Trusting the Local People

[quote=“SuchAFob”]Indiana:
My mother once said that if I have a problem with the group, the problem is most likely with me.
You sound very bitter. Maybe your bitterness is clouding your judgement. Maybe because this is what you expect to find, you aren’t finding the good people. Maybe the good people see your bitterness and avoid you.[/quote]

I have been thinking a lot about SAF’s feedback on aother thread, and have been mulling it over for the past day or so.

I agree with SAF’s mother’s words of wisdom wholeheartedly, within my own culture. But here, where lies are part of the culture, I have grown to not trust anyone after being lied to so many times, and seeing so many untruths in relationships between Taiwanese and foreign friends. I could write a book about the stories and confessions I have heard.

I am actually extremely friendly to people around me. I am not one for confrontation. I try to avoid it, actually. I am not one for showing anger or negative emotions (in person anyway, but Forumosa is a means of a venting place for me on what’s really going on inside of me). So, I doubt very much that I am outwardly bitter…in fact, quite the opposite.

I am also, by nature, a very trusting person. Too much so, according to my husband. Maybe it’s a result of my small-town upbringing.

My question to all of you is, how many people here have you actually grown to trust and think of as true friends? Because after 6 years here, I have many close foreign friends, but not one Taiwanese person I can really trust enough to be considered a real friend. Many of you are married to local people and so obviously there is trust there. But, personally, I find it next to impossible to feel confortable enough with any Taiwanese person to tell them personal stuff about me, secrets, or whatever else, without worrying about the truth getting twisted, being gosspied about behind my back, and whatever I have said being told to everyone they know. Because this has happened to so many, and serious things have been said about friends by their wives who trust them, and the list goes on.

This is one of the reasons I have decided to leave Taiwan this summer. I always feel like people who act like my friend are doing so because they want something from me, and I don’t trust the people. I know that most of my foreign friends feel the same (not all, but certainly most) and my husband does too…this is always a topic of discussion amonst our friends here.

Are we all just bitter and jaded really, with a false sense of what is really real here, or do others feel the same way?

Yep, gotta be.

While i conceed, as has been discussed elsewhere that there is a cultural penchant for gilding the lilly - usually to let the other party off the hook lightly - I consider Taiwanese among the most trustworthy folks in the world. But then again, I’m from a former penal colony.

HG

I trust some local folks. Some others I don’t.

[quote=“Tigerman”]I trust some local folks. Some others I don’t.[/quote]Yep…same here.
I just remember that business is business and friendship is friendship.
And rarely do the two overlap.
I am scrupulously honest in my business dealings and expect and demand the same from others.
I am also honest in my personal relationships, expect the same, but frankly I cut some people a lot of slack. 2 reasons for that:

  1. You just don’t know what causes another person to make a decision.
  2. I don’t really allow most people to get in a position to cause me trouble. And if they did, it would not be a positive move on their life path.

Now this is for me personally.
If something involves my wife, boy or family - I tend to have much more aggressive reactions. Much more.
And really, rarely are things as important as they first appear.
Laugh it off and keep on truckin’

There are lots of Taiwanese people who I trust implicitly. There are others I wouldn’t trust any further than I could throw them. Just like the Americans, Scots, Italians, Poles and Welsh people I know… well, maybe not really the Welsh, of course.
But I’d say that the fact you feel so strongly about this that its forcing you out of the country tells us far more about you than about the trustworthiness of the Taiwanese.

I leyeke yew…yer kinda purdy.

What the others said. Hey, I even trust my Taiwanese boss completely.

What I do think is different though is how friends & confidantes handle private information - friends here seem to be a lot more open with what they share with who. Information which you expect to be treated confidentially often has a way of being passed on to other friends, etc. In general, this doesn’t happen in a malicious way, but of course things can get miscommunicated … and there’s plenty of scope for problems when something that you think obviously shouldn’t be shared is innocently passed on by someone who doesn’t quite see what the fuss is about.

I’d consider the Taiwanese to be among the most trusting folks. Where’s that thread about phone scams?

I leyeke yew…yer kinda purdy.[/quote]
Aha! So you think the Welsh are the UK’s fly in the ointment too, eh? Good man!

I leyeke yew…yer kinda purdy.[/quote]
Aha! So you think the Welsh are the UK’s fly in the ointment too, eh? Good man![/quote]

looks aroundzipwalks away

[quote=“Indiana”]
My question to all of you is, how many people here have you actually grown to trust and think of as true friends? Because after 6 years here, I have many close foreign friends, but not one Taiwanese person I can really trust enough to be considered a real friend. Many of you are married to local people and so obviously there is trust there. But, personally, I find it next to impossible to feel confortable enough with any Taiwanese person to tell them personal stuff about me, secrets, or whatever else, without worrying about the truth getting twisted, being gosspied about behind my back, and whatever I have said being told to everyone they know. Because this has happened to so many, and serious things have been said about friends by their wives who trust them, and the list goes on. [/quote] I have a few testimonies to that. My co workers tend to see me as someone really moody, the foreign one’s, and to some extent that’s true. But another reason is that there is massive amounts of gossip and backstabbing about each other. The one major gossiper is a guy who is fluent in Chinese, so he tends to tell EVERYONE about everything. Gossip for me is discusting and such a negative thing. A few things that are just grist for the mill are okay, something to laugh at, but to do it as apart of your lifestyle is not for me. I stay far away.

[quote]
Are we all just bitter and jaded really, with a false sense of what is really real here, or do others feel the same way?[/quote]Not jaded but you do get tired of the same old Bs, especially if you are making an effort to bring something positive to the table. Especially if you are earnest in learning about people who are different than you and keep running into the same ole shite. Perhaps, there is still an ‘expectation’ there. And while it works in the US/Canada or whereever you are from, it’s just not gonna hack it over here. So,you just have to drop that ‘expectation’ and come to a conclusion that works for you.
I have a close friend who is married to a twese and she has devluged information I would have never dreamt of doing. I don’t really know what consitutes a marriage here, but for me, marriage is a unit in which no one, not even your kids should know the inner workings of because it’s a sacred and at times a delicate relationship .
Perhaps people tell other people’s business because it makes them look good or better. Or it’s that community thing going on,meaning genrally everyone is the same,so it’s safe to share it. :idunno:
But best of luck in your new stage. It will be better :smiley:

I trust them all! Shouldn’t I? :astonished: I can’t believe that Taiwan, land of Hello Kitty and all things cute and cuddly could possibly have devious, untrustworthy people! No! I won’t have it!! Impossible! Now, where are my Valium!! :wink:

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Go live in smalltown Britain. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Makes your Taiwan gossips look like total amateurs. I strongly suspect its the same in the States and Canada. I KNOW its the same in smalltown France, Spain, Italy… you name it.

I trust my two best friends fully. Both are local. I trust the owner of Riverside fully. He is local. I trust about as few people at home, though. I mean I have MORE people I trust. But I have accumulated them over the years. For having been here two years, I think having three I trust is pretty high.

I also trust Erhu and 914. But they aren’t local so they don’t count.

Oh NO! :astonished:

:wink:

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Go live in smalltown Britain. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Makes your Taiwan gossips look like total amateurs. I strongly suspect its the same in the States and Canada. I know its the same in smalltown France, Spain, Italy… you name it.[/quote]

Probably all small towns have loads of gossip, as it is the town ‘newsletter’. :laughing: But in bigger cities people are too busy not holding doors for people and bum rushing to get on the train :smiley:

[quote=“Indiana”]This is one of the reasons I have decided to leave Taiwan this summer. I always feel like people who act like my friend are doing so because they want something from me, and I don’t trust the people. I know that most of my foreign friends feel the same (not all, but certainly most) and my husband does too…this is always a topic of discussion amonst our friends here.

Are we all just bitter and jaded really, with a false sense of what is really real here, or do others feel the same way?[/quote]

Hi Indiana, I’m going to quote you from another (related) thread.

Don’t you think that it is quite unfair for you to generalize the Taiwanese based on your experience in this little town? Your experience is certainly valid, but perhaps the generalization should stop at the town that you live in.

Imagine dropping off four FOB Taiwanese in the USA. One goes to San Fran. One goes to Harlem. One goes to Memphis. One goes to an Indian Reservation. Ask them after six years what they think of Americans. Do you think their answers will be the same?

[quote=“sjcma”]Don’t you think that it is quite unfair for you to generalize the Taiwanese based on your experience in this little town? Your experience is certainly valid, but perhaps the generalization should stop at the town that you live in.

Imagine dropping off four FOB Taiwanese in the USA. One goes to San Fran. One goes to Harlem. One goes to Memphis. One goes to an Indian Reservation. Ask them after six years what they think of Americans. Do you think their answers will be the same?[/quote]

Yes, great points. Although I have been around the island, I have only spent a significant amount of time in the south (Kaohsiung and surrounding areas).

So, are the locals in Taipei more trustworthy people? Are they really that different? I thought country folk were supposed to be more down to earth and honest than big city folk. Am I missing something here?

What about that little cultural thing here that allows people to lie without seeing any problem with it? Is that not present in certain places in Taiwan? Am I living under a rock that much, really? :help:

[quote=“sandman”]There are lots of Taiwanese people who I trust implicitly. There are others I wouldn’t trust any further than I could throw them. Just like the Americans, Scots, Italians, Poles and Welsh people I know… well, maybe not really the Welsh, of course.
But I’d say that the fact you feel so strongly about this that its forcing you out of the country tells us far more about you than about the trustworthiness of the Taiwanese.[/quote]

Sandman, this is by no means the sole reason I am leaving Taiwan! The people are certainly one of the reasons…not just because of the fact that I don’t trust them, but for other reasons too (their lovely driving skills and people skills are two that come to mind).

The two biggest reasons I have for leaving Taiwan right now are a)the pollution and the fact that Taiwan is an extremely unhealthy place to live, and b) I want to further my education and move on to a better teaching position in a different country.

This touches on one of the most difficult aspects of being human–the fact that very often, what you believe is what happens to you, i.e. if you believe that Taiwanese people aren’t worth trusting, your belief will become reality, for you.

Sure, plenty of things exist in an objective reality (e.g. Most Taiwanese people have dark hair and dark eyes, there are lots of bad drivers on the road in Taiwan, many religions breed intolerance, etc.). Still, when it comes to psychic and emotional issues, which I think are directly related to how we adjust and adapt to an external environment, we tend to create our own realities.

Over the past year (and you could make an argument that it’s been a 30+ year process), I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the objective realities about life is that most folks aren’t very worthwhile. Most people will choose the selfish thing, others be damned, so long as there are no negative repurcussions that outweigh doing the right thing.

So, I can relate to the concerns brought up here. As an optimist by genetics and upbringing, I’m disappointed by my experience with people. By the same token, I try to remind myself of the importance of leaving some room for people to prove me wrong. Fact of the matter is, I can make a list right now of at least a few hundred people who are in fact extremely worthwhile. People from Taiwan, the UK, Australia, NZ, South Africa, the U.S. Hell, I’ve even met a few Canadians who are worth knowing :wink: . And the list of folks who might be worthwhile is much longer.

If your heart is not longer in Taiwan, then by all means, leave. You generally end up where you belong. But don’t leave feeling that there aren’t any trustworthy Taiwanese people around. I can introduce you to several dozen that I’d personally vouch for.

Cheers,

Avuncular Uncle Tomas

You should start reading some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s texts on trust and compromise. I think they would help you enjoy life a lot more.