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Why are people irrationally rude?

13»

Comments

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,081

    @Klonoa

    I like what you said except for the second part.

    I'll respond in two ways:

    Internet Person:
    Broken Window Fallacy! Think Deeper moron! I'm so smrt, why you so ingant

    Normal Person:
    I think you are mistaken about the issue of jobs. It is a matter of the seen vs the unseen. Sure, a cashier may have a job that you can see, and think "oh look, there is a job". However you are not considering the jobs created when you use a self checkout. A cashier is one job. The technology used for self checkout involves 1. the engineer who designs the machine 2. the factory workers who produce the machine 3. the truckers who transport the machine 4. the store worker who installs the machine and many more.
    These effects are not so easily seen, but after thinking it out you see that the issue is no where near as simple. This is often called the "Broken Window Fallacy" in which someone says "if i go to the butcher and break his window (or checkout register) then the butcher (supermarket manager) will have to hire a window repairman (cashier) to fix it. Therefore breaking windows must create jobs". This doesn't take into account the other ways the butcher would spend his money (he may now have to fire an employee, he may not expand his business, he may not take on new apprentices, etc.)

    If you want to see a more elaborate and insightful discussion of the same topic, but using a far simpler object, check out this amazing short video that may change the way you view everyday economic interaction:



    PS: Man... I need to get a life

    Oh, oh, YT videos' plague started in yet another thread, dammit.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,728
    @booinyoureyes, I like the video, and it makes a good point about interconnectedness that we don't often think about consciously. Humans are certainly social animals, hopelessly dependent on each other in large groups for survival.

    (The video maker never actually told us how to make a pencil though, so I went and googled it, because watching the video made me curious about the process. He didn't get around to mentioning the milling process and the skilled laborers and machinists who actually produce the pencil out of the raw materials he talked about.)

    As for the topic at hand about politeness and rudeness, I always try to do my best to stay polite and nice at all times, even while writing anonymously on internet forums. I do slip up sometimes, though, and "stick my foot in my mouth", winding up offending some one when I didn't mean to.

    My experience is that most people are pretty unforgiving on the internet if you rub them the wrong way, intentionally or not. But, I find that true to a lesser extent in real life face-to-face interaction as well, such as with the example of the cashier and the customer. I always try to treat people in service jobs with respect and sympathy, but I see many, many people out in public who are outright abusive, just because they can be, and they know the service employee is not allowed to fight back.

    In internet unpleasantness that I've seen, I've noticed that a lot of people will not give you the benefit of the doubt if you misspeak yourself, or choose the wrong words in disagreement. I always try to assume that the other person is not malicious in their intent, but a large percentage of the time, they are most definitely not going to give me the same courtesy.

    And some people just start out on the attack, seemingly completely unprovoked.

    It can be very hard to keep emotions in check, when it feels like the other person is calling you names and being deliberately abusive. Do nice people have to be doormats? After a certain point, it's natural to start wanting to fight back, as @Heindrich1988 mentioned.

    So what we're looking at here is human nature, which is two-sided. The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde speaks to the issue, I think. There was also a Star Trek: Original Series episode that addressed the issue, called "The Enemy Within", where Kirk got his civilized and primitive sides separated into two bodies, both played by William Shatner, in a transporter accident.

    We all have a war of sorts going on in our minds between the angel and the demon. We make choices in every interaction, every day, about which nature we are going to speak from. I do my best to repress the demon, and to speak from the angel within. But I am constantly faced with unpleasant responses in public life from people who don't seem to be making any effort to control their darker impulses, and it can get very discouraging sometimes.

    It goes on in families, too. I often wonder why people who are perfectly nice in public sometimes treat their relatives like dirt in private.

    Any way, I resolved a long time ago to just keep trying to be nice and courteous, and to apologize when I slip up and say something offensive, which happens more often than I would like. Applying Kant's Categorical Imperative, I think the world would be better if every one worked on civility and politeness and staying that way in all human interactions. Although I can't change what anyone else does or how anyone else acts, I can at least do my own part to the best of my ability.

    And to end on a happier note, I do meet lots of people who seem to make the same effort I do to be cheerful, helpful, and considerate.

    Thank you if you read this long essay. The topic is too complex to lend itself easily to short posts.

    booinyoureyesHeindrichKlonoaEudaemonium
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @belgarathmth I really enjoyed your post, and the one thing that stuck out at me as something I always consider as well is not automatically thinking that someone who disagrees with you has malicious intent. This is so hard in political discussion because of "tribalism" and the hyperbole that often occurs in such debates. Yet I doubt in anyone's heart of hearts, when they really consider it, think the other person does not want what he thinks is best for his fellow man. Its just that the heat of the moment clouds this.

    BelgarathMTHKlonoa
  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    I'm not irrationally rude, tosser.

    booinyoureyesCrevsDaaklolien
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 5,814
    @iKirivetko

    According to Merriam-Webster

    "toss, intransitive verb

    to decide an issue by flipping a coin
    — toss·er noun"

    There are no coins in this thread. Why don't you check your bloody facts, you nazi?!!

    queenofamsterdamEudaemonium
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    I've thought about this topic a fair bit in the last few days. (Cos I do that sometimes instead of something more practically useful, where I can make an actual difference, or at least have more fun like playing games! lol . I have come to some conclusions, which may or may not be correct...

    1)
    The internet is sadly a more accurate reflection of the human psyche. In face-to-face interactions, people are generally more inhibited by social norms, etiquette and other restrictions like power-relationships. You do not want to insult somebody who can cause you problems in your social circle and you don't want to annoy your boss or customer etc... The internet provides the anonymity for individuals to express their feelings without inhibition, much like how many people are more obnoxious after they are intoxicated with alcohol.

    2)
    People easily influenced by cultural norms, which can develop very differently in different parts of the world.

    For example I came to the UK as a 8 year old boy from China. I remember going back for the first time when I was 11, and getting funny looks from cashiers whenever I said 'thank you' (in Chinese, of course), when completing a transaction. Of course Britain is (largely) a very polite country, where people are known for being extremely well-mannered and friendly to strangers. In China, on the other hand, power-relationships are much more clearly defined. You are expected to me polite to your 'superiors', which can mean your boss, your parents, or somebody else considered your 'senior' in society.

    Having grown up mostly in the UK, I find Chinese social etiquette in this regard somewhat uncomfortable. For example there are two words for 'you' in Chinese, 你 (Ni) and 您 (Nin), the latter being a more formal and respectful term with which you should address somebody more important, senior and/or superior in some way.

    I find it very awkward when using '您' to address anyone, or being addressed as '您' by anyone, and find the whole system rather fake and contrived. Of course my unwillingness/inability to correctly address my seniors (uncles, aunts etc) and superiors (school and government leaders etc) is easily interpreted as being arrogant/rude/ill-mannered in China, even though I do love my uncles and hold no less respect for elderly people in general than my compatriots. I even hate the government (being a Lawful inclined guy) much less than most Chinese people! lol

    On the other hand, Chinese people are on average, from a British perspective, much less polite and friendly to strangers compared to the norm in the UK. You just don't say 'thank you' to somebody whose job it is to serve you, you have no obligation to hold the door for a stranger and unless you are at a high-end establishment, you should not expect 'service with a smile'.


    If you are a white westerner and visit China, and find everyone to be extremely friendly and polite, remember that it is (sadly) likely to be because everyone thinks you are rich, there is (ironically, given geopolitical conflicts) a lot of idealisation of Western European and American people and lifestyle in the Chinese media, and they want some of your tourist cash! lol


    There is a very notice-able difference between China and the UK, the two societies I have the most experience, and though I love my motherland, I definitely prefer the 'culture of politeness' in the UK over the very heirachical system in China.


    Though I definitely to prefer the closer/stronger familial ties in China, and the greater respect afforded to the elderly, who are often (sadly) talked about as a 'burden' in the UK.


    From what @belgarathmth has taught me of the USA, it seems to be somewhere in between China and the UK.


    Wow this second point is becoming an essay in its own right. Welldone if you got this far! lol


    3)
    The internet is a much wilder and less restricted place than any country. Thus etiquette and social standards/norms can vary a whole lot more.

    As I've said, this forum is one of the most friendly and mature places I have found online. On my first day here, I asked a whole series of very noobie questions about BG Vanilla (not even the game primarily supported on this forum!), and got prompt, informative, and patient answers from @reedmilfam, @atcDave and @Wisp among others. I really appreciated that, and as I got more experienced in the game myself, I remembered to regularly check the Beginner sections to offer what advice I can to 'new noobies' in the same manner that I received help when I first popped in here, and give back to the community.

    In contrast, given the generally more poisonous environment on Youtube comments, particularly regarding political issues, my "debates" there (rather shamefully) descend into flaming rather more regularly than I'd expect of myself as an educated individual. Frankly I learnt it was impossible to reason with extremists, and so I generally just ignore what they say.

    4)
    This raises an interesting problem. If cultural norms have such a huge impact on peoples' behaviour. How strongly should it be controlled, and by whom? It would be an infringement of basic personal liberties to censor what somebody says, but yet a poisonous minority can quickly sink the level of discourse on a forum or platform of debate to a much lower level, reducing everybody's welfare/utility from the service as a result.

    Freedom of speech and individualism are very much central ideals espoused in Western societies. They certainly have their merits, and I do not oppose them per se, because I don't know any better alternatives, but the relentless pursuit of these concepts as sacrosanct ideals does bring negatives. The popularity and mainstream acceptance of Glenn Beck in the US is almost a walking advertisement for censorship! Not to mention the (even) more crazy fringe like Alex Jones.


    BelgarathMTHNonnahswriterKlonoabooinyoureyes
  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808

    1) The internet is sadly a more accurate reflection of the human psyche. In face-to-face interactions, people are generally more inhibited by social norms, etiquette and other restrictions like power-relationships. You do not want to insult somebody who can cause you problems in your social circle and you don't want to annoy your boss or customer etc... The internet provides the anonymity for individuals to express their feelings without inhibition, much like how many people are more obnoxious after they are intoxicated with alcohol.

    @Heindrich1988 Aside from blushing at the nice remark, I think this is more what happens when people are anonymous. It's very cowardly to be nasty behind the veil of a monitor and keyboard and I have no respect for anybody that uses it thusly. Personal nastiness is attributable to the perpetrator and that person is held accountable by others, as it were. Since I prefer cordiality, I try to play nicely in forums and elsewhere and, if I do accidentally offend, do my best to apologize in a timely manner (owning up, essentially). I guess I realize that most of us are decent, even on the internet; we just notice the bad eggs as they tend to do their trolling loudly and obnoxiously.

    Heindrich
  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,481

    1) The internet is sadly a more accurate reflection of the human psyche. In face-to-face interactions, people are generally more inhibited by social norms, etiquette and other restrictions like power-relationships. You do not want to insult somebody who can cause you problems in your social circle and you don't want to annoy your boss or customer etc... The internet provides the anonymity for individuals to express their feelings without inhibition, much like how many people are more obnoxious after they are intoxicated with alcohol.

    @Heindrich1988 Aside from blushing at the nice remark, I think this is more what happens when people are anonymous. It's very cowardly to be nasty behind the veil of a monitor and keyboard and I have no respect for anybody that uses it thusly. Personal nastiness is attributable to the perpetrator and that person is held accountable by others, as it were. Since I prefer cordiality, I try to play nicely in forums and elsewhere and, if I do accidentally offend, do my best to apologize in a timely manner (owning up, essentially). I guess I realize that most of us are decent, even on the internet; we just notice the bad eggs as they tend to do their trolling loudly and obnoxiously.
    To add to this, it's also somewhat harder to communicate effectively on the internet instead of in person. While speaking to someone in-person, there's a wide array of body languages, gestures, and tones of voice that help to deliver a message. Here on the internet, we only get printed words (and the occasional emoticon), and sometimes a sarcastic or joking remark can be taken the wrong way if not made perfectly clear through a written text.

    For example, if I were to type "You're just a bad gamer," that would incite a lot of backlash. I'm clearly being rude to whoever person I'm speaking to, accusing them of being a "bad gamer" for whatever reasons I design. However, if I were to type, "You're just a bad gamer. :P" the otherwise nasty comment could be taken a little light-heartedly. Depending on the context of the discussion, it could be meant as a joke. But notice how much more menacing the same sentence is without the emoticon?

    That example's a little light on context and content, but it just goes to show, you have to be aware of nearly every little thing that you write while on the internet, to make sure your meaning isn't horridly skewed. Everything matters, even something as small as your spelling. No one's perfect, and we've all probably accidentally offended someone at some point or another. I know I definitely have, unfortunately.

    Generally, though, you can definitely tell the difference between "a person who didn't really get their message across the way they wanted" versus "a person who wanted to bring someone's spirits down."

    HeindrichCrevsDaak
  • KlonoaKlonoa Member Posts: 93
    edited December 2013
    @belgarathmth On families...


    I don't have any stats (and because of circumstances I'm not even sure it can be entirely measured anyway), only semi meaningless observations. Plus, I'm going to focus on women, just because I have more experience with this...

    There is so much about motherhood in countries like the UK and US that is contrived. I call it the "Mother Mary" complex. Once you hit motherhood much of your worth is measured in how much you can do for others but especially your children. Your importance and power in your social circle (and so facebook is utilized a lot) can be manipulated by how willing you are to exercise this.

    I had a lot of problems with my family, the kind you're not supposed to talk about. Only maybe a year ago I discovered narcissistic personality disorder, these are parents who can only think about what you can do for them. Abuse can run from physical or they can be so self involved they will straight up ignore you. They may pour all their expectations and hopes and dreams into their kids but the key is these parents don't see their kids as individuals with needs and growth to be met but pure extensions of themselves. They are skillful at manipulation and most of them know how to play the martyr complex very well because they don't want the truth (because on some level they know, it just makes them feel uncomfortable to think about it) to come out.

    When I realized this, I could see it everywhere. Maybe not full on NPD but a lot of the things associated with it. A very common thing we hear in the west is "well my parents hit me and I turned out okay!" and then when you give it time and hear more of the stories it turns out many of these people are not okay after all. We just do an excellent job of sweeping under the rug. Another thing is no matter where you might see something about an abusive person (a news source, a poster, whatever) there is always some random person who wants to defend it. A lot of parenting in the US and UK comes from the given authority you have over your kids - people who can't fight back.

    So yeah I think there are a lot more people than we realize who have had difficult home lives, parents who are awesome on the outside who you would never suspect would be capable of willingly hurting (physically or emotionally) their kids. Again, taking it out on people society deems a little lower than, just like jobs cashiers and stuff, with a different method/relationship. I personally feel like the west idolizes the idea of children, more than the welfare of kids themselves.

    BelgarathMTHEudaemonium
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @heindrich1988
    That is very interesting take on Chinese culture. My girlfriend is half-Chinese and gives a very similar account.


    I think you may be overgeneralizing a bit when it comes to attitudes in the States. Being a large nation with migrant populations from all over, there is a lot of diversity. In the New York/New England area where I hail from people tend to be standoffish and abrupt (not necessarily rude). From the reputations and from what I've seen during travels, in the South they have a culture that values politeness that most people adhere to, in the Midwest there is a very genuine politeness whereas on the Pacific Coast there is a bit of a mix. There is definitely no real consensus on American culture in regards to social conduct.
    Likewise, when I visited England I found Londoners to be much like New Yorkers, yet when I spent time in Oxford the local attitudes seemed much more akin to the American Midwest.

    On a separate note, I disagree with the notion of dismissing "extremists". Having strong or out-of-the-mainstream opinions does not automatically make one obstinate and abrasive. This may be the case often (usually do to passion) but is definitely not an absolute rule. I personally hold free speech in a high regard, and I am always shocked at how in other nations it does not seem to be valued as much as it is in the States. I mean, though I often disagree quite strongly with Glenn Beck it would never cross my mind to consider censorship in any way (other than personal avoiding his programs).

    Also... Alex Jones is a loony who has absolutely zero mainstream acceptance in the United States. The general consensus is that he is crazy. Don't be fooled by weirdos on youtube conspiracy videos, most Americans do not take him seriously at all. This is another reason why I am hesitant to make any generalization about human nature based on discourse over the internet. People who frequent controversial debates, and particularly those who participate with rude behavior, are not representative of the average person. You'd be shocked at how many people see these youtube debates and just leave (I've been tempted to enter the discussion but bailed out many times, realizing that the "quest was vain")

    BelgarathMTHKlonoalolien
  • KlonoaKlonoa Member Posts: 93
    @Booinyoureyes

    Definitely agree with regional differences. I think its funny how groups of people can be different in areas. I found in Liverpool people were usually genuinely nice to visitors but prone to discrimination with Muslims, in Cornwall they will be very kind if you live there even if you're originally from elsewhere but can be very rude to tourists and especially Americans.

    I used to be for all UK style censorship. I remember the election primaries before Obama won and some idiot on Fox said "Can you imagine if Hilary became president, ugh it would be like listening to my mother every day" ...no person would eeeeever get away with saying that at home. Censorship in this form does a better job in dealing with racism, its not as tolerated in open society I feel, but at the same time US rules allow for shows like The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. The Brit versions of that show (gawd there was one when I was like 13 but can't remember the name...) was funny but had very little bite because they were not allowed to say as much. The Daily Show lays out how America runs quite nicely, on most days.

    I liked the first episode that John Oliver took over and the jokes as to why he got the gig. Glass ceilings and what not that are not quite as kosher in Brit society even if they still ring true.

    At least also with the lack of censorship in the US, well at least they're saying what they really think. Glenn Beck was eventually removed for his level of crazy affecting sponsors and Rush Limbaugh... what a guy. His repulsiveness is out in the open for the sane people to avoid and people that like to tune in or quote them, well you know to avoid them too. Some might say its not good to judge people just on association, but if they can openly agree with some of these ideals well that kind of speaks for itself.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    edited December 2013
    I'd be very uncomfortable with UK-style censorship to be honest. Our mainstream news media in the States is hardly independent, but I just can't see a system where the main news outlet has its fees determined by parliament. Also the idea of "forced impartiality" just leads to it being "feigned impartiality". I like what @Klonoa said about pundits in "at least they're saying what they really think".

    That said BBC World Radio is the greatest thing available to me in the Caribbean. I'd be so bored without it.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,081

    @iKirivetko

    According to Merriam-Webster

    "toss, intransitive verb

    to decide an issue by flipping a coin
    — toss·er noun"

    There are no coins in this thread. Why don't you check your bloody facts, you nazi?!!

    Oh, no, no they've started with the unoriginal insults!!!! Green cheeked baboons!!!!!

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959


    That is very interesting take on Chinese culture. My girlfriend is half-Chinese and gives a very similar account.

    @booinyoureyes
    You lucky sod! I'm assuming she's half-Chinese, half-'white of some sort', cos u know, half-Chinese, half-Korean doesn't really count as 'mixed-race'. :D Anyway white-yellow mixed people are my favourites! (from a shallow aesthetics perspective) I have literally never come across an ugly one. lol It's genetics again... greater genetic differences allows more defective genes (usually recessive) to be mitigated by a (superior) dominant gene from the other partner, resulting in generally improved genetic fitness, compared to both parents. And of course, u can barely be further apart (and still be both human) when u mix a person of East Asian ancestry and a person of Western European ancestry.

    Sadly, telling that tale to "English roses" and explaining that "our children will be genetically fit!" has yet to help me find a partner for procreation. It's puzzling really!



    I think you may be overgeneralizing a bit when it comes to attitudes in the States. Being a large nation with migrant populations from all over, there is a lot of diversity. In the New York/New England area where I hail from people tend to be standoffish and abrupt (not necessarily rude). From the reputations and from what I've seen during travels, in the South they have a culture that values politeness that most people adhere to, in the Midwest there is a very genuine politeness whereas on the Pacific Coast there is a bit of a mix. There is definitely no real consensus on American culture in regards to social conduct.
    Likewise, when I visited England I found Londoners to be much like New Yorkers, yet when I spent time in Oxford the local attitudes seemed much more akin to the American Midwest.

    Yes I did not bother to mention local variations within a country so as to not make that essay any longer. I have also noticed that Londoners are generally much less patient, tolerant and friendly compared to most other places I have lived in Britain. (Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham). Cambridge was especially friendly. I once dropped my wallet in the Market Square, (literally, a market in the town square, lol), and within an hour, it had been delivered to a nearby police station by a total stranger, and not a penny was taken, or any contact information left for me to offer thanks.

    I sometimes get a bit angry looking at Britain's problems (rampant binge drinking, permissive culture, chavs, benefit-cheats, 'financial-wizardry criminals', occasional instances of racism etc...) and then I think of all the random acts of kindness I have experienced in my life here, as an outsider of sorts, and I think to myself, "this is a nice country, with some really wonderful people, and I cannot help but love it anyway."

    Ironically, thanks to a few years of primary school education in China that conditioned me to instinctively regard Nationalism as a good thing, I am probably more 'patriotic' for Britain than the average Brit, who does not necessarily appreciate all the great things Britain provides, and the amazing achievements Britons have made in the past, and continue to make now. Pretty impressive for a country about the same size as an average Chinese province!


    On a separate note, I disagree with the notion of dismissing "extremists". Having strong or out-of-the-mainstream opinions does not automatically make one obstinate and abrasive. This may be the case often (usually do to passion) but is definitely not an absolute rule. I personally hold free speech in a high regard, and I am always shocked at how in other nations it does not seem to be valued as much as it is in the States. I mean, though I often disagree quite strongly with Glenn Beck it would never cross my mind to consider censorship in any way (other than personal avoiding his programs).

    I think you misunderstand my definition of extremism, as used in the context of my 'big essay'. I didn't necessarily mean that radical views makes you an extremist. I am a big fan of Ron Paul (or at least what I know of him, which is a bit limited as I am not American and do not follow American domestic politics regularly), his views on American Economic and Foreign Policy are pretty radical... but I do not consider him an extremist. He argues his points with reasonable logic and intellectual discourse, and does not attempt to whip up his supporters into some sort of religious frenzy, threatening violence when he lost the Presidential Election.

    Similarly I have Muslim friends who genuinely wished that they could live under a global Caliphate, ruled by Sharia Law, which they believe would bring about world peace under the guidance of Allah. However, although I vehemently disagree with their ideology, I also do not regard them as extremists, because they accept me (a non-believer) as their friend and do not harbour any intent to enforce their view of the world through violence and intimidation. Al-Qaeda on the other hand... are extremists, much like the Westboro Baptist Church.

    On the issue of Free Speech itself, I have already made my point on why there could be drawbacks. So I won't launch into another essay! :D

    booinyoureyesKlonoa
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Klonoa said:

    @belgarathmth On families...


    I don't have any stats (and because of circumstances I'm not even sure it can be entirely measured anyway), only semi meaningless observations. Plus, I'm going to focus on women, just because I have more experience with this...

    There is so much about motherhood in countries like the UK and US that is contrived. I call it the "Mother Mary" complex. Once you hit motherhood much of your worth is measured in how much you can do for others but especially your children. Your importance and power in your social circle (and so facebook is utilized a lot) can be manipulated by how willing you are to exercise this.

    I had a lot of problems with my family, the kind you're not supposed to talk about. Only maybe a year ago I discovered narcissistic personality disorder, these are parents who can only think about what you can do for them. Abuse can run from physical or they can be so self involved they will straight up ignore you. They may pour all their expectations and hopes and dreams into their kids but the key is these parents don't see their kids as individuals with needs and growth to be met but pure extensions of themselves. They are skillful at manipulation and most of them know how to play the martyr complex very well because they don't want the truth (because on some level they know, it just makes them feel uncomfortable to think about it) to come out.

    When I realized this, I could see it everywhere. Maybe not full on NPD but a lot of the things associated with it. A very common thing we hear in the west is "well my parents hit me and I turned out okay!" and then when you give it time and hear more of the stories it turns out many of these people are not okay after all. We just do an excellent job of sweeping under the rug. Another thing is no matter where you might see something about an abusive person (a news source, a poster, whatever) there is always some random person who wants to defend it. A lot of parenting in the US and UK comes from the given authority you have over your kids - people who can't fight back.

    So yeah I think there are a lot more people than we realize who have had difficult home lives, parents who are awesome on the outside who you would never suspect would be capable of willingly hurting (physically or emotionally) their kids. Again, taking it out on people society deems a little lower than, just like jobs cashiers and stuff, with a different method/relationship. I personally feel like the west idolizes the idea of children, more than the welfare of kids themselves.

    @Klonoa

    This is a very sensitive and potentially controversial topic. I am sorry you have had problems with your family. I imagine that is the worst sort of problem you can have. The very people who are supposed to love you and protect you being responsible for your pain and suffering. It is unimaginable.

    I am not a particularly forgiving person, and I have suffered some pretty shitty things in life, and genuinely wished ill on some vile specific individuals I have come across. But I have always had the unconditional love and support of my parents and grandparents, which has perhaps kept me from going totally cynical about the world.

    I hesitate to apply racial/cultural/national generalisations upon a very personal and intimate problem. But in my experience, the UK/West does seems to have a much greater problem with intra-familial problems than China.

    Sure, shocking and tragic cases of child-abuse occur in China as anywhere else, and there are plenty of tales of conflicts between fathers and sons, in-laws, etc... But on the whole, familial harmony and the family unit is very central to Chinese Confucian culture.

    Sons and daughters are expected to obey their parents, and support them when they are elderly and can longer look after themselves. In returns, parents are expected to pour all their love, attention and resources upon their children. It is simply 'the norm', and any deviation from it is frowned upon.

    The West has a far more individualistic culture, where independence is valued to a greater extent. I remember my parents being shocked when I told them that some of my British friends had to pay their parents rent for living at home after they turned 18. That concept is unthinkable in Chinese culture, and those parents would be criticised for negligence by their peers!

    This difference in culture has certain positive and negative outcomes. On average Chinese family units seem to be much closer, and arguably offer more stability and comfort than a British family. On the other hand, especially for my generation of single children (due to One-Child Policy), Chinese kids tend to be more spoilt, less able to empathise with others and less capable of looking after themselves.

    Anyways the reason why I went on this particular rant is that it kinda ties into my 'nice/rude essay' and how people seem to be affected by social norms. Frankly, there are a lot more (as a proportion of population) 'broken families' in Britain compared to China, not only in terms of divorce rates, but also problems like alcoholism, drugs and other issues that often contribute to negligent/abusive or simply poor quality parenting.

    Simply put, Chinese society expects more of parents than British society, and so children that have grown up in a Chinese style household like me expect to offer the same level of attention and devotion to our children as we have enjoyed from our parents, whereas my British friends are used to a less 'hands-on' approach to parenting, and for one or two, a pretty negligent level of parenting by any standards, which will naturally influence their own approach and attitudes to raising their own children.

    I hope I haven't offended anyone in offering my analysis on this issue. I do not pretend for a moment to be an expert, or say that 'Chinese parents love their children more!'... it is just a different culture, which I think results in some different outcomes, which can be both positive and negative.

    BelgarathMTHCrevsDaakbooinyoureyes
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Heh @Heindrich1988 She's actually 1/4 Chinese 1/4 Spanish and 1/2 Filipina. A good mix, but I would lover her no matter what her background was:) She doesn't speak Mandarin or Cantonese, (but does know Tagalog) but has visited family in China multiple times. I wish to go with her one day. I'm currently being her housewife as she finishes tests this semester (I finished two weeks ago) and I'm then going to visit her family for New Years and meet her Chinese grandmother who is visiting for the first time. Communicating will be a problem but I hope to make a good impression (fingers crossed)

    I actually volunteered for Ron Paul's campaign when I was a sophomore in college in 08. It was good fun and I agree with him on many points... but he has quite a few crazy supporters as well (and some very unfortunate ties with various controversial figures who promote racism and some looney stuff... Alex Jones being one of them). I think we may be using different definitions of the word "extremist" because I think Ron Paul may fall into that category (defining extremism as having strong views that are outside of the mainstream). He's actually considered on the fringe here, but his son seems to be more tempered and politically adept, so maybe he can get elected. I think he may a rare chance to actually make a significant change in the direction of American foreign policy (which I think is very needed). I was hoping Obama would be that change after his rhetoric in the 2008 campaign, but that has unfortunately not been the case.

    CrevsDaakHeindrich
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @Heindrich1988 what you are saying about the British parenting style I've actually heard quite often. When I visited England last summer I had a talk with one of the hotel workers about the exact same thing.
    Greek families are very similar to Chinese families in that regard. Though one-child families are rare Greek parents due tend to spoil their kids a bit, yet also expect much from them (similar to what I gather about Chinese families)

  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,481
    Coincidentally, my mother and I were discussing this topic on the drive home last Friday. At the card shop we frequent, many of the Magic: The Gathering players were explaining their financial troubles, and how their parents were making them pay rent just for living with them. Some parents went so far to kick their child out of the house when they turned 18.

    I never knew this was a thing in the U.S. until I heard these stories. I've come to realize that I'm a very fortunate person to have loving parents who don't require me to pay rent, don't kick me out on the streets, and let me go at my own pace (and they know how much I want to be independent!). Honestly, I don't get it. My parents don't get it. Especially with how crappy the U.S. economy is right now, how is an 18 year old kid who's just graduated high school supposed to live on their own?

    Did you know that according to FAFSA, it's the parents who are responsible for their child's education after they graduate from high school? Until the child turns 24, and this is assuming they're not married/a veteran/independent/etc.

    *sighs* Sorry if that was a bit ranty, but I just found it a fascinating coincidence that after talking about this with my mom, I read the same discussion on the Baldur's Gate forums. XD It's like... *point!* Relevant!

    HeindrichbooinyoureyesqueenofamsterdamCrevsDaak
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @Nonnahswriter are you first generation by any chance? I feel like having immigrant parents is a whole different experience (at least it was for me)

  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,481

    @Nonnahswriter are you first generation by any chance? I feel like having immigrant parents is a whole different experience (at least it was for me)

    Nope. My parents were born and raised in the states. In two very different parts too--Dad's from Chicago IL, my mom's from Phoenix AZ. My mom actually moved out right quick after she started going to college, but not because her folks forced her, but because she wanted to. Dad stayed with his family's house for quite a while, and they've always been very family-orientated, very welcoming.

    Maybe we're just weird. XD

    booinyoureyesCrevsDaak
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