“你的生活重心是什么?”

FRIEND/ENEMY CENTEREDNESS. Young people are particularly, though certainly not exclusively, susceptible to becoming friend-centered. Acceptance and belonging to a peer group can become almost supremely important. The distorted and ever-changing social mirror becomes the source for the four life-support factors, creating a high degree of dependence on the fluctuating moods, feelings, attitudes, and behavior of others.

Friend centeredness can also focus exclusively on one person, taking on some of the dimensions of marriage. The emotional dependence on one individual, the escalating need/conflict spiral, and the resulting negative interactions can grow out of friend centeredness.

And what about putting an enemy at the center of one’s life? Most people would never think of it, and probably no one would ever do it consciously. Nevertheless, enemy centering is very common, particularly when there is frequent interaction between people who are in real conflict. When someone feels he has been unjustly dealt with by an emotionally or socially significant person, it is very easy for him to become preoccupied with the injustice and make the other person the center of his life. Rather than proactively leading his own life, the enemy-centered person is counterdependently reacting to the behavior and attitudes of a perceived enemy.

One friend of mine who taught at a university became very distraught because of the weaknesses of a particular administrator with whom he had a negative relationship. He allowed himself to think about the man constantly until eventually it became an obsession. It so preoccupied him that it affected the quality of his relationships with his family, his church, and his working associates. He finally came to the conclusion that he had to leave the university and accept a teaching appointment somewhere else.

“Wouldn’t you really prefer to teach at this university, if the man were not here?” I asked him.

“Yes, I would,” he responded. “But as long as he is here, then my staying is too disruptive to everything in life. I have to go.”

“Why have you made this administrator the center of your life?” I asked him.

He was shocked by the question. He denied it. But I pointed out to him that he was allowing one individual and his weaknesses to distort his entire map of life, to undermine his faith and the quality of his relationships with his loved ones. He finally admitted that this individual had had such an impact on him, but he denied that he himself had made all these choices. He attributed the responsibility for the unhappy situation to the administrator. He, himself, he declared, was not responsible. As we talked, little by little, he came to realize that he was indeed responsible, but that because he did not handle this responsibility well, he was being irresponsible.

Many divorced people fall into a similar pattern. They are still consumed with anger and bitterness and self-justification regarding an ex-spouse. In a negative sense, psychologically they are still married — they each need the weaknesses of the former partner to justify their accusations. Many “older” children go through life either secretly or openly hating their parents. They blame them for past abuses, neglect, or favoritism and they center their adult life on that hatred, living out the reactive, justifying script that accompanies it.

The individual who is friend- or enemy-centered has no intrinsic security. Feelings of self-worth are volatile, a function of the emotional state or behavior of other people. Guidance comes from the person’s perception of how others will respond, and wisdom is limited by the social lens or by an enemy-centered paranoia. The individual has no power. Other people are pulling the strings.

以敌人或朋友为重心:青少年尤其容易陷于以朋友为重的情结中。为了被同行团体接纳,他们愿付出一切代价;对团体的所有价值观,也都照单全收,因而极为依赖团体。

以朋友为重心,可能只针对一个人而言,情况类似以配偶为重心。也就是完全为对方而活,导致的不良后果则大同小异。

以敌人为重心,似乎少有所闻,其实这种现象相当普遍,只是不易被察觉罢了。当某人觉得遭到重要人物(如主管)的不公平待遇后,很容易耿耿于怀,所作所为都为了要反抗待他不公的人。这就是以敌人为生活重心。

我有一位朋友在大学教书,由于与行政主管交恶,便终日以对方为假想敌,几乎到了走火入魔的地步。家庭生活与工作都大受影响,最后逼得他不得不选择离开。

于是我问他:“如果不是那位仁兄,你宁愿继续留下来,对不对?”

他回答:“是的,可是只要他在一天,我便永远不得安宁,只好另谋高就。”

“你为什么让他成了你生活的重心?”

朋友被这个问题震住了,一口否认。但我分析道理,说明他咎由自取。朋友起先只承认行政主管的确对他影响很大,但认为错在对方。最后经过我不断开导,才承认自己也应负一部分责任。

有些离婚的人,仍念念不忘对前夫前妻的深仇大恨;有些已成年的子女,仍为父母当年的忽视、偏心或责骂而愤愤不平,这也都是以敌人为重心。

以朋友或敌人为重心的人没有安全感。他们的价值观变化无常,受制于他人的情绪和行为,时时揣摩如何反击。这样的个人是没有力量的,时时被别人牵着鼻子走。



Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

“你的生活重心是什么?”——这样的提醒挺好的。

然而这只是一本关于常识的书,很多书评因此而只给了一星。有些一星的评论看起来很有意思。


参考