Indirect frankness

Unless I am with company I know I can absolutely trust, I shroud myself in a thick coat of politically correct veneer.

It wasn’t always like this of course.

When I first moved to Hong Kong, I often say things on my mind right out in the open. Moving here presented me with reversed-culture-shock. I didn’t realize how different I was in thinking and background to people, even those I thought I was close to. Being spoiled by my family and taught for many years by North American popular culture, I was not afraid to tell anyone off. That created a lot of problems for me both socially and professionally as I offended people without knowing. Recognizing the truth was very difficult to swallow but I realized I must adapt and change my ways to survive in this mini-ecosystem of relationships.

I still have ways to go but as I learned to change through practice and observations, I began to understand and to an extent, appreciate this new mode of social interactions. I think of it as indirect frankness – I don’t make negative comments unless I am solicited / requested to share my perspectives because a lot of times, my views maybe biased. Having said that, I also don’t “fake” positivity – I only compliment people / matters I truly appreciate.


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