Taiwan: Extroverted People, Introverted Society. Future?

Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.

Taiwanese society possibly the most introverted in the world.

What happened to introverted cultures historically? Is it a significant influence here? Will it affect the future? How and how much?

Tango wrote: [quote]Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.

Taiwanese society possibly the most introverted in the world.[/quote]

I’m glad you wrote “possibly” - so, how many countries apart from your homeland have you lived in?

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Lived in 5 countries, visited over 30 many many times. Maybe just a generalization from this limited perspective.

[quote=“tango42”]Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.
[/quote]
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

If you substituted “friendliest” with “rudest, most selfish” you might have a point.

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How about friendliest, rudest, and most selfish…

Taiwanese extroverted? Where did you get that idea?

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Taiwanese are not all that extroverted in social contexts. I’d say they tend to be the opposite, and sometimes pay the price for it in business.

On the other hand, I’d say that many Taiwanese are natural, assertive businesspeople. That is part of the reason why this little, overcrowded island with very few natural resources has been able to achieve what it has economically.

That’s a good observation.

Kultur?

Now, there’s an inside joke in there somewhere…

[quote=“barfomcgee”][quote=“tango42”]Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.
[/quote]
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

If you substituted “friendliest” with “rudest, most selfish” you might have a point.[/quote]

Utter, utter bollocks

One of the more irritating misconceptions that many people have is confusing “shyness” with “introversion”. They are not the same. To be an introvert simply means that you care more about your inner world than the world of people around you. There are many shy extroverts and many aggressive introverts.

From Merriam-Webster’s:

Introversion: “the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life”

“shy implies a timid reserve and a shrinking from familiarity or contact with others .”

I would characterize Taiwanese society as an island of shy extroverts. They are afraid of strangers, especially the opposite sex. Most Taiwanese are extremely timid and shy. But their entire society is centered around interactions and social events within their extended circle of family & friends & co-workers. Taiwanese almost never do anything alone - they don’t go out at night alone, they don’t eat dinner alone, they don’t even go out on dates alone: they always travel in packs. Extroverts can’t live without other people; their personalities cease to exist when they’re alone. Extroverts are dependant upon the Group. That makes Taiwanese and nearly every other Asian society I’m aware of extremely extroverted.

Genuinely introverted societies would probably be Northern Europeans, particularly Scandinavians. Places like Alaska or northern Canada where people have to spend lots of time fending for themselves on their own.

[quote=“barfomcgee”][quote=“tango42”]Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.
[/quote]
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

If you substituted “friendliest” with “rudest, most selfish” you might have a point.[/quote]

I’ve found Taiwanese to be very friendly, much more so than their mainland or Hong Kong counterparts. There’s a lot less of the “screw the rich tourist” attitude here than in most other countries I’ve been to (except perhaps Laos, but even that seems to be changing for the worse), and people here are very genuine in their willingness to help a visitor.

[quote=“Chris”][quote=“barfomcgee”][quote=“tango42”]Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.
[/quote]
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

If you substituted “friendliest” with “rudest, most selfish” you might have a point.[/quote]

I’ve found Taiwanese to be very friendly, much more so than their mainland or Hong Kong counterparts. . . and people here are very genuine in their willingness to help a visitor.[/quote]

Agreed!

[quote=“Chris”][quote=“barfomcgee”][quote=“tango42”]Taiwanese people possibly the friendliest people in the world.
[/quote]
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

If you substituted “friendliest” with “rudest, most selfish” you might have a point.[/quote]

I’ve found Taiwanese to be very friendly, much more so than their mainland or Hong Kong counterparts. There’s a lot less of the “screw the rich tourist” attitude here than in most other countries I’ve been to (except perhaps Laos, but even that seems to be changing for the worse), and people here are very genuine in their willingness to help a visitor.[/quote]
I spent only a few weeks in China, mainly in Tibet and Yunnan provinces. However, from what I saw the people there were far more polite than here in Taiwan. In Taiwan, I just get the feeling that most people are completely preoccupied with themselves. They drive as if there were no other cars on the street; they walk in the same manner. When they enter shops, they often cut in line. When I enter some restaurants, virtually everyone will stop what they are doing and stare at me like vacuous idiots. In other restaurants, the people don’t even stop to take my order.

I will grant that most of the people I work with are rather friendly; however, there are also a a good number of gossiping, controlling, negative and generally all-around evil people. The bosses expect to be treated with absolute respect, and employees are to do any and all tasks asked of them, regardless of whether or not it is actually their job.

When I go hiking, a few people make way on the trail or smile and say hello when I (always!) stop for them. Most people just push their way by, very often with incredibly unfriendly stares that seem to say, “You are not welcome on our mountains, foreigner.”

My next door neighbors have about three dozen pairs of shoes which they insist on piling up to my very door. When I try to move their shoes to make room for my own, I find my shoes pushed into a corner and their shoes back in the old spot later in the day. My neighbors consistently leave bags of garbage in the hallway for hours and sometimes days; I left one bag of garbage in the hallway once for one hour, and the bag was rudely thrown in front of my door with a loud bang.

I have been to more than 20 countries, including Laos, as you mentioned, and nowhere have I encountered such rude, selfish people. No where, not even back in America. And that is saying something.

Taiwan is a beautiful country, but it’s a shame that a lot of the people here try so hard to ruin it. I for one will be on the first plane back to Thailand once my contract has expired in two months’ time.

[quote=“barfomcgee”]
I spent only a few weeks in China, mainly in Tibet and Yunnan provinces. However, from what I saw the people there were far more polite than here in Taiwan. In Taiwan, I just get the feeling that most people are completely preoccupied with themselves. They drive as if there were no other cars on the street; they walk in the same manner. When they enter shops, they often cut in line. When I enter some restaurants, virtually everyone will stop what they are doing and stare at me like vacuous idiots. In other restaurants, the people don’t even stop to take my order.

I will grant that most of the people I work with are rather friendly; however, there are also a a good number of gossiping, controlling, negative and generally all-around evil people. The bosses expect to be treated with absolute respect, and employees are to do any and all tasks asked of them, regardless of whether or not it is actually their job.

When I go hiking, a few people make way on the trail or smile and say hello when I (always!) stop for them. Most people just push their way by, very often with incredibly unfriendly stares that seem to say, “You are not welcome on our mountains, foreigner.”

My next door neighbors have about three dozen pairs of shoes which they insist on piling up to my very door. When I try to move their shoes to make room for my own, I find my shoes pushed into a corner and their shoes back in the old spot later in the day. My neighbors consistently leave bags of garbage in the hallway for hours and sometimes days; I left one bag of garbage in the hallway once for one hour, and the bag was rudely thrown in front of my door with a loud bang.

I have been to more than 20 countries, including Laos, as you mentioned, and nowhere have I encountered such rude, selfish people. No where, not even back in America. And that is saying something.

Taiwan is a beautiful country, but it’s a shame that a lot of the people here try so hard to ruin it. I for one will be on the first plane back to Thailand once my contract has expired in two months’ time.[/quote]

Not my experience (well apart from the traffic). But hasn’t this topic been gone over hundreds of times already? All we have learnt is that people see different things and draw different conclusions.

I hike a lot, and I have the exact opposite experience. There is the occasional exception, though, like the poachers we encountered a couple weeks ago in the woods along the Daxi River…they were pretty intent on getting us out of there so as not to scare the game away.

Fair enough. I will admit that it is mainly the driving that gets to me. If I could take out the daily commute, I might actually love this place. But I’ve always felt that you could tell a lot about a person by the way they drive, and most Taiwanese drivers could hardly be considered “friendly.”

I hike a lot, and I have the exact opposite experience. There is the occasional exception, though, like the poachers we encountered a couple weeks ago in the woods along the Daxi River…they were pretty intent on getting us out of there so as not to scare the game away.[/quote]
Actually, I guess you are correct. I was just on a roll complaining and it is always the rude ones that you remember. Most people do smile and offer a friendly “nin-hao.” However, it is very rare that they stop to let me go by, but that might just be because I always stop first.

I agree with barfomcgee, sad group of humanity. No compassion, empathy, or even simple awareness of other people. Simple awareness that we take for granted. It’s like living in the twilight zone, or a George Orwell book where everyone has invisible blinders on and is stuck in robot mode. Extremely introverted and self centered culture. If someone here is being friendly and outgoing to you, they absolutely 100% surely want something from you, either now, or are building gaunxi for the future. If they perceive you have nothing to offer them, then you do not exist and are an obstacle to them and are treated accordingly. There is a saying about how you can easily size up someones sincerity and character by observing how they treat someone that has nothing to offer them. Taiwan scores almost on dead bottom, maybe a shared place with mainland china.

I have seen a few, very very few, instances of genuine sincerity and I try to focus on these. I know It is not helpful to focus on the other 99% but it can be difficult when you are bombarded with it every time you leave your apartment.

Until, people/children are allowed to develop some individual autonomy this will never change. Ethics, morality, compassion can only be known by those who have a strong inner confidence and individual autonomy. It takes strength to walk against the current, its much easier to just flow along like everyone else and pretend you didn’t see anything. Confucious made a grave error in assuming that ethics and morality are a group matter. Observe group dynamics of children and adults and you will see that 95% of the time, the behavior or decisions always sink to the lowest common denominator. It takes confidence and individuality to rise above this, something the Chinese culture frowns upon. Much higher value is placed on conforming and harmonizing then on silly notions like compassion, ethics, and morality

homey and barfomcgee: do you guys come from small country towns? mid west america, perhaps, where everyone knows each other, the streets are wide and uncrowded, wooden benches sit under oak trees that cast a pleasant deep shade around the town square outside the library, and the sodapop fountain is the acme of social activity (apart from the little white clapboard church just on the edge of town).

that’s what it sounds like…

taiwan is desperately overcrowded, and some of what you see as rudeness is a reaction to coping wth zillions of people whom you will never see again, all jammed into the same sardine can. that breeds the kind of behaviour you see. Now I’m not saying here that it’s all good, but I really think you guys are closing your eyes to the many good things that are out there. do you actually KNOW any locals?