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I've recently been doing a lot of personal growth analysis at work (most of which has been irritating and a waste of time, and some of which has been helpful and productive). One "opportunity for improvement" that I do think I need to focus on is my ability to deal with difficult people. While discussing this recently, something struck me. A good portion of the people I have trouble dealing with at work are Chinese men (and to a lesser extent, Indian and Korean). WTF, me? Is this a thing? Do I have a problem here?

I'm starting to think there might be some cultural differences at play that I'm not properly understanding or interpreting. Am I reading certain behaviors as disrespectful or rude when they're not intended that way?

For example, there are a few guys who have a tendency to laugh or smirk when I am raising concerns. This annoys me because it feels incredibly dismissive, but once I noticed the pattern (the people that do this to me are Chinese and Korean men), I chalked it up to some cultural difference. I'm starting to think there are other behaviors where I haven't noticed the pattern yet, and am continuing to read as disrespectful.


If anyone has some insight on Chinese working attitudes that they'd like to share, I am all ears. I'm realizing I might benefit from some more cultural understanding. I think I have a new internet research project.

ETA: Here's an interesting point. When Chinese people say "yes", it means "I'm listening" and not necessarily "I understand". And Chinese people do not like to say "no". I've definitely been running up against those issues.

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