How to WIN in your life in China

Some people do well here, some less well. How often do you see people arguing in WeChat groups, trying to be the ‘China expert’, trying to show off how ‘successfu;’ they are?

Don’t be angry in your life. Take some steps to win in your own life.

Careless talk costs lives

Expat mood swings
A key part of maturing is thinking about the consequences of your actions. It is recognized that teenagers aren’t good at seeing the consequences of your actions.
What did you think happened when you turned 20, then 21 and so on – that a magical switch was flicked, and you suddenly became perfect?

Sometimes you want to ‘win’ in the moment, feeling that your ‘values’ are so important to you, that you lose long-term. Here’s a great example:

You see some ‘injustice’ or are simply having a bad China day. So in order to vent, you post a semi-political/racial comment on your WeChat.

It could be something about people learning to have manners, or you can’t understand why most people in a country are so illogical etc.

Doing so makes you feel a little better and so you have a ‘win’. But if you do this, and are in China, then you need to rely on the society – including people on your WeChat, for your professional, financial and even life success.

Simply keeping your mouth shut, in this example, is better long-term. Vent to your very close friends or partner, only.

Hide a knife in your smile

Chinese Girls Names

What’s the betting that one of these lovely sweethearts is called ‘Sophia’? Or ‘Rachel Baby’?

This is a real Chinese idiom. It tells you a hell of a lot about cultural values. The real lesson here is – don’t be naive. Example:

You may have (you definitely do have) one particular colleague, or more than one, who is a complete bitch.

He or she talks behind your back, never creates anything useful at work, and is a waste of time.
But one day, in one meeting, it seems like he or she finally ‘gets it’. This person even starts being friendly, going for drinks after work, this kind of thing. Don’t let your open and trusting brain be fooled by this.
Remember another idiom – a leopard can’t change its spots.

Trust arrives on foot but leaves on horseback

Shanghai Party Pose
That’s a truism. The point here is that YOU should be the one who makes OTHER people earn your trust. Everyone is imperfect. Most have a weakness. Most have their own goals.
Remember that in a work situation, other people may be very good at playing politics and playing games.
Sometimes, two people might be going to be the next ‘big boss’, so they try to tell you that they can help you, promote you and so on.

But this could be a trick. Don’t let yourself be sucked into power games of other people.

Don’t think with a Western mindset that it will be OK to simply voice an opinion. It is sometimes better here, for yourself, to be neutral, be silent and don’t act for a while.

No one needs to “understand China”

Chinese beach holiday
Every country in the entire world is equal in terms of ‘being understood’. Nothing is really difficult to understand here, once you realize one thing: no nationality in the world is the same as another one.
It comes down to expectations.
Why on Earth would you ‘expect’ one country to be like another? The things that people do here aren’t ‘confusing’, they’re just ‘different’. Once you accept that, then you will go into all situations with more care and less presumption.
Don’t weaken yourself by believing that things will be anything like you experienced before.

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Categories: Expat Life, Uncategorized


Foreigner in Shanghai


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