Expressing One’s Individuality 自我的展现

Expressing One’s Individuality
  Arnold Bennett
  A most curious and useful thing to realize is that one never knows the impression one is creating on other people. One may often guess pretty accurately whether it is good, bad, or indifferent — some people render it unnecessary for one to guess, they practically inform one — but that is not what I mean. I mean much more than that. I mean that one has one’s self no mental picture corresponding to the mental picture which one’s personality leaves in the minds of one’s friends. Has it ever struck you that there is a mysterious individual going around, walking the streets, calling at houses for tea, chatting, laughing, grumbling, arguing, and that all your friends know him — without saying more than a chance, cautious word to you; and that that person is you? Supposing that you came into a drawing-room where you were having tea, do you think you would recognize yourself as an individuality? I think not. You would be apt to say to yourself as guests do when disturbed in drawing-rooms by other guests: “Who’s this chap? Seems rather queer. I hope he won’t be a bore.” And your first telling would be slightly hostile. Why, even when you meet yourself in an unsuspected mirror in the very clothes that you have put on that very day and that you know by heart, you are almost always shocked by the realization that you are you. And now and then, when you have gone to the glass to arrange your hair in the full sobriety of early morning, have you not looked on an absolute stranger, and has not that stranger piqued your curiosity? And if it is thus with precise external details of form, colour, and movement, what may it not be with the vague complex effect of the mental and moral individuality?
  A man honestly tries to make a good impression. What is the result? The result merely is that his friends, in the privacy of their minds, set him down as a man who tries to make a good impression. If much depends on the result of a single interview, or a couple of interviews, a man may conceivably force another to accept an impression of himself which he would like to convey. But if the receiver of the impression is to have time at his disposal, then the giver of the impression may just as well sit down and put his hands in his pockets, for nothing that he can do will modify or influence in any way the impression that he will ultimately give. The real impress is, in the end, given unconsciously, not consciously; and further, it is received unconsciously, not consciously. It depends partly on both persons. And it is immutably fixed beforehand. There can be no final deception…

  一个人永远也不知道他给别人留有什么样的印象,明白这点是有益的,也是让人觉得奇怪的。一个人很容易准确猜出这种印象是好的、坏的,还是不好不坏的,因为有些人让你不用去猜,他们几乎直接就告诉你了。但那不是我要说的,我要说的不止这些。我要说的是,一个人对他在别人脑子里留有的印象毫无所知。你曾想过这样的事吗:有个神秘的人,到处闲逛,走在大街上,去茶馆喝茶,和人聊天,谈笑风生,发牢骚,与人争辩,你所有的朋友都认识他,都与他很熟,而且对他是什么样的人早下了定论,但除了一两次谨慎的只言片语外,他们从未对你提过他,但这个人就是你?假如“你”走进一个休息室,你正在里面喝茶,你会认出那个人是“你”吗?我想不会。你或许会对自己说,正如休息室里被人打扰的客人一样: “这个家伙是谁?挺让人不舒服的,希望他不要讨人嫌。”你的第一反应会是带有点敌意。甚至当你自己在一面突然撞见的镜子里看到自己穿着那件你非常熟悉的衣服,从而你意识到那就是你自己时,你为何总会为这种念头而感到几乎震惊呢?时常,在清晨很清醒的时候,你在镜子前梳头,你是否看到了一个完全陌生的人,而且对他很好奇呢?如果说诸如形象、颜色、动作这些精确的外观细节都会让你感到这样,更不用说像精神、道德这样不易把握的、复杂的个性特征所形成的印象呢?

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