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善待朋友:怎样经营友谊银行

来源:可可英语 更新日期:2013-10-16 点击:


善待朋友:怎样经营友谊银行

For 20 years, Christina Steinorth was happy to help one of her close friends with whatever she needed -- last-minute baby sitting, a drive to work when her car was in the shop, countless hours of free marriage advice (Ms. Steinorth is a licensed marriage and family therapist). She didn't expect anything in return.

去20年来,无论密友有什么事情需要帮助,克里斯蒂娜·斯泰诺特(Christina Steinorth)一直都乐意帮忙,比如临时受托替她照看孩子、在她车子送去维修时送她上班,以及提供无数个小时的免费婚姻咨询(斯泰诺特是一名持照婚姻家庭治疗师)。斯泰诺特并未期望获得任何回报。

When Ms. Steinorth and her husband decided to adopt a baby a few years ago, she asked her pal to write a letter of recommendation. The friend agreed enthusiastically, Ms. Steinorth says, but months went by and no letter arrived. She asked again and the friend apologized profusely, but still no letter. After several more months, Ms. Steinorth asked one more time. Her friend ignored her.

几年前,斯泰诺特与丈夫决定收养一个孩子,便请这位好友给她写一封推荐信。斯泰诺特说,朋友热情地答应了,但是几个月过去,她没收到任何信件。她又问了一次,朋友再三道歉,但是依然没有寄信过来。几个月后,斯泰诺特又问了一次,这位朋友干脆置之不理。

'I learned a very painful lesson -- that she wanted more from me than she was willing to give back, ' Ms. Steinorth said.

斯泰诺特说:“我得到了一个非常惨痛的教训——她更想从我这儿得到帮助,而没那么愿意做出回报。”

Have you ever tried to make a withdrawal from the friendship bank, only to find your balance was much lower than you thought it was?

你是否也有过想从“友谊银行”取款,却发现余额远远比你想象的要少的经历呢?

Friendship should be more than a series of tit-for-tat transactions: If I do a favor for you, then you will do one for me. Social psychologists call this view of relationships 'exchange orientation' and say it is more suited to business associates or other non-intimate relationships than to loved ones. In our close relationships, we'd like to think we give without expecting anything in return.

友情不应当仅仅是一系列有来有往的交易:如果我帮了你的忙,你也要帮我一次。社会心理学家将这种友情观称为“交换取向”(exchange orientation)。他们认为,这更适合商业伙伴或其他不太亲近的关系,并不适于与亲友的关系。在一段亲密关系中,我们总是愿意认为自己不求任何回报地付出。

But that's just not reality. We do want something from friends -- emotional support, attention, a hand when we need one. Although we may not 'keep count, ' we do want to be able to count on them.

然而,这并非事实。我们的确会对朋友有所求——情感支持、关注以及在我们需要之时伸出援手。虽然我们也许不会“锱铢必较”,但我们确实希望能指望上他们。

Researchers have long known we feel bad about a relationship if we believe we're giving but getting nothing back. 'You need to perceive a balance between the costs and the rewards in a friendship or other close relationship, or there will be relational distress, ' says David Henningsen, professor of communication at Northern Illinois University.

研究人员很早就知道,如果我们认为自己在一段关系中一直付出却得不到任何回报,我们就会对它心生嫌隙。北伊利诺伊大学(Northern Illinois University)沟通心理学教授戴维·亨宁森(David Henningsen)指出:“在友情或其他亲密的关系中,你需要感知到你的付出与收获是平衡的,否则这段关系会出现危机。”

People who usually make an effort to help others, without regard to whether they will get something in return, are considered to have high 'communal orientation.' New research from the University of Toronto, published this month in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, suggests they are happier than people with low communal orientation.

常常尽力帮助他人,不计较他们是否获得回报的人被认为具有很强的“公共取向”(communal orientation)。多伦多大学(University of Toronto)于9月份发表在《社会与人际关系杂志》(Social and Personal Relationships)的新研究指出,这些人比公共取向度低的人更快乐。

To study this, the researchers had 232 people rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 7 on 14 statements such as, 'I often come to the help of others in need, ' 'I believe people should go out of their way to be helpful' and 'It bothers me when other people neglect my needs.' The research subjects then completed surveys three times a week for one month, recording their levels of self-esteem, positive emotions, relationship satisfaction and love for humanity overall.

为了展开这项研究,研究人员让232名受试者就14项描述按一至七分的等级为自己评分,包括“我常常帮助需要帮助的人”、“我认为人们应当竭尽全力帮助他人”以及“别人忽视我的需求时,我心里会不舒服”等等。这些受试者接着还要连续一个月每周完成三次调查,记录他们的自尊感、积极情绪、对关系的满足感以及对整个人类的爱的程度。

The results: 'Being a helpful person feels good and contributes to better relationships and greater satisfaction and self-worth, ' says Bonnie Le, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Toronto and lead researcher on the study.

多伦多大学博士、该项研究的领头人邦尼·勒(Bonnie Le)称,结果表明“做个有帮助的人会让人感觉良好,有助于增进关系,且带来更大的满足感和自我价值感。”

Even so, people with strong communal orientation aren't completely selfless. They do expect their friends will be there if they need them. The risk they run is they won't receive support, or they will even be exploited, by friends or loved ones with low communal orientation.

即便如此,公共取向度高的人并非就是完全无私的,他们也期望朋友能在他们需要之时出现。他们面临的风险是得不到支持,甚至被公共取向度低的朋友或亲人利用。

So what can you do if you tend to give a lot in a friendship and don't always get what you need in return? Start by rechanneling some of your giving. Volunteer for charity or help someone less fortunate. You'll enjoy the benefits of providing help and will be free of the expectation that you will receive something in return.

假如你在友情中总是付出很多,可并不是总能获得你需要的回报,你能做些什么呢?从改变你付出的途径开始吧。参与义务慈善工作或帮助更不幸的人。你会享受到帮助他人的乐趣,并且从获得他人回报的期望中摆脱出来。

When making a new friend, pay attention early on to the other person's communal orientation. Does he ask about you and actually pay attention to your answer? Is she willing to do something you suggest doing, or work around your schedule? Not everyone is capable of giving at the same level. But if you are aware of who you are dealing with, you will be less likely to have expectations that won't be met.

此外,结交新朋友时,早些注意对方的公共取向度。他会问起你并真的会注意你的回答吗?她乐意去做你提议的事情或根据你的时间安排做些变通吗?每个人能付出的程度都不同。但是,如果你了解了你打交道的对象是什么样的人,你对其期望过高的可能性就会降低。

Finally, realize that not all relationships can be fixed -- and that's OK. Ultimately, you need to decide who is worthy of your friendship. Learning to have more balanced interactions will help your future relationships.

最后,你要知道不是所有关系都能修补的,这真的没关系。归根究底,你需要明确谁值得你付出友情。学会建立更平衡的交际关系有助于你将来的人际交往。

Ms. Steinorth, who is 48 and lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., no longer speaks to her former friend. 'I thought, 'After all the little things I've done, all the times I've been there for you, I ask for just one thing and you can't do it?'' she recalls thinking. Her former friend did eventually write a nice letter of recommendation, she says, after Ms. Steinorth had her husband make the request. But by then the couple's application was no longer valid.

今年48岁、住在加州 巴巴拉的斯泰诺特不再和她以前的那位朋友说话了。她回忆起当时的想法时说:“我想,‘在我做了那么多事情,一直在你身边给你支持之后,我只是请你帮忙做一件事,你都做不了吗?’”她说,在她让丈夫提出请求后,那位朋友最终写了一封出色的推荐信,但是那时他们的申请已经失效了。

As a result of this experience, Ms. Steinorth says, she 'holds back' a little in her relationships, giving more to people who really need her assistance and can't reciprocate or even say thank you. Instead of cooking three dishes for family get-togethers, she cooks one and makes several casseroles for the homeless. And she volunteers at a Basset Hound rescue organization. She also pays close attention to a new friend's style of communal orientation.

斯泰诺特说,由于这段经历,现在她在和人交往时会稍稍有些“保留”,而对真正需要她帮助但不能报答、甚至无法说声谢谢的人给予更多的帮助。她以前会为家庭聚会做三道菜,现在只做一道,然后再为无家可归的人做几道炖菜。她还担任巴吉度犬营救组织的志愿者。现在,她也会密切注意新朋友的公共取向度。

'It's not my nature, but I don't get hurt anymore, ' says Ms. Steinorth, who has written a book about communication in friendships and other relationships. 'I let go of the expectation that everyone wants the same thing from a relationship, because they don't.'

她说:“这并非我的天性,但这样做我再也不会被伤害了。我摒弃了认为每个人都对友情有着同样期待的想法,因为他们确实不是如此。”她撰写了一本书,论述在友情和其他关系中该如何沟通。

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