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SGns being shy

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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 1:04 am

JR8 wrote:Thanks for all the replies, interesting!

Just to clarify one point that one or two might not quite have understood...

'JR8 wrote:
I am also used to being in a group and a person not speaking to me directly, but responding to a comment of mine by making their point to a local friend of theirs.'



The above 'responding via someone else', would be with a group of friends/relatives at a table, or in a room, i.e. right in front of me. I did not mean to imply over e-mail or Facebook or such. I think that makes it a little clearer why I find it so odd.

Maybe small-talk is to suss people out? Though quite how someone say making a general comment 'Wah dis curry-puff damn sedap lah!' is meant to help divine my character I don't know :)

The funny thing, my MIL is the most gregarious of all my in-laws. It is the younger ones that have more reticence. And the two in question are not shy retiring scarfies who have never been exposed to mat sallehs. One has worked long-term in a British MNC, the other has been shacked up with FT-matsalls for a couple of years now and moved to Germany with one around new year.

Interesting the comment about issue-based discussion, and relationship- based discussion. I believe that this has some parallel with the western idea of different approaches in conversation between the sexes.

Maybe it just boils down to not wishing to potentially cause conflict or distance in a relationship by expressing an opinion. Maybe you guarantee your place on the inside of 'the clan' by not having opinions?


Makes sense, at least in Chinese culture. I've observed that for most, the ends justify the means (I have seen some exceptions but they remain as that--exceptions). They'd rather keep the status quo or stay in their comfort zone than be disrupted temporarily for a greater good. They fear the worst case scenario. Discussing something potentially unpleasant can disturb the status quo even if something better may come out of it if resolved properly. Not sure about Malay culture as I haven't observed enough. Filipinos are a mixed bag since we're the most "Westernized" in the area (like the racist Oreo jokes--brown on the outside, white on the inside).

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Postby durain » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 1:13 am

JR8 wrote:The funny thing, my MIL is the most gregarious of all my in-laws.


i never met my MIL not more than 5 times! so you are doing good! :D

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 2:49 am

nakatago wrote:Makes sense, at least in Chinese culture. I've observed that for most, the ends justify the means (I have seen some exceptions but they remain as that--exceptions). They'd rather keep the status quo or stay in their comfort zone than be disrupted temporarily for a greater good. They fear the worst case scenario. Discussing something potentially unpleasant can disturb the status quo even if something better may come out of it if resolved properly. Not sure about Malay culture as I haven't observed enough. Filipinos are a mixed bag since we're the most "Westernized" in the area (like the racist Oreo jokes--brown on the outside, white on the inside).



Lol, most interesting. The concept of 'Honey we need to have a chat' does not seem to exist either. Perhaps a double-edged sword.

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Postby longstebe » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 3:04 am

JR8 wrote:
nakatago wrote:Makes sense, at least in Chinese culture. I've observed that for most, the ends justify the means (I have seen some exceptions but they remain as that--exceptions). They'd rather keep the status quo or stay in their comfort zone than be disrupted temporarily for a greater good. They fear the worst case scenario. Discussing something potentially unpleasant can disturb the status quo even if something better may come out of it if resolved properly. Not sure about Malay culture as I haven't observed enough. Filipinos are a mixed bag since we're the most "Westernized" in the area (like the racist Oreo jokes--brown on the outside, white on the inside).



Lol, most interesting. The concept of 'Honey we need to have a chat' does not seem to exist either. Perhaps a double-edged sword.


How many times did I hear that back in the uk. Naughty naughty.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 4:40 am

durain wrote:i never met my MIL not more than 5 times! so you are doing good! :D


Mate, you are so damn lucky, I never met my MIL at all !!!! :lol: :lol:
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 7:01 am

If anybody wants a MiL from 'ell you can have mine! I could only wish for five times in my wildest dreams! Been living under my roof for 20 years! And we don't like each other a little bit. But she won't move to another of her kid's house! Guess she knows which side HER bread is buttered on. :(

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 7:05 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:If anybody wants a MiL from 'ell you can have mine! I could only wish for five times in my wildest dreams! Been living under my roof for 20 years! And we don't like each other a little bit. But she won't move to another of her kid's house! Guess she knows which side HER bread is buttered on. :(


Jeez, I just could not do that. 2 weeks at a time has been the max for me to date.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 8:20 am

ex-pat wrote:
nakatago wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:They most definitely have a passive-aggressive nature.


...like that neighbor we used to have who'd rather call the cops and wait for them to come than take three steps to our door and knock.



.... And they think cops are messengers ....and a shock absorber!

They feel insecure and try to avoid by all means more personal confrontation. I recall a discussion on this board maybe 2 years ago where many ppl bashed somebody who in a traffic incident left his car and come over to talk to his offender (in another car). And IIRC there were also the Westerners bashing so this is not something exclusive only to SG.

BTW, a model example of such aggressive-passive behavior: If local people do something nasty to you while driving and you have a chance to confront them (as to get to them close enough only - nothing verbal or violent) they will pretend you are not there. Sitting stiff behind the wheel like they just swallowed a broomstick and staring empty look forward even if your face is 5 cm next to the side window. This very typical of SG. A gecko syndrome.

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Ooops

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 10:51 am

sorry, am late to the party

those who whine about SGns, well, let me say (and with a million apologies for all the Filipinos in the house .. ) ..

Try conversing with a Filipino, except the rare few who have worked with other cultures, majority will spook you ... scare you, terrify you and make you wonder what is wrong with the world.. :D

I know, cos I am living with two :D

When confronted with a tough choice, it is absolute silence, or 'implied' that the answer is in front of you .. or action taken is totally opposite of what you would like to see done ..

Like, when you say "shall we catch up for dinner, my sister is in town', instead of saying "no can do, I have an appointment" or "I am tired after work .. " the answer will be "sure, love it .. "

and at the time, an sms "go ahead first, I will catch you .. " and then "are you enjoying your meal ?? .. I will be there soon .. " and and hour later, "have a beer on me, I am just about there.. " and two hours later .. "I will catch you for dessert .. " and then silence ..

When I reach home, I find out that my housemate, being unable to reject my invite, decided to stay home, and never left the house ..

Only later I find out that my housemate either was shy, or didn't have the heart to say no .. or plainly, don't like to be the bearer of bad news ..

Well .. I am not stereotyping .. but .. different cultures mate ..

Now back to Singaporeans .. I worked with enough locals ..

One of the common trait here is, if you do something not acceptable, instead of telling you, it is better to keep the silence and then make you enemy # 1

Like .. a colleague of mine .. wrongly quoted the customer, and then tried to stick with the costing .. under-quote actually ..

I made a mistake of asking him if the pricing was right .. he smiled and said "it's ok, we will cover in the next sale .. "

I didn't realise it was taboo to question such stuff .. and next day, the whole sales team starts to avoid me .. till I confront another guy, who goes "well, the answer is there .. we have been hinting that such stuff happens .. " ...

Well ..

I chalk it up to "think and think, and if you are not sure .. better to keep quite .. "

And on another note .. somebody wrote about Japanese culture .. post Tsunami ..

Apparently, not everything in Hunky Dory in The Miyagi prefecture .. it is just that, the attitude is "it is our problem, we live in the gym, and have no clue what happens, etc. etc. .. you keep yourself out of it .. "

That was the reaction of a lot of Japanese, when some british newspaper managed to highlight that the Japanese are struggling, and need a lot of shelter and things .. which were plainly rejected as "no need .. "


PS: I hope I didn't stir up the Hornet's nest ..

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Re: Ooops

Postby nakatago » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 11:05 am

ecureilx wrote:I know, cos I am living with two :D


Send me a PM if you want to learn something you can tell them when they do it again.

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Re: Ooops

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 11:27 am

nakatago wrote:
ecureilx wrote:I know, cos I am living with two :D


Send me a PM if you want to learn something you can tell them when they do it again.


well, I been living with 'em for a few years .. I guess it never hurts to learn .. :D :D

PM on the way ..

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Re: Ooops

Postby x9200 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 12:19 pm

ecureilx wrote:Like, when you say "shall we catch up for dinner, my sister is in town', instead of saying "no can do, I have an appointment" or "I am tired after work .. " the answer will be "sure, love it .. "

and at the time, an sms "go ahead first, I will catch you .. " and then "are you enjoying your meal ?? .. I will be there soon .. " and and hour later, "have a beer on me, I am just about there.. " and two hours later .. "I will catch you for dessert .. " and then silence ..

I have exactly this sort of experience with some local majority guys so I strongly doubt this is a `pino thing. One xtreme example: we were looking for a partner for one project and found one guy specializing in the field. We contacted him. He was very enthusiastic. We drafted a proposal, sent over to him, all green. Put final corrections, got it officially approved by our side and sent it over to his company to get it approved. 3 month passed - silence. Contacted him asking for the status, got an answer - (almost literally) his office thinks they are receiving no money from it so no-no. It may sound like a valid reasons but it was not a commercial project and we had such projects with his company literally hundreds before. We asked for a contact info for the person who handles these things in his office and then he responded he thinks he actually prefers to collaborate without a formal project. We asked him politely to provide a written justification otherwise he might be blacklisted. After 3 weeks or so he responded they were working very hard for the proposal to make it a success (you know, all phrased the way as they would be correcting our mistakes or something *) and soon I would receive a modified proposal. Approximately 6 months passed from the original date the project suppose to start and we received the new version that differed only from the old one by the new starting date making simply the project impossible to complete it on time. Not difficult to guess he was not willing to extend the end date coming up with all sort of BS excuses (that we could not easily verify). So this is an extreme case but many minor but over the same line happen frequently. I must admit one thing: this guy was a mainland Chinese (not sure about his immigration status) and personally I found the mainland Chinese much more difficult to cooperate than Singapore born Singaporeans.

*) this is also so typically local to try to turn someone's incompetence to an act of good will, favour or mercy for the person who was actually abused this or that way. "To show our good will we will do it FOR YOU". WTF? you will do it for yourself to save your a***s as this is you who did not deliver with all possible consequences you even don't realize.

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Postby carteki » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 12:38 pm

As the angmoh in the office I know I'm the "blunt" one (and I'm also fairly blunt by angmoh standards as well).

However yesterday I was in a meeting about the report we were issuing and I found myself arguing against putting comments in like "x job was not done correctly" as that is what lead to the fault we found. It was very weird. My approach was just to describe the fault and let the readers make their own inferences as to why this happened.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 08 Jul 2011 1:03 pm

Depending on the situation this is a very right approach. Almost always the focus should be on the non-personal reasons of the failure and a solutions to prevent such failures in the future.

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singaporean small talks

Postby ninisugar » Tue, 02 Aug 2011 1:44 pm

I am just here for a week, still quite new but have been already quite fed up with, the so-called singaporean 'small talks' that are always about insignificant, trivial stuffs that hardly interest me... NO OPINIONs and NO any PERSONAL COMMENTS involved at all!

I mean that could be good at first, who wants a company that has too many to say about everything? but as time goes by, shouldnt quality of talks go further too? Really, I would rather save my word if i cant have real conversation with them... Ofcoz we all dont want to offense others, especially culturally, we all want to stay out of trouble... buy, hey just conveying urself a lil bit is no danger to society right? :???:


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