they always say "yes" , but perhaps they doesn't really mean yes.

China
November 15, 2007 9:00pm CST
I have a japaness friend, who is very popular among us, because she is so kind and easy-going.And every time we talked about something, she always noded her head showing an air of appoval. but once after our discussions, we asked for her opinion ,she spoke out such an unexpected and different idea, which really surprised us, for during that discussion, she kept nodding her head and smiling.afterwards, we realize that when the japaness nodded their head , they only meant to show respect not always agree with you. it it really a little bit different ,isn't it?
3 people like this
14 responses
@spoiled311 (5502)
• Philippines
16 Nov 07
oh yeah? i didn't know that. but yeah, i guess it is more of a sign of respect that anything. at least you finally found out what is really going in her mind. hehehe i have never had a japanese friend, but i guess with all cultures, we are not to assume anything because there is a certain social law operating with every country. even in our own country--the Philippines--each island or region has a different culture. so it is i think safe to ask than be sorry. :-) God bless!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 07
Cultures can be so very different. I believe it is a sign of respect. I have had several Japanese friends and they all do that. It is normal and cultural. I always make sure to include them in the discussion. They cannot change their culture and I cherish that I am able to know people form other cultures. It enriches my life. I ask them questions (with their permission) and invite them to ask me questions about our culture. Its very enriching to learn about others.
• China
18 Nov 07
yeah,culture can play so big a role in people's life. To learn others is first to learn his culture.and i do have the same feeling with you that getting to know other culture is a good opportunity to enrich our life, and besides receiving the new things always gives us endless fresh knoweledge, we are always in progress. good luck, friend.
@grapegyt (35)
• China
16 Nov 07
um,I think it's their different national culture.Saying "yes" when you are talking maybe means respect for you,like smiles.When someone are talking and expressing their ideas or thoughts,it's manners that others don't interrupt them or represent the angry face.If you have some different ideas,speak them after listenning,but don't say it util others ask.I think it's a better way for talking~-~
• China
18 Nov 07
i agree with you. i really dislike the kind of person who always wants to control the whole conversation,cutting in others' talk at will.we really should learn how to respect and be respected. thanks for responsing!
@shakeroo (3990)
• Malaysia
16 Nov 07
May be she was nodding without really paying attention to the whole discussion. She kept on nodding as not to offense anyone or let anyone know that while her body was there but her mind was somewhere else and when the discussions were over and she was asked, then she would have to give the real answers. LOL!
• China
18 Nov 07
LOL. maybe it is just what you thought. but most of the time ,my friend can give us some constructive ideas or suggestions ,so i do believe she was at that time listening to us carefully or rather she was thinking some ideas for us . after all, her ultimate aim is to help us and whatever her culture or costom is, i respect it and respect my friend. thanks for responding
@jennysp8 (855)
• United States
16 Nov 07
I guess it is sort of like showing that they hear you and appreciate your input, thoughts, ideas, etc....not actually meaning the agree. I guess it can be confusing. I have actually caught myself doing it (without the smiles)...slightly nodding my head while I am thinking about what I am going to say and can't wait for the other person to stop.....hehehe...I guess that's just me....wrong I know, but we all do it sometimes...
1 person likes this
• China
16 Nov 07
I'm very agree with you. Sometimes when I lisen to the teacher, I nodde my head just to show I hear or understand what she said. But that does not mean I agree with her. So I think it is a matter of habit.
@Jasmine78 (135)
• United States
17 Nov 07
Me too. Sometimes I just cann't catch what my friend mean. But just to hide my embarrassment, I pretend that I know and nod.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
16 Nov 07
i wonder why she's still popular among you? i would love to go with friends who have a stand on their own, who don't get easily swayed with whatever bandwagon. Those kind of friends first respect themselves then their friends...
1 person likes this
@lgwlong (199)
• China
16 Nov 07
in chines ,we also often say "yes" ,but actually it meant "NO"
@candytang (341)
• China
16 Nov 07
I think not only the Japaness ,but also many people like that .Everytime when we talk about something,they always nod time to time ,but when ask how they think about.They really give you a unexpect answer that make you do not know what to say or do next.Frankly ,I think sometimes I act the same.
• China
18 Nov 07
surely, your words remind me that when i attened an english contest years ago, all the judges praised me and spoke good of me, but when the result came out ,it really gave me an unbearable blow . i didn't get any prize! this phenomenon, just as you said ,is happening around us. thanks for your idea!
• United States
17 Nov 07
Hehehe. When we were visiting Japan (many years ago), we would frequently be in restaurants ordering food in a different way than they normally served it or whatever, and the waiters would ALWAYS stand there smiling and nodding and saying yes, yes... and then we NEVER got what they had so agreeably agreed to bring us! The first couple of times was annoying but eventually we just had to laugh. I guess they just didn't know what the hell we were talking about but wanted to be polite!
@Monkeyrose (2850)
• Canada
16 Nov 07
yes I know what you mean. I went to Japan for a week for my brothers wedding and I was bowing all the time. It was funny because when I got back I was still in the habit of bowing for the next couple weeks. My sister in law is Japanese. In their culture it is also immpolite to disagree, especially for women. My brother quite often has to say no for her because she won't say it yourself.
@Sungolian (377)
• United States
16 Nov 07
In some parts of India, people shake their heads sideways. It looks like "no" but they really mean "yes"! I was so surprised when I found out about this.
@ayou82 (3460)
• Philippines
16 Nov 07
Theres no respect from a person that just answer yes but they dont really mean it..tis like youre just talkin to yourself and you looking like an idiot.
@Fannylao (124)
• China
16 Nov 07
Yes,you are right!I always do like your friend .When I discuss with other,I always keep smile and listen to them carefully,nodding my head. Althoug sometimes I don't agree with them ,I still smile and nod my head.I only do this to show I respct the speaker not agreement.Also I think it's the best way to avoid arguement.
• China
16 Nov 07
well, they are polite, and if you don't ask, they may not show their own thoughts. That's why Japaness appears to be kind and easy going, but people in this nation shows great tenacity. and people in different culture really have different behaviors, we should learn more to avoid misunderstanding.