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As some of you may know, I returned from a 3-day trip to Las Vegas two days ago. When I was at the casino in my hotel, doing nothing but wander around, an American said 'Happy New Year' to me. He was a complete stranger, and it felt so weird and unsettling. I also got a couple of smiles from total strangers. I did not smile back, I pretended to not see them and kept walking. As an introvert, I'd rather be ignored than be on the receiving end of such phony gestures. Smiling at strangers seems to be pretty exclusive to the Anglosphere, and especially America. In other countries like Russia and my native China, if a stranger smiles at you, you will find it weird or even suspicious. Though I cannot say for sure, from what I've read, even most of Europe seems to be more reserved.
Another thing that has always disturbed me is 'how are you?' being used as a greeting rather than a genuine inquiry of someone else's well-being. You could be going through a traumatic time in your life, but you're still expected to answer with 'fine', 'good,' 'great', 'not bad' etc. Unless there's the 0.01% chance of some connection caused by instant positive karma, 99.99% of the time, I don't expect to share details of myself and my life with someone I've just met, and I know that the other person isn't genuinely interested either. So, WHY BOTHER BLURTING OUT THESE THREE WORDS? Please, just stop and let me keep a bit more sanity.
As someone who's used to Asian restaurants, where the staff typically leave you alone, Anglosphere style restaurant service is extremely overbearing and overwhelming. Being checked on every few minutes is exhausting. Rather than being asked how much I'm enjoying my meal, I would likely have a better time if I could finish it undisturbed. Sure, being asked once is alright, but anything more than that gets on my nerves.
Deep feeling / thinking types will feel extremely out-of-place. When I smile, I don't show my teeth. Showing teeth feels a bit silly to me, and I like to retain some calmness and modesty even when I'm feeling happy. Some people in Asia are getting braces to make their teeth better when smiling, as well as teeth whitening services, which is sad. I'm not a fan of the yellow teeth I've seen in a number of Chinese people, but going Western and conforming to Western standards is a step towards another extreme. I especially can't stand the very American full grin, with teeth showing. Less extreme versions of it still give off a vibe of in-authenticity. The anti-culture that pushes the ideal of being happy at all times is a disgrace, seriously.
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Sometimes I like to reply back "terrible" just to break the Matrix a tad.
There is a "fake friendliness" in America, it's not genuine or sincere but fake and shallow. I have heard the same thing is true in Canada, Australia and the UK.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
I notice the people that are happiest to see me are also the most narcissistic. (salesmen)
“Every time a President leaves the White House after two terms, there is a recession within the next year"
Oh it's definitely the same in Canada. @Taco If America is a 100/100 shithole, Canada would be a 95/100. The reason why Canada scores less is because I'm in Vancouver, which has a significant Asian population. I spend a lot of time in Richmond, where most of the Chinese live. Richmond is close to the international airport, and I only have seven months left before I'm out of the West for good.
That's because you're unhappy there in Canada. If you were happy you wouldn't mind acting happy because then it would be more honest. But instead you have to pretend. We aren't part of the same hive mind as those around us in North America. The true reason for our loneliness, according to Carl Jung, is not lack of people around us, but this:
So true huh?
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
I used to feel that way but I don't anymore. Now "I get it." Certain people enjoy being friendly. It is a delight to be friendly for some people. Now they don't want to get deep into your personal matters because that may be too much for them, and they may not know or understand that some people feel depressed on the inside.
I've also learned that, when they use "how ya doing" as a greeting, guess what the response can be instead of the answer? Well if I don't feel like answering with "good" or "great", I can just skip the answer altogether and go with, 'How are you?' Most people won't even notice that you haven't answered the question.
And you'd be surprised that if you smile at someone when they greet you, sometimes they will smile right back and you'll get an even more enthusiastic response. It is a delight to be friendly sometimes because it feels good.
Just like when someone doesn't respond back to you, you might feel a little disturbed by it, likewise when they return friendliness, it can make you feel a little bit good.
Before I used to knock it, but after having put on the friendly face, I can say I do see the benefit in it.
As for wait staff, that's also not necessarily a bad thing. Imagine if you did need something and they never came around. That would suck more than them checking up on you.
My suggestion would be to put on your smiling face, submit yourself to being friendly, and see how it works out. Stop resisting. It's futile!
Well in the sense that they don't care deeply for the other person, that may be true. However, now I see friendliness as kind of like telling a joke.
Jokes are also fake and really they are meaningless and there's no real point to telling a joke, except for what? To make yourself feel good. And if you find someone who laughs at your joke, then bam, you both have a lift up in your day.
I think this is similar to what friendliness is in the states. For some people it is delightful to be friendly. Now, is this person going to become your friend? Probably not, and maybe you wouldn't want them to be your friend either, if you knew more about them.
I disagree with everything you have mentioned except the waiters/waitresses at American restaurants asking you every 5 minutes how is everything that is beyond annoying I agree 100% with you. I am the opposite from an introvert I am very very social and energetic of course there's days I feel drained or stressed and I don't feel like talking to anyone but even then I am nice. I am the opposite of being cold and not friendly. I love smiling at people I am too friendly a lot of times at work or when I am out I have had massive conversations with strangers and even made new friends with the exception of younger Westernized women only older ones of course the young women of America have a turd for a brain. I don't see what the issue is I used to be beyond shy I still have a bit left in me but I have come a long long way. I know everyone is different and I don't mean to offend anyone but one thing I can't stand is one of my friends he's an introvert I've known him for 13 years and he can't hold a conversation via text or in person unless I initiate. It gets annoying I waste my time texting him stuff cause 95% of it goes unread nor replied to. If I don't text chances are I won't hear from him period. Then he complains he is lonely and has anxiety attacks it's like hello dude you know me for 13 years you can't text me to hang out??? That is one thing I don't get about people like that but again I mean not to offend anyone that has those traits just my experiences and opinions.
Sorry, no disrespect baosiang, as all your other posts are spot on, but the irony here is that while criticizing the anglosphere, you demonstrate you are just another typical stoic and weird anglo-based dude, misophonia and all.
Why on earth would you be on a site like HA if you don't want to be spoken to? This kind of crap pisses me off, especially the hiding behind the 'introvert' label. You could move to a hole in the middle of manitoba and be left alone, very easily.
Be glad you couldn't make it to Vietnam. Here people look and stare, smile, and ask about your life all the time, which is half the god damn point of this site.
That's male "friends" in the chumpzone. My close coworker 'friends' are just fakebook acquaintances now. Even two posters I've met from this site on different countries, they disappeared after meeting and hanging out multiple days. No follow up with "dude, how have you been, thanks for driving me around" none of that, nothing, zilch, just out-of-sight out-of-mind.
1)Too much of one thing defeats the purpose.
2)Everybody is full of it. What's your hypocrisy?
We're not friendly enough. It used to be a lot better, before 9-11. You really could just walk down the street and make friends sometimes.
Now we have terrorism, diversity, and a huge shortage of women, so everything is a lot more tense and that doesn't happen anymore, because it always leads to a bunch of angry dudes fighting over one woman. The supply of women is scarce, so everyone sections off into their own little tribe.
Coming back to life.
I agree with Droid. This kid is angry because people are being NICE to him? What kind of person are you? Typical snooty, self-absorbed millenial with delusions of grandeur. Don't be like that. In a few years, you will be pining for the attention that you are receiving now.
Youth is wasted on the young. Truth.
Thanks for the variety of opinions. However, my point is not being so self-absorbed and REJECTING niceness. My point is feeling uncomfortable with this superficial 'niceness' when I know that it's not meant to lead to something deeper. Sure, I certainly don't feel entitled to share my views and myself with the entire world. I don't want the entire world, or even many people, to know about who I truly am and how I truly feel, and I know most people could probably care less. If you're someone who KNOWS you could care less about me at a deeper level, then stop acting like you're inviting me to open up more of myself. I value AUTHENTICITY, which is PRECISELY what the Anglosphere lacks.
Deep, genuine bonds are what I crave.
And calling me a 'self-absorbed millenial', okay. That's quite nice. First of all, I hate the word 'millenial'. I've always felt different from others. Growing up, I often desired the company of adults more than other kids. And this criticism. I do admit that the 1980-2000 generation, and now the so-called Generation Z, have become more entitled in many ways. I've never identified with many of these 'generational trends.' I'm comfortable being who I am.