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性格测试能帮我们爱上对的人吗?

Want Lasting Love? First, Take This Test
性格测试能帮我们爱上对的人吗?

I asked Claire to take the test after our third date. Things had gone well — hands touching, knees skimming, heads close. By the time I flopped into bed, I was flush with possibility. I was also quite drunk.

在第三次约会之后,我让克莱尔(Claire)做了测试。事情一直都很顺利——触碰手、轻擦膝盖、头彼此靠近。到我一头倒在床上时,因为满怀期待而脸发红。当然,也是因为我喝醉了。

Claire had sounded intrigued by the 16 Personalities test, so I texted her the link. Then I opened my Notes app and typed a prediction: “Claire, INFP,” guessing she was an introvert (“I”) who preferred intuition (“N”), made decisions more from feeling (“F”) than thinking, and approached life in a flexible, open way (“P”).

克莱尔起初听上去对16型人格测试很感兴趣,于是我把链接发了给她。然后我打开了笔记应用,打出了预测结果:“克莱尔,INFP”,我猜她是内向(I),偏好直觉(N),做决定更多靠感觉(F)而不是思考,以灵活、开放(P)的方式对待生活。

It was an outcome that filled me with hope. No one is guaranteed to find love from a test, of course, but we can at least improve our odds by pursuing people with whom we stand a better chance of forging a lasting connection.

这个结果让我充满希望。当然,没人能保证通过测试找到爱人,但我们至少可以通过追求与我们更有可能建立持久联系的人来增大几率。

When Claire’s message lit up my screen, it was exactly as I thought: “INFP.”

当克莱尔的消息点亮我的屏幕,结果和我料想的一模一样:INFP。

I texted her a screen grab of my note, as if to say: “I see you.”

我把我的笔记截屏发给她,仿佛在说:“我懂你。”

“Am I really such an open book?” she wrote. “Or are you just very, very good at this?”

“我真得这么一目了然吗?”她写道。“还是说你很擅长这个?”

“The latter,” I wrote. “Definitely the latter.”

“后者,”我写道。“肯定是后者。”

I became obsessed with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (many websites, including 16 Personalities, use it as a basis for their own tests) a few years ago when my nearly two-decade marriage began to unravel and I was trying to understand how things had gone so wrong. My husband, Adam, and I still made decisions well together, but we had long ago lost our emotional tie, especially when it came to being able to talk in ways that didn’t involve planning or practical matters.

几年前,在持续近20载的婚姻开始垮掉时,我渐渐迷上了迈尔斯-布里格斯性格分类指标(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,包括16型人格测试在内的许多网站都以其作为测试的基础),我想搞清楚事情是如何走到了不可收拾的程度。我和丈夫亚当(Adam)仍然会很好地在一起做决定,但我们之间早已失去了情感纽带,特别是在能以不涉及计划或实际问题的方式进行交谈方面。

Was this simply where most long-term relationships ended up, or was our disconnect the result of an entrenched incompatibility? I wanted to find out.

这是否就是大多数长期关系告终的缘由?还是我们的隔阂是由于固有的不匹配造成的?我想要弄明白。

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assigns personality types based on answers to a series of questions. Our responses determine where we fall on the spectrum of four categories: how we interact with the world (extrovert or introvert), how we process information (sensing or intuition), how we make decisions (thinking or feeling) and how we organize our lives (judging or perceiving). The final result is a set of four letters.

迈尔斯-布里格斯性格分类指标根据对一系列问题的答案,把性格分为不同类型。我们的回答决定了我们属于四类性格中的哪一种:如何与世界互动(外向或内向)、如何处理信息(理智或直觉)、如何做决定(思维或感觉)以及如何安排生活(判断或感知)。最终结果是四项答案英文首字母组合。

I started looking for those four letters in everyone I met. What could they tell me about a person? Did they act as a secret code, a mirror or a smoke screen?

我开始在我遇见的每个人身上寻找这四个字母。它们能告诉我关于一个人的什么呢?它们是秘密代码,是镜子还是障眼法?

My belief in the power of this system stems from the fact that my own type — which presents itself to me consistently, no matter how many times I take the test or which version I take — is eerily spot on. Those letters, INTJ, became a mooring for me during a period of great uncertainty.

我对这个体系的信念源自一个事实,即我自己的类型准得匪夷所思——无论我做多少遍测试或采用哪个版本,它给我的结果始终一致。在一段极不确定的时期,INTJ这串字母成了我的支柱。

They also gave me insight as to why I wanted to leave the man with whom I had spent 19 years and had four children. A tattered treasure map of our similarities and differences, the trail of which had led us not to the glinting coins of a golden wedding anniversary but to a dead end.

它们也让我明白自己为何想离开那位共处了19年并一起育有四个孩子的男人。它是一张破旧的藏宝图,描绘出我们的异同之处,上面的路径并没有把我们带到金婚纪念的闪亮金币,而是婚姻的尽头。 纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com

When I met Adam, I was an American college student in London and he was a British academic in his late 20s. He was basically the same person he is now, and so was I, but it’s harder to see who people really are through the fog of courtship. Our conversations were compelling in the early days, but that kind of discourse, as it turned out, was not his natural inclination.

认识亚当时,我是伦敦的一名美国大学生,他是快30岁的英国学者。他基本上还是原来的他,我也是,但要透过求爱的迷雾看清一个人谈何容易。开始的时候,我们的谈话引人入胜,结果却发现,那种交谈并非他的天性。

Adam’s personality type is ESTJ (extroversion, sensing, thinking, judging). We share the last two letters, so we agreed on a lot of the big things: We were committed to intellectual rigor, harbored a deep skepticism of organized religion, and had similar attitudes about money. Neither of us wanted children, until we both did.

亚当的性格类型是ESTJ(外向、理智、思维、判断)。后两个字母我们一样,所以我们在很多大问题上看法一致:致力于理性严谨,对有组织的宗教深感怀疑,对金钱的态度也比较相似。我们都不想要孩子,直到我们都要了孩子。

But our differences (extrovert versus introvert, and his concrete, linear style of thinking and communicating versus my tendency toward abstraction and patterns) revealed themselves over time to be a source of stagnation, not growth.

但随着时间的推移,我们的差异(外向对内向,他的具象、直线型思维与沟通方式对我的抽象和模式倾向)显示出它们是双方关系停滞不前,而非成长的来源。

While opposites may attract, being opposite in some aspects of a relationship can prove problematic. In the Simplified Myers-Briggs Type Compatibility Chart I consulted, which lists five levels of anticipated compatibility, our pairing is second to worst.

虽说异性相吸,但在一段关系的某些方面,性情相异可能会出问题。在我参考的简化版迈尔斯-布里格斯性格分类匹配表(Simplified Myers-Briggs Type Compatibility Chart)中——它会列出五级预期匹配结果——我们的匹配度倒数第二。

Dinners and car rides became for us silent, stilted affairs. He would ask about my day but never seemed to listen to my answers or do anything to move the discussion forward. I craved conversation built on shared intuition and the back and forth of ideas; he didn’t want much of that kind of conversation at all.

晚餐和驱车出行对于我们来说,变成了沉默、乏味的事情。他会问我一天过得怎样,但似乎从不注意听我的回答,或者做点什么,引导谈话继续下去。我渴望谈话能建立在相通的直觉和观点的来回交错之上,而他一点也不想要那样的交谈。

After our twins arrived, crashing into our family of four like a Molotov cocktail, he simply did not have the energy or the will to engage with me. And I needed that engagement to feel connected. Eventually, we stopped talking altogether, at least in any meaningful way.

在我们的双胞胎来临,像一杯莫洛托夫鸡尾酒一样闯入我们的四口之家后,他根本就没有精力或意愿跟我互动。而我需要那种互动才能感到心意相通。终于,我们完全停止了交谈,至少是有意义的交谈。

Neither of us was to blame, as I see it; we were just incompatible in terms of how we process the world and derive meaning from it. We had no trouble choosing a secondary school for our oldest son with exemplary logic or getting out of the house in record time with four unruly children, but in the end, these shared personality features were not enough to sustain us.

照我看来,俩人都没什么错,我们只是在感知世界以及从中获得意义的方式上不匹配。在以清晰的逻辑给大儿子选择中学,或是带着四个淘气孩子以破纪录的时间出门方面,我们完全没问题,但到最后,这些共同的性格特点却不足以维持我们的关系。

After leaving a long-term relationship, people often fall for someone who is wholly different. If a husband was moody and disinterested, the new person is even-tempered and attentive. If a wife was overly analytical and aloof, the new person is action oriented and effusive.

在结束一段长期关系后,人们常会选择一个完全不同的人。如果前夫是个情绪化又兴致寡淡的人,那新人就是脾气又好又体贴。如果前妻是个过于重分析又冷漠的人,那新人就是行动导向又热情洋溢的人。

When I started dating online, I armed myself with the 16 personality types for exactly this reason: to right my past relationship wrongs.

开始网上约会时,我以16型人格分类上阵的原因正在于此:纠正我过去在恋情中犯的错。

Claire was one of the few people I decided to meet in real life. She and Adam did not share a single Myers-Briggs letter. She was similar to me and different from me in entirely new ways, ways that thrilled me. Shortly after we met, I wrote about her to a friend.

克莱尔是我决定在现实生活中见面的少数几人之一。她和亚当的迈尔斯-布里格斯字母完全不同。她和我很相似,但不同之处又完全不同,这令我兴奋不已。我们见面后不久,我把她的情况写给了一位朋友。

“You’re bucking the pattern!” my friend replied, talking mainly about the fact that Claire is younger than I am. In the past, I had been romantically involved only with people who were older, sometimes significantly so, and had never dated a woman.

“你这是跟固有模式对着干!”朋友回复道,主要是说克莱尔比我小这个事实。以往,我的恋爱对象都比我大,有时候还大很多,而且我从没约会过女性。

“She has tattoos!” I wrote back. Not only were Claire’s arms already generously inked the first time I saw her, a new tattoo also appeared between our first and second dates. Between dates No. 2 and No. 3, she added a sparkling stud to her left nostril.

“她有文身!”我回复道。我第一次见到克莱尔,就发现她两手臂满是文身,第一和第二次约会之间,又多了个新的文身。第二和第三次约会之间,她的左鼻孔添了一枚闪闪的鼻钉。

The spontaneity of these acquisitions surprised and impressed me. I was still deliberating over the single tattoo I had planned to get for my 40th birthday the November before, the pale, bare skin of my wrist a reminder of my caution.

她主动增添这些花样让我感到惊奇,也给我留下深刻印象。当时我还在思量原本在去年11月份40岁生日时刺一个文身的计划,手腕裸露的苍白皮肤提醒着我要谨慎。

Claire was restlessness to my stillness, late to my early, free-floating to my rootedness. What we shared, though, dwarfed all those differences: the first two letters of the Myers-Briggs scale, which confirmed a mutual intensity and introspection, a common way of talking, thinking and connecting. It felt so right.

克莱尔偏动我偏静,她晚到我早到,她自在随性我沉稳内敛。而我们的共性却令差异相形见绌:迈尔斯-布里格斯量表前两个字母相同,肯定我们有着共同的强度和自省能力,以及共同的交谈、思维和沟通方式。感觉对极了。

A couple of months after we met, when she told me she had been seeing somebody else the whole time, I was floored. Not because I don’t think people date more than one person at the same time, but because I thought we were alike in a way that meant she wouldn’t.

我们见面两个月后,当她告诉我她从头到尾一直都在跟另一个人约会时,我震惊了。不是因为我不认为人不能同时和一个以上的人约会,而是因为我以为我们的心性既然相同,那她就不会这样。

A flurry of text messages followed, offering explanations: “I’ll never fit in to your life,” “I’ll let you down,” and finally, “You are superior to me in so many ways” (which was perhaps her way of saying: “It’s not you, it’s me”).

随后一连串的短信中提供了解释:“我永远都不能适应你的生活”、“我会让你失望”,最后是,“你在很多方面都比我优秀”(这也许是她想说:“不是你的问题,是我的问题”)。

I am not superior to her, of course, though it would probably be in keeping with my personality type to present as if I am. We INTJs are an intense, exacting bunch, and notoriously difficult to please.

当然,我并不比她优秀,不过,假装我比她优秀,可能符合我的性格类型。我们INTJ可是一群紧张苛刻的人,出了名的难讨好。

It took Adam years to come to the conclusion that he could never live up to my expectations. It took Claire mere months.The tattoo I didn’t get was going to be the ancient Greek word “arete,” which means, among other things, excellence. But excellence probably isn’t a realistic goal in romance. Neither is perfect compatibility.

亚当花了好几年时间才得出结论:他永远达不到我的期望。克莱尔只花了几个月。我没去做的文身是古希腊词语“arete”,意思不是别的,正是“卓越”。但追求卓越在爱情中可能不是一个现实的目标。完美的和睦相处也是不现实的。

In love, we can try to test, predict and explain all we want, but romantic attachment will always be an inherently messy endeavor. Chemistry, history and timing can’t be logged into a spreadsheet. And yet I find it hard to let go of the idea that there is some benefit, especially when it comes to long-term relationships, to seeking a promising combination of similarities and differences.

在爱情中,我们可以试着去测试、预测和解释我们想要的一切,但浪漫的依恋总是一种本质上混乱的行为。它的化学反应、历史和计时方式都无法登录到电子表格里。然而,我发现自己很难放弃这样一种想法:有些人同你的相似与不同之处,会和你格外相配,找到它们是有好处的,尤其是在长期关系中。

So I keep my four letters prominently displayed on my dating profile. I still want to know, early on, a potential partner’s personality type. Not to diminish love’s complexity. Not to make it easy. Just, I hope, to make it more likely.

所以我把我的四个字母放在约会资料的显著位置。我仍然想在早期就知道,潜在伴侣的性格类型。不是为了减少爱情的复杂性。这可不是什么容易的事。我只希望让它变得更有可能。

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