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如何成为一个魅力四射的人?

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What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too
如何成为一个魅力四射的人?

Ask people to name someone they find charming and the answers are often predictable. There’s James Bond, the fictional spy with a penchant for shaken martinis. Maybe they’ll mention Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton or a historical figure, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi. Now ask the same people to describe, in just a few seconds, what makes these charmers so likable.

要是你让人说出一个他心目中有魅力的人的名字,答案通常都可以预测。有人会说詹姆斯·邦德,那个偏爱摇酒法调制的马提尼的虚构的间谍。也许会有人提到欧普拉·温弗里,比尔·克林顿,或是某个历史人物,比如小马丁·路德·金牧师,或是圣雄·甘地。那么现在再让同一个人来用区区几秒钟描述,到底是什么特质让这些魅力十足的人物如此受人爱戴呢?

It’s here, in defining what exactly charisma is, that most hit a wall. Instinctually, we know that we’re drawn to certain people more than others. Quantifying why we like them is an entirely different exercise.

到此为止,在魅力到底是什么的确切定义过程中,通常就是到这里走进了死胡同。我们本能的意识到自己会被某些特定的人所吸引。但想要量化我们喜爱他们的原因则是完全不同的另一道题。
The ancient Greeks described charisma as a “gift of grace,” an apt descriptor if you believe likability is a God-given trait that comes naturally to some but not others. The truth is that charisma is a learned behavior, a skill to be developed in much the same way that we learned to walk or practice vocabulary when studying a new language. Other desirable traits, like wealth or appearance, are undoubtedly linked to likability, but being born without either doesn’t preclude you from being charismatic.

古希腊人将魅力一词描述为一种“天赋或是风度”,如果你相信喜爱度是一种神赐的特质,有些人与生俱来,旁人则与之无缘,那么这确实是一个妥当的描述。但事实上魅力是一种可以习得的行为,一种与我们学习走路,或是学习一门新语言时扩充词汇那样,可以通过练习而发展的技巧。其他一些令人渴望的特质,比如财富或者外貌,毫无疑问的也会影响到一个人的受喜爱程度,但是如果你生来并不具备以上两项,这也并不意味着你就将成为一个毫无魅力的人。

Quantifying charisma

将魅力量化


For all the work put into quantifying charisma — and it’s been studied by experts through the ages, including Plato and those we talked to for this piece — there are still a lot of unknowns. There are, however, two undisputed truths.

在所有试图量化魅力的工作中——这是一项专家们已研究多年的课题,为之倾注精力的人包括了柏拉图,以及我们为了这篇文章而采访到的一些人——仍然有大量的未知因素。但有两个事实是毫无争议的。

The first is that we are almost supernaturally drawn to some people, particularly those we like. Though this is not always the case; we can just as easily be drawn in by a charismatic villain.

第一,我们有时是毫无理由,简直像是超自然力量似的被一些人所吸引,尤其是那些我们喜欢的人。尽管这不能概括所有情况,但我们很容易喜欢上那些魅力十足的反派。

The second truth is that we are terrible at putting a finger on what it is that makes these people so captivating. Beyond surface-level observations — a nice smile, or the ability to tell a good story — few of us can quantify, in an instant, what makes charismatic people so magnetic.

第二个事实是我们很难指出这些人如此迷人的具体原因是什么。抛开那些显而易见的因素——一个好看的笑容,或者是讲出一个好故事的能力——几乎没人能够在短时间内量化,到底是什么因素使得那些魅力十足的人具有如此吸引力。

Perhaps it’s evolutionary. As a species, innate instinctual feelings lead to things we often describe as gut feelings. These feelings are actually a subconscious response to dozens, or possibly hundreds, of verbal and nonverbal cues that we unknowingly process in every interaction with others. It’s a necessary skill, one that allows all mammals to gauge the intention of others by taking continuous inventory of things like body language, speech pacing and subtle movements that may allude to a threat.

也许这就是进化吧。作为一个物种,与生俱来的本能感受逐步发展为被我们称作直觉的那种东西。这种感觉实际上是一种对数个,甚至是数百个口头或是非口头的暗示做出的下意识的回应,这个过程发生在我们与他人的每一次交流中,而我们自己对此毫无察觉。这是一种必需的技能,正是这种技能使得哺乳动物能够通过持续的记录像是身体语言,说话速度和微动作等等的指标,从而能够推测出对方的意图中是否潜藏威胁。

John Antonakis, a professor of organizational behavior at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, notes that charisma, at its most basic, is merely information signaling. “Basically put, charisma is all about signaling information in a symbolic, emotional and value-based manner,” he said. “Thus, charisma signaling is all about using verbal — what you say — and nonverbal techniques.”

约翰·安东纳基斯是瑞士洛桑大学一位研究组织性行为的教授。他认为从根本上而言,魅力不过是一种携带信息的信号。“简单说来,释放魅力就是用一种象征性,感情化,和基于价值的方式来用信号传递信息。”他说。“所以说,有魅力的传递信号就是要使用语言——也就是你说些什么——以及非语言的那些技巧来沟通。”

For comparison’s sake, what Dr. Antonakis described is essentially a simpler version of the fight-or-flight response. Instead of fighting or fleeing, however, we’re making constant micro-decisions about whether the person demanding our attention is deserving of it.

相比而言,安东纳基斯博士的描述就是对“打不过就跑”理论的一种精炼。但是我们也并不会简单的决定是要战斗还是逃跑,取而代之的是,我们在不停的针对引起我们注意的这个人是否值得我们继续关注做出细微的判断。

The three pillars of charisma, and how to practice each

魅力的三要素,以及如何针对每一个要素进行锻炼


Olivia Fox Cabane, a charisma coach and the author of the book “The Charisma Myth,” says we can boil charismatic behavior down to three pillars.

奥丽维亚·福克斯·卡班是一位魅力指导教练和《魅力神话》这本书的作者。她认为我们可以将有魅力的行为分解成三个支柱要素。

The first pillar, presence, involves residing in the moment. When you find your attention slipping while speaking to someone, refocus by centering yourself. Pay attention to the sounds in the environment, your breath and the subtle sensations in your body — the tingles that start in your toes and radiate throughout your frame.

第一个要素是,仪态,它的重点是要关注眼前和当下。要是你在跟人讲话的时候发现自己忍不住走神了,那就通过先关注自我来重新找回注意力。关注一下周围环境的声音,你自己的呼吸,以及你身体的细微感受——比如那些始于你的脚趾,慢慢传播至整个躯体的刺痛感。

Power, the second pillar, involves breaking down self-imposed barriers rather than achieving higher status. It’s about lifting the stigma that comes with the success you’ve already earned. Impostor syndrome, as it’s known, is the prevalent fear that you’re not worthy of the position you’re in. The higher up the ladder you climb, the more prevalent the feeling becomes.

权力,是第二个要素,它强调了在追求更高的目标之前,更重要的是要打碎那些自己强加于身的重负。它要求你学着把伴随自己取得的成功而来的那些耻辱感抛置脑后。广为人知的“冒名顶替综合症”就是一种对于自己是否配不上现在所处的位置的普遍恐惧。你在梯子上爬得越高,这种感觉就来得愈发频繁。

The key to this pillar is to remove self-doubt, assuring yourself that you belong and that your skills and passions are valuable and interesting to others. It’s easier said than done.

这个要素的关键在于要祛除自我怀疑,要一再肯定自己,告诉自己你属于这里,你的技术和热情对于他人来说是有价值和有趣的。这说起来比做起来要容易。

The third pillar, warmth, is a little harder to fake. This one requires you to radiate a certain kind of vibe that signals kindness and acceptance. It’s the sort of feeling you might get from a close relative or a dear friend. It’s tricky, considering those who excel here are people who invoke this feeling in others, even when they’ve just met.

第三个要素是,热忱,这一点比较难伪装。这个要素要求你能够释放一种特定的氛围,这种氛围使人感到友善和包容。这是那种你比较容易从至亲和好友身上获得的感受。这一点比较微妙,考虑到那些在这里表现出色的人通常都比较容易在别人身上引起这种感受,即便他们只是刚认识。

To master this pillar, Ms. Cabane suggests imagining a person you feel great warmth and affection for, and then focusing on what you enjoy most about your shared interactions. You can do this before interactions, or in shorter spurts while listening to someone else speak. This, she says, can change body chemistry in seconds, making even the most introverted among us exude the type of warmth linked to high-charisma people.

要掌握好这个要素,卡班女士建议我们想象一个你能从他身上感受到大量热忱和喜爱的人,然后把注意力放在你与之交流的过程中最享受的部分。你可以在与人交流之前做这件事,或是在倾听他人讲话时简短的激励一下自己。据她所说,这样做能够在几秒之内改变你身体的化学反应,能让我们之中最内向的那些人也能够释放出与那些魅力值很高的人同样的热忱气息。

Scratching the surface

表面文章


All of our experts agreed that charisma isn’t a one-size-fits-all descriptor; it’s more of a hierarchy. Some people exude charm through warmth and generosity, while others are likable in a sort of evolutionary sense — the alpha types who radiate confidence and success.

所有与我们交谈的专家们都同意,魅力不是一种可以一成不变去嵌套的万全之策,而是更接近一种等级结构。有些人的魅力通过热心肠和慷慨来表达,另一些人则因为类似进化论里的原因受到喜爱——那些散发着自信和成功的强势人群总是更受欢迎。

Going back to the three pillars, the most charismatic people you know on a personal level have generally achieved a high level of success in only one, or perhaps two, of these traits. A rare few, though, show a mastery of all three.

回到三要素上来,你个人认识的最有魅力的人可能也就是在这其中的一项,或是两项上做得很成功。只有非常有限的人能够同时精通这三项要素。

Dr. King, for example, displayed signs of mastery in each of these pillars, leading to the rare classification that Ms. Cabane calls “visionary charisma.”

举例来说,马丁·路德·金博士就显现出了对这三项要素的纯熟运用,这让他具备了卡班女士口中罕见的“远见卓识型魅力”的评价等级。

If that’s the top of the hierarchy, the next three examples would reside somewhere in the middle.

如果说这就是那个等级结构的顶点,接下来的三个例子大概位于等级的中流区域。

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, exhibited mastery in power and achieved high marks for presence. However, according to his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs, in her 2018 memoir “Small Fry,” he lacked warmth. Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, also arguably lacks warmth. He’s a classic introvert who makes up for his lack of people skills with mastery in presence and above-average levels of power.

史蒂夫·乔布斯,苹果公司的联合创始人,显示出了对“权力”的精纯掌握,在“仪态”上也能拿到很高的分数。但是据他的女儿丽莎·布伦南-乔布斯在她2018的回忆录《小人物》里说的那样,他对人缺乏热忱。特斯拉的执行总裁伊隆·马斯克,据称也同样缺乏热忱。他是那种典型的用无懈可击的“仪态”和高于水准的“权力”来掩饰自己缺乏与人交流能力的内向的人。

Mr. Jobs, according to Ms. Cabane, is best classified as having “authority charisma,” while Mr. Musk has “focus charisma.”

用卡班女士的标准来评价的话,乔布斯先生要被归类于“权威型魅力”,而马斯克先生则拥有的是“焦点型魅力”。

Then there are those like Emilia Clarke, who starred on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Clarke’s exuberance earns her high marks in “kindness charisma,” a classification for those who excel at the warmth pillar, while maintaining a high presence but low power.

接下来还有艾米莉亚·克拉克这样的人,她是HBO的电视剧《权力的游戏》的主演。克拉克身上那种生气勃勃的表现让她在“友善型魅力人格”中拿了高分,这一类人都在热忱这一要素上做得超越常人,同时也拥有良好的“仪态”,但是在“权力”表现上不尽如人意。

This is just scratching the surface, of course. But the important takeaway here is that charisma isn’t a singular thing. Instead, it’s often best to think of it in the same way you would consider intelligence. Earning high marks in math and science is a signal of intelligence, but so is mastery in art or music. Trying to compare one intelligent person to another just leads to more confusion. The same can be said for charisma.

当然咯,这些只是流于表面的分析罢了。但这里真正的要点是魅力并不是一个单一的东西。与之相反,最好我们能用看待智力的同样方法去看待魅力。在数学和自然科学上得到高分证明了你的智力不错,但是精通艺术或是音乐也同样是智力的表证。用一个高智商的人与另一个去简单比较只会引起更多的困惑。对魅力而言,同样如此。

Charisma training: Low-hanging-fruit edition

魅力训练:简单易学版


If you’re looking for a good starting point to be more likable, Dr. Antonakis suggests storytelling.

要是你正在寻找让自己变得受人喜欢的方法,安东纳基斯博士建议你从讲故事开始。

The most charismatic people in a room, he says, are those who speak metaphorically, providing substance to a conversation through exemplary use of anecdotes and comparisons. They aren’t recounting events but paraphrasing action while using facial gestures, energetic body language and vocal inflections to frame key points. They’re experts at using moral conviction and reflections of group sentiment, as well as employing questions, even rhetorical ones, that keep people engaged. In short, they just tell a good story.

他认为,一间屋子里最后魅力的人是那些讲话暗含隐喻,值得仿效的用奇闻逸事和比喻来为对话增添深度的人。他们不是在简单讲述一个事件,而是通过面部表情,有活力的身体语言和语调上的变化这些行为来烘托出重点。他们善于利用道德信念和群体感受的反射,也善于提问,甚至是反问,借此来抓住听众的注意力。简单来说,他们很会讲故事。

In fact, a theme emerged while speaking to experts on charisma, one that becomes instantly recognizable to anyone who has taken a public-speaking course or sat in on a Toastmasters meeting: The most charismatic people are often the most effective public speakers.

事实上,在与研究魅力的专家们谈话过程中有一个贯穿始终的主题。这个主题能够立刻被那些上过公开演讲课程或是参加过国际演讲俱乐部聚会的人所接受:最有魅力的那些人通常也是最有煽动力的公开演说家。

Charisma goes beyond being a refined and engaging speaker, however. Charismatic people are well liked not just because they can tell a good story, but also because of how they make others feel. Aside from being humorous and engaging, charismatic people are able to block out distractions, leaving those who interact with them feeling as if time had stopped and they were all that mattered. They make people feel better about themselves, which leads them to return for future interactions, or to extend existing ones, if only to savor such moments.

但魅力又不仅仅止于成为一个精辟和迷人的演讲者。有魅力的人并不只是因为会讲故事而受人喜爱,更是因为他们带给旁人的感受。除开幽默和迷人,有魅力的人能够屏蔽外界干扰,让他们的交流对象感到时间仿佛停滞不前,自己是他们唯一关注的对象。他们能让人自我感觉更好,这就让人往后也更愿意与之交流,或是为了咀嚼这些宝贵的时光而拼命延长与他们的相处时间。

The quickest way to be more likable is to get out and practice being more likable. It starts at home, by removing your own self-doubt and focusing instead on being an active participant in conversations and interactions with others.

想要受人喜欢的最简单方法就是走出门去,练习做一个受人喜爱的人。你可以从在家里开始,试着不再自我怀疑,而是转而投入做一个对话中的积极参与者,与他人更积极的互动。

From there, it requires little more than saying yes to more social invitations, joining a public speaking class (or a local group like Toastmasters) and continuing to look for ways to show off your strengths while leveling up your weaknesses. Each interaction offers a chance to practice, to study and to employ new strategies.

从这里开始,对你的要求就不只是更多的参与社交活动,参加一个公开演讲课程(或是一个类似演讲俱乐部的本地组织),继续寻找展示自己力量的方法,以及在你的弱项上有所提高了。每一次与人交流都是一次去锻炼,去学习,和去尝试新的社交策略的机会。

Much like learning any other skill, sometimes it will go well and often it won’t, especially at first. But if you think of charisma as a skill tree, each practice session is merely a way to brush up on the many ways to climb it.

与学习其他技巧并无本质不同,有时候练习会一帆风顺有时候则不是,尤其刚开始的时候也许会有很多障碍。但是如果你能把魅力看作是一棵技巧的大树,那么每一次的练习都只是攀登至它顶点的诸多路径中的一条。
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