2016年1月31日日曜日

愛着心・Attachment


僕は場所と人に愛着を感じにくい。いつからかわからないけど、昔から、場所と人に愛着を感じるのは難しかった。特に10代の頃に、家族は数回引っ越したので、住んでいるところに強い執着心を感じなくなった。同様によく引っ越したので、友達を何度も失った。ということで、他人と関係を作りたくないようになっただろう。新しい友達を作ることが難しいということと、知らない人と話すのは難しいということについて書いたことがある。

問題だというかわからないけれど、新しい関係を作らないこと、いい関係を作る時間を注ぐことを避けない傾向は重要な性格だと思う。ほとんどの人に親しくならないので、失っても、感情的に影響されない。神戸から引っ越した時、会えなくなるのは寂しい友達が一握りしかいなかった。人に何人会ったけど、あまり親しくならないようにした。その上、友達にこだわりがある。政治や経済や社会問題について話すのが好きなので、そういう話に興味がない人はつまらないと思う。神戸で会った人たちはいい人だったと思うけど、僕に気が合わない人が多かった。

神戸自体も同じだ。神戸が好きで、三宮や大阪に写真を撮りに行くのが好きで、食べ物の買い物や旅行が便利だったけど、神戸に執着にならなかった。もしよく考えば、日本に執着心があることは不思議だ。

愛着しないことの不利がわかりやすいだろう。他人のように、場所と人に愛を経験するのは少ないわけだ。僕が失礼か、非社交的だという人は少なくないだろう。それより、場所と人に愛着を感じやすい人の気持ちがあまり分からない。例えば、同じ町に一生に住むことは想像しにくいけど、「うち」から引っ越すのを考えたことがない人に会ったことがある。実は「うち」があるって感じがあまり分からないと思う。「故郷は遠きにありて思ふもの」ということわざがあるけど、僕の心はどこにあるかわからない。僕の心は他人の心より動きやすいだろう。

しかし、僕の愛着しにくい性格は利点もあると思う。ある場所に執着心のある人に会ったら、可愛いそうだと思う。例えば、子供の頃に、両親はユダヤ教だったので、イスラエルに住みたいとよく言った。僕もユダヤ教で、ラビになるために勉強していたけど、不合理な執着心だと思った。場所に執着のない僕はイスラエルとパレスチンについての人に作られた神話を見抜ける。

人も同じ。人は人についても神話を作るんだよね。例えば、親に虐待されても、親を愛しないとダメだと思う人がたくさんいるだろう。親が嫌いな人なんて誰だ?ってことだ。権力者はいつも正しいと思うから、問題があったら、権力者に頼る人は少なくない。

親しい人に対しては愛着心が変な影響を与える。男女は付き合い始めたら、互いに良い印象を与えたいだろう。男性は特に新しい彼女を怒ったりしたくない。しかし、関係の最初に、彼女と別れるのは簡単だ。もちろん、親しくなるほど難しくなる。強い愛着心を感じるほど、さらに彼女を嬉しくしたい。男性は女性の方がいいと思っているように、平等に扱わなくて、女性を崇拝する変な傾向があるんだ。女性にとってはどうなのかわからないけど、僕が先に書いたように行動する女性もいるだろう。つまり、誰かと親しくなったら、自分より恋人を優先する傾向がある。

しかし、その「神話」が消える変な時が来て、恋人を平等に扱うようになる。僕の両親は一緒に議論することに慣れていることで、平等に扱っている証拠だ。

もちろん、他人を自分より優先した方が理想だと言う人が多い。僕は彼女を優先して、彼女もそうしたら、互いに嬉しくする努力をするだろう。

でも、相互関係がなかったらどうなるだろう?彼女を自分より優先している男性の彼女は相互しなかったらどうだろう?彼は優しいけど、彼女は優しくなかったらどうだろう?彼はいつも自分が悪くて謝っても、彼女はそうしなかったらどうだろう?

みんなはその話の最後を知っているね。そんな平等じゃない関係が長くなって、男性はついに彼女についての「神話」を見抜いて、平等に扱うようになったら、彼の感情は急に逆になる。虐待して操られていたことに気づく。ということで、急に愛は憎みになる。

多分、両親に反抗する子供も同じだ。人は成長したら、平等に扱われたいけど、両親はそうしなかったら、子供は自由のために戦う。不平等の関係から自由のために。神様のように間違いのない親っていう「神話」からの自由。

僕のような人にとって、他人と簡単に親しくならないようにするので、他人について(簡単に)神話を作らない。他人を平等に扱う努力する。僕を平等に扱う人に惹かれて、そうしない人に嫌悪感を抱く。特に僕を操ってみている人に嫌悪感を抱く(だから、政治家が嫌いだと思う)。他人に愛着心を持たないようにする傾向は操作的と虐待的な人から僕を守るだろう。

なので、他人と親しくならないようにするのは不利があるけど、利点もあると思う。

***

I don't get attached to places or people too easily. I don't know when it started (maybe when I was around 15 years old), but for a long time, I have found it hard to become attached to places or people. My family moved several times throughout my life, especially in my teenage years, so I never really felt a strong connection to any place. Similarly, because we moved often, I lost friends several times, which probably affected my desire to try to build relationships with others. I've written a couple of times about the trouble I have making new friends or talking to strangers.

I'm not sure if I would call it a problem, but my tendency to avoid starting relationships or investing time in building good relationships is certainly a primary part of my personality. I don't get too close to most people, so even if I lose them, I'm not affected emotionally. There were only a handful of friends that I made in Kobe whom I truly missed when I left. Although I met lots of people in Kobe, I avoided becoming too attached to most of them. Plus, I'm fairly picky when it comes to who I become friends with. I like to talk about politics, economics, social problems, etc., so any people that didn't seem interested in those topics seemed boring to me. I'm sure everybody I met were nice, good people, but they just didn't "click" with me.

The same is true about Kobe itself. I liked Kobe and enjoyed going to Sannomiya or Osaka to take pictures, and I enjoyed how convenient it was to buy food or travel, but I didn't build any strong attachment to Kobe itself. When I think about it, it's strange that I have a strong attachment to Japan at all.

Being detached has some obvious disadvantages. Being detached means that I don't get to easily experience the happiness of love for places or people as easily as other people. I'm sure many people even think I'm rude or antisocial. More importantly, it's difficult for me to empathize with people that become attached to places or people easily or have a hard time letting go. For example, it is difficult for me to imagine living in the same town my whole life, but I've known many people that would never consider moving away from their "home". In fact, I'm not sure if I really know what having a "home" is like. They say that "Home is where the heart is", but I'm not sure where my heart is. My heart seems a lot more mobile than most other peoples' hearts.

However, I've often considered my unusual detachment from places and people to be a strength, too. When I see people that become incredibly attached to a place, I feel bad for them. For example, when I was a kid, my parents often talked about wanting to live in Israel because we were Jewish. I considered it an irrational love of a place that I'm not sure I ever shared with my parents, even when I was studying to be a Rabbi. My detachment from places allows me to see through the myths that people create about Israel and Palestine.

The same is true of people. We create myths around people in our lives, too, you know. For example, some people believe that they have to love their parents, even if their parents are abusive to them. What kind of person doesn't love their parents? Many people look to authority figures for answers to problems (politicians, teachers, etc.), as if people with authority are automatically going to be right.

When it comes to people we are close to, attachment has a strange effect on our behavior. When a man and woman first start dating, they want to impress each other. Men especially don't want to make their new girlfriends unhappy. But, at the beginning, it's easier for men to walk away from the relationship. As they get closer, it becomes more difficult. When they develop a strong attachment to their girlfriend, they want to please their girlfriend even more. Men have a strange tendency to put women on pedestals, as if women are better than them or they can't treat them equally. I don't know how it is for women in general, but I'm sure there are women who do the same. In other words, when we become attached to people, we tend to put their needs and desires before our own.

However, there comes a strange point where that "myth" disappears and we begin to treat the people we love as our equals. It's clear that my parents feel that way because they are comfortable arguing with each other.

Of course, many people say the ideal thing to do is for everybody to treat others as more important than themselves. If I consider my girlfriend's needs and desires above my own, and she reciprocates those feelings, then we are both going to work hard to please each other.

However, what happens if there is no reciprocity? What if a man's girlfriend, whose needs and desires he prioritize over his own, doesn't do the same for him? What if he is kind to her, but she is always mean to him? What if he always apologizes when he hurts her or makes a mistake, but she doesn't apologize to him?

We have heard how that story ends. When there is an unequal relationship like that for a long time, when the man finally sees through the "myth" he has created about his girlfriend and starts to see her as an equal, his feelings quickly reverse. He realizes he has been abused and manipulated. This is how love quickly turns to hate.

I think this is also kind of why children rebel against their parents. When people mature, they desire to be treated like an equal, but if their parents don't do that, then their children will fight for their freedom. Freedom from an unequal relationship. Freedom from the myth of infallible, godlike parents.

For someone like me, since I avoid becoming attached to people, I don't (easily) create myths about others. I try to treat them as equals. I'm attracted to people that treat me as an equal, and am repulsed by people that don't. I am especially repulsed by people that I think try to manipulate me (which probably explains my attitude about politics). My tendency to avoid becoming attached to people protects me against manipulative and abusive people.

So, although avoiding attachment has some disadvantages, it also has some advantages, too.
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