Are Taiwanese optimistic or pessimistic?

You know I notice Taiwanese seems rather pessimistic about the society or country.

Every other country is better than Taiwan as far as they’re concerned. Even run down ones.

That and most Taiwanese bore me because all they ever do is work. And when they have money or time they will spend it on overcompensating, like cars, motorcycles, or “stuff”. Also they would think saving 10nt is a virtue even if it costs them time (such as stand 2 hours in the sun for free 10nt ice creams).

Are there more optimistic Taiwanese whose life is more than what they do for a living or do Taiwanese who actually like their jobs exist (because no Taiwanese I talk to likes their jobs).

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I can’t pretend to be an expert on the inner feelings of 24 million Taiwanese, but I feel that within my limited social circles I’ve met/interacted with a good several who seemed fairly optimistic to me (mostly people in their late 20s/early 30s, I guess). So my sample size here isn’t huge, but I don’t get the impression that Taiwanese as a species are overly pessimistic.

I’m a bit of a morose bastard myself, though, so my threshold for what counts as “optimistic” is probably pretty low. And, to be blunt, reading your posts makes me suspect that you might be dragging the national average over to the “pessimistic” side. :wink:

I agree with you on the silliness of the lengths that people here will apparently go to to save NT$10 haha.


Neutral I would say.

A rather loaded OP. Are you expecting all of us to agree with your blanket “observation”?

Pot. Kettle. Black.


When I see three or more bubble tea shops next to each other I feel Taiwanese people are overoptimistic. But that’s probably just me being pessimistic.


Checks watch. Yeah. It’s about time for one of these rants.

I’m out in advance. Good luck everybody else.


Suicides are much lower compared to other places in East Asia and people are happiest.

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I used to be depressed here because Taiwanese were so pessimistic. “Everything in Taiwan is shit,… if you have talent goto China… this place is over…”

Now in the last three years I think we turned a corner. Economy getting better,excellent COVID response, more art and comedy, death of kmt etc.

I feel Taiwan is more optimistic now


It’s changed quite a bit, for some good reasons. Pay still needs catching up but compared to places like China, HK, Philippines , Thailand and many other countries round the world it’s doing great.
It’s my feeling that working conditions have improved immensely for full time office worker types Going by the sheer number of new cars being driven around and the amount of people shopping and travelling it looks prosperous . But that would need to be validated by surveys.


In Taipei there seems to be an inordinate number of new bars opening recently, which is a good barometer for the economy doing better.

Gongguan has a bunch I was only waiting twenty years for that .:neutral_face::roll_eyes::grin:

New bars in Gongguan? Do tell. Any recommendations?

I’m not sure pessimistic is the right word. I’d say risk adverse. Getting things done here is about checking the boxes no matter if it makes sense or not. The average Joe thinks about reasons why things can’t be tried rather than new ways to solve problems. If bosses reward people for creative solutions and provide interactive hands-on training, most people can change. There are many extremely talented people and technologies here which is why Taiwan is home for me.


Yea, I hate the risk adverse nature of Taiwanese bosses. You are punished severely for every mistake you make. The wage is really low here but I remember one time I got deducted 500nt because a customer was trying to buy one of those ETC cards. But since the transaction is rare (in 3 years I worked there this is the only time it happened) the system was giving me an error. So I gave the customer back his money and put the card in the register to tell the boss that the system wasn’t working. He still charged me for it even though it wasn’t my fault. This was back in 2009 though.

Basically Taiwanese bosses will pin any mishaps on you and make you pay dearly for it. So you become very risk adverse when faced with this. It makes it hard to grow as an employee. I suspect most boss don’t want you to grow.


@Taiwan_Luthiers’s (correct punctuation, ed.?) posts are not boring. The process of unravelling them is fascinating. You’re just not putting in enough effort.

I regret working in Taiwan in my 20s and 30s. It was a hard way to get to my semblance of a career now.
I had one semi decent mentor but I saw how many bosses treated their employees terribly, seeing them as a cost base to squeeze more money out of whenever given the opportunity.

I have posted about it before and see if I can link to it here.

It’s the reason I refuse to work for Taiwanese corporations now . I hate their penny pinching culture.

Another reason I don’t like working in their corporations is the massive lack of diversity and the back biting.(back biting happens everywhere but the lack of diversity can put a big X on your back here ).

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I’m not sure I have a choice though. The only country I can realistically immigrate to is China, and I heard it’s worse there.

Only chance I have is try to work for a foreign company in Taiwan, but getting squeezed all the time sucks but people put up with it because they have no choice either.

I don’t know if things have improved but I am scared to get a job for any Taiwanese, as in addition to the low wages any mistakes are punished severely. Doesn’t matter if it’s your fault or not, if it happens on your watch it is assumed that it’s your fault.

But this year I have had exactly 12 guitar related work. The demand must be so low, and that I am now having to rely on non guitar related work and charity to survive.

I suppose “miserable”, “dour” and “humourless” are better adjectives than “boring”.


So, what do you do now? If you don’t mind me asking.

Professional Forumosa poster. Goose Egg pays him per word.

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