迪担心珍妮特公司的男同事喜欢她。他曾臆想妻子对他不忠。
For most of his 30 years of married life, Randy Brown, a 53-year-old insurance-company owner from Bountiful, Utah, expected his wife, Janet, to focus on his needs ahead of her own. He would interrupt her while she was on the phone, or talking with their children, to ask her to make him a sandwich or help him find the stamps. He would wake her up in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep, and complain when she wanted to spend an evening cross-stitching at a friend's house. He worried that men at her office liked her. He dreamed she was unfaithful.
49岁的全职妈妈珍妮特说:“如果我的生活不以他为中心,他就不满意。”
'It was not OK for me to have a life where he was not the center,' says Ms. Brown, 49, a stay-at-home mom.
兰迪说:“那时我总是在索取,日复一日地从她的情感账户中取现。终于,她一无所剩,再也没什么能给我了。”
'I was taking -- making withdrawals from her emotional bank account, day after day,' Mr. Brown says. 'Eventually, she had nothing left to give.'
珍妮特开始疏远兰迪。她躲避丈夫的亲吻,对他上班时打来的电话不理不睬,而且当他在另一个房间叫她时假装听不见。晚上,她装作睡得很沉,让兰迪不能叫醒她。有时,她会拿上一本书躲进浴室,把门锁上,坐在地上读。珍妮特说:“我只是太累了,而且感觉孤单,没办法和他说话。我不认为他还在关心我。”
Ms. Brown began to pull away. She avoided his kisses, ignored his phone calls from work and acted as if she didn't hear him when he called her from another room. At night, she pretended to be sleeping so soundly he couldn't wake her. Sometimes, she took a book into the bathroom, locked the door and sat on the floor, reading. 'I was just tired and lonely and wouldn't talk to him,' Ms. Brown says. 'I didn't trust that he cared about me.'
情感依恋的人往往是怕什么来什么──最终他们使得朋友或伴侣避而远之。《爱情中的焦虑》(Anxious in Love)一书的作者、心理学家卡洛琳•戴奇(Carolyn Daitch)说:“焦虑的人会让他们的伴侣筋疲力尽。”
Needy people often accomplish the thing they fear most -- they push their friend or partner away. 'The anxious person can wear out their partner,' says psychologist Carolyn Daitch, author of 'Anxious in Love.'
人们可以学着让自己的焦虑和依恋的心理反应平静下来。而他们所爱的人则可以学着去理解他们并设定界限。
People can learn to calm their anxious, needy responses. And their loved ones can learn to understand and set boundaries.
戴奇建议,如果你是个有情感依恋的人,当你变得焦虑时,让自己停下来反省一下。深呼吸10分钟;提醒自己,有这些感觉很正常,焦虑总会过去;问问自己是不是反应过度了。如果你的需求是正当的,那么就平静地向对方解释。
If you are the needy person, Dr. Daitch suggests taking an adult timeout when you get anxious. Breathe deeply for 10 minutes. Remind yourself that it's OK to have these feelings and that the anxiety will pass. Ask yourself if you are overreacting. If your need is valid, explain it calmly to the other person.
而如果你的朋友或伴侣是一个有情感依恋的人,你需要接受这一点──即他/她的情感需求与你的不一样,试着理解他们并缓和地将这些需求推回去。告诉对方你感到沮丧。“你爱我,想更多地和我在一起,对这我真的非常感激。但你不想我每周见一次朋友这件事,让我感觉很沮丧。你能支持我,让我去见朋友们吗?”
If you are the friend or the partner of a needy person, you need to accept that his or her emotional needs are different than yours, try to understand them and gently push back. Acknowledge your feelings of frustration. 'I really appreciate that you love me and want to be with me more, but it's frustrating for me when you don't want me to see my friends once a week. Can you support me in seeing my friends?'
戴奇说:“最后这个问题把事情搞定了。”
'That last question seals the deal,' Dr. Daitch says
兰迪将他的情感依恋表现追溯到了其童年时代。他说,他母亲是一个完美主义者,他觉得自己从未达到过她的期望。他印象最深刻的一件事是母亲责备他清嗓子的行为。“在我的潜意识里,我结婚是为了满足自己的情感需求。”
Mr. Brown traces his own neediness to childhood. His mother is a 'perfectionist,' he says, and he never felt he lived up to her standards. One of his strongest memories is of her criticizing him for clearing his throat. 'Subconsciously, I married to have my needs filled,' he says.
因为宗教信仰的原因,他们不能选择离婚。但珍妮特已经对婚姻感到绝望。她开始胡思乱想,想象着如果欧迪办公公司(Office Depot)有个很好的男人约她出去,会是怎样的感觉。
Divorce wasn't an option, for religious reasons. But Ms. Brown had come to feel hopeless about the marriage. She began to daydream about what it would be like if the nice man at Office Depot asked her out.
最终,珍妮特要求丈夫和她一起去做心理咨询,兰迪同意了。她还让他读一本自我帮助的书──《其实你不了解爱情》(How to Make Love All the Time)。兰迪开始冥想。自我反省使他意识到,他在销售事业上做得并不开心。他决定转型。目前,兰迪正努力成为一名励志宣讲人,并已完成了一本书的写作。
Eventually, Ms. Brown asked her husband to go to counseling with her, and he agreed. She asked him to read a self-help book, 'How to Make Love All the Time.' And he started meditating. Self-reflection led him to realize he wasn't happy in his sales career. He decided to switch gears and is now working to become an inspirational speaker and has written a book.
与此同时,他也开始关注妻子的需求。他会问她一天过得怎样,而不是一直絮絮叨叨地说自己的事。他会陪她看她最喜欢的电视节目。他说:“当我对生活变得更加满足时,我的情感依恋就没有那么强烈了。我不再那么需要她去填充我生活中曾经空虚的部分了。”
Mr. Brown also began to pay attention to his wife's needs. He asks her about her day instead of rambling on about his own, and he watches her favorite TV show with her. 'Once I began to be more fulfilled in my life, I wasn't so needy of her to fill the emptiness that used to be there in me,' he says.
珍妮特如今告诉丈夫,要他自己服用维生素,自己做早餐和午餐。如果有什么重要的事情需要讨论,就找一个双方都方便的时间。珍妮特说:“我那段时间的回避让他更多地反省自己,他开始自己寻找答案。而我也意识到,我既不是他的母亲,也不是他的心理医生。治好他并不是我的职责。”
Ms. Brown now tells her husband to get his own vitamins, and he makes his own breakfast and lunch. If they have something important to discuss, they set a mutually convenient time. 'My pulling away made him so much more introspective, and he began to look for answers himself,' Ms. Brown says. 'And I realized that I am not his mother and I am not his psychiatrist. It's not my job to fix him.'