Western culture is, of course, significantly different from the Asian one. We all know that. This has even led to a lot of misunderstandings between people from America and Asia, especially when they travel. What are these differences? Read on to find out.
Family: Egalitarianism Vs Hierarchy
Americans usually treat every family member in an equal manner. Family elders are respected, but Americans don’t hold back when it comes to giving criticism or opinions that clash with their elders, be it their parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles.
Asians have a very strict hierarchy in the family, and the opinions of elders are not openly criticized or rebelled against as this is seen as extremely rude and unfilial.
Communication: Honesty Vs Politeness
Americans have no problems telling people how badly their day went, or telling a boss that they’re having problems at work with a co-worker.
Asians tend to hide a lot of negativity and internalize problems rather than complain directly to anyone. In fact, in many Asian cultures, people avoid talking about their personal problems except with very close and trusted friends.
Conflict Resolution: Confrontation Vs Avoidance
If an American has a disagreement, there would usually be some kind of confrontation. They would talk it out; perhaps have heated discussions or even quarrel. It’s not unusual and it’s not looked down upon.
Eastern culture generally discourages having public spats with anyone, or even any form of private quarrel. This, of course, leads to a lot of passive aggressiveness when dealing with each other. However, if you’re an Asian person that likes to confront others, you’ll generally be seen negatively as a troublemaker or an attention seeker.
Time Management: Strict Vs Lax
If you’re an American working in an Asian country apart from Japan, you’ll notice that the locals have a very loose attitude towards time. They may fix a meeting and come 10 minutes late, or even up to half an hour late. Most Asians apart from the Japanese have a pretty flexible view of time compared to Americans.