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Nicole B

What does this mean?

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Nicole B

Had this tattoo for a while and honestly forgot the meaning. Can anyone help?5410601B-21FA-4072-8553-DD9003E06E64.thumb.jpeg.092a822041202d96d1c07db63e9cdc89.jpeg

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患得患失 (huàndé huànshī ) 

Means to worry about personal gains and losses, I.e to focus too much on gaining or losing in life

患 = Worry

得 = To gain , acquire

失 = To lose (opposite to 得)


I'm not too familiar with this so others will have better explanation and better context

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worried you won't be able to get something, then when you do get it, you worry that you will lose what you have gained. A more modern meaning is to be overcautious in decision making, constantly worrying and weighing up the pros and cons. The phrase originates from Confucius' the Analects.

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For those interested, after discussing this chengyu yesterday, I happened to bump into it in the wild today during my reading, which gives some good context on how it should be understood in modern Mandarin. It appears in a list of negative mental states in which a person will not be able to write calligraphy well, and here appears to carry the meaning of 'mentally uncertain and thus indecisive'


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