Being illusionally paranoid and scaring oneself 杯弓蛇影

Translated

啟示:杯弓蛇影 【bēi gōng shé yǐng】 形容由於錯覺而疑神疑鬼,自己驚嚇自己。 比如有些人以前曾在中國大陸經歷過許多連續不斷的整人運動,後半輩子總是生活在杯弓蛇影的感覺中,怕這怕那,怕很多不該怕的事情。 俗話說 “七份精神三份病”,健康的心理才會給人帶來健康的身體,只有徹底的擺脫心裡的恐懼,才能換來全身心的快樂和健康。

In the Han Dynasty, there was a county magistrate named Ying Chen. One day, he invited his subordinate Du Xuan for a drink in his home.
” Come on. Cheers!”
” Okay!”

When Du Xuan was about to drink the wine,  he found a snake in his cup.
” How come you haven’t drunk your wine? Come on.”
” Okay..” Du Xuan said nervously with shaking hands.

Du Xuan had a couple of sips reluctantly. When he got back home, he had a stomachache, and fell ill. When Ying Chen heard that Du Xuan was seriously ill, he came to visit him.
“How did you get sick?”
” Sir, when we drank the other day, there was a snake in my cup.”
” A snake?”
Ying Chen was very surprised. When he got back home, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. Finally, he noticed the bow hung on the wall. He knew what had happened. Ying Chen had Du Xuan come to his house and gave him a glass of wine.
” Sir, look, there’s the snake again!” Du Xuan pointed to his cup.
” That’s not a snake!” Ying Chen laughed. ” It’s only the reflection of the bow hung on the wall.”

“Bei Gong She Ying” refers to being illusionally paranoid and scaring oneself.

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