Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to be liked in this country.

1) Be sociable, drink beer.
2) Act dumb.
3) Blend in. Do not stand out. Go under the radar.
4) Look Good.
5) Be good at Sport.

I find it sad that smart people here act dumb on purpose but it's actually the most socially intelligent thing to do. Cos this country likes nothing better than to cut down tall poppies. I find that a sad state of affairs- and I really don't understand why it really is so particular to this country!

In any case having achieved above list and you do find yourself popular, well liked and socially successful then be prepared to be hated by the people who are jealous of you or who will stab you in the back as soon as you're not looking.

It's like an unwinnable situation...A strategic and rather skilled dynamic balance between the two is needed...don't stand out in either a good way or bad under the radar! Now I understand why this expression is so popular here on reality tv/game shows.


HappyOrganist said...

Are you good at any of those?

I refuse to act dumb - and I refuse (just ask my husband) to fly under the radar. hahahah

But you may be referring to different social situations than what I'M referring to. For us - a party is getting together with our family's neighbors and friends. Or gosh - a church party is probably the biggest event (excepting weddings - which for us are often church parties, too) that we go to.
Now if YOU'RE talking about going out pubbing or something similar - in that setting I would totally fly under the radar, but I wouldn't drink beer (only joke about it) - and actually if you are talking about pubbing, I wouldn't go 'cause I hate to be around drunk people.

All that aside, however, are you certain that this country is "more" into act dumb than any other country? I personally find that hard to believe. It may just be a city thing (I wince to say it- b/c I don't believe that either) or maybe just the crowd you hang out with.
At any rate - not a clue here. But your rants are fun to read anyway.

Franko Gnedo said...

I'm not sure where the tall poppy syndrome came from. Maybe Australia's convict origins has something to do with it. It is quite a sad cultural rule.

Franko Gnedo said...

To love yourself is important for sound mental health but unfortunately would contravene our cultural laws.

Dina said...

That's kind of depressing, but probably true.

I find the best way to be liked is

A) always act happy
B) Listen to people talk on and about themselves
C) Never talk about yourself.

I actually tried this for several weeks, and I attracted a lot of "love" and attention.

In the end, I think it feels better to be oneself...even if it means being less popular.

Dina said...

Also, I think most of what you've said can be applied to Americans as well...maybe all except 3. I think we have a little less need to cut down the tall poppies. Or maybe not. We may cut them down as well.

I think in Australia and America, we cut down the tall poppies, but at the same time we're fascinated with them...maybe also a little jealous.

zhen said...

Nup I suck at all of them. actually I can sort of pull off "sociable" depending on mood and how interesting that person is and how bored I am. i pulled off "look good" once - with makeup artist and hairstylist etc but wouldn't know how with my own hands.
Nup I suck at that list but I do stand out without trying...I don't manage to "hide" or "escape" well....always get found...and harrassed!

Nah america loves dumb too...however they don't have tall poppy like we do- people who are good at what they are do are respected and admired and people are encouraged to be good-tall poppies who get cut down here achieve a hero status there...which is probably why everybody I know went to that side of the world long ago for their careers. Cos they are the smart/good/successful ones...

zhen said...

it is easy peasy to be liked just like the formula you wrote dina- it's whether you can stand not being authentic for the long haul.

I hate attention. One of the places I was considering of defecting to- a local from there told me be prepared to be "anonymous"- wow I wanted to move right then and there!

Anonymous said...

Pretty funny that list. While you commented on number one of my list, I was working on the other points. Looking good was one of them. Are you sure you're not living in the USA ? ;)

zhen said...

haha what do you think will amsterdam like me? my european friend says europe would like me. my introverted IN friend here who has lived in europe said amsterdam is her favourite place and no1 destination on "where to live next" list....not sure why she likes it so much- in any case I found I seem to resonate with dutch and germans for whaetever reason.

Anonymous said...

Well both Germans as Dutch are direct and honest. That sometimes bites in other countries. And you don't need to be or act happy all the time. When you do so, people suspect you are:
1. a serial killer
or 2. in real estate or sales
Better be your own personality. Plus in both countries you can live as non-native speaker quite anonymous when you want to. Both nations have English as secondary language.

zhen said...

serial killer/in real estate- wow my sentiments exactly!!! I really do think like you guys, lol!

It was funny I was having this conversation with an extroverted local...that the reason some of us don't really respond much to "hi how are you?" is because it's a polite formulaic conversation- we will only go into depth if we feel people who are asking genuinely want to know...rather than just going through the paces...everytime I talk to him about these matters he always seems shocked, like these things never occurred to him before. We also talked about the honesty thing as well- how here I am "blunt" and possibly "rude" where as in other cultures people might actually appreciate honesty or at least saying what you REALLY mean not just what other people want to hear. I figure if someone asks me an opinion it is more use if I actually give them that, not just what the other 9 people asked said. And I think that is also why my opinions are valued by some, cos they know they are getting the truth. I just wish I could find more similar minded people here like this! Oh well fingers crossed not too long until I'm in the other hemisphere^^

Evil Shannanigans said...

oh phew...I'll fit right in

zhen said...

LOL Shan I agree you could so pull it off on the surface except one area would shit you big time...few people appreciate or actually ever tell the truth!!!

I think all the insincerity, lies, fakeness, selfishness and backstabbing would make you be glad you live where you live.