Body-language and nonverbal communication

Permission to ask a personal question?


Permission to ask a personal question?

If I’m interested in a person I ask him, put questions or show my interest in order to get to know more about this or that.

Chinese often hesitate to address me or others with a personal, direct question just like: “Oh, can you tell me more about your life or your children and so on”. This, as I was told by others, also can happen if you know each other better.

This does not mean that a Chinese isn’t interested, not at all! He or she is often very interested but tries to avoid to put or “tear” the other into public by putting such a question. If he or she would put this direct personal question, the other one either could feel himself obliged to show up with an answer or if he doesn’t want to do it to show up (in a personal way as an personal expression) he has to dissociate himself.

On the other hand I experience …….myself asking questions and being accepted by Chinese. They answer, and I’m glad about the answer, but I can’t really distinguish if it is a personal answer which they want to give or if it is good behavior or an outcome from the hierarchy of our relationship when I address them.

To be honest, it is quite important for me to know about this difference. Because this helps me to relate to the other person. If I don`t know about this difference well, I perhaps communicate in a wrong way.

Then I would get answers. i.e. I would be offered words. But I would not see or experience the other person.

But I am more interested in the person than in words only.

The other way around would be like this. If a Chinese doesn`t ask me, I perhaps could think that he or she is not interested in me relating to him. If I would interpret his behavior like this, then communication ends before it has really started.


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