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  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1054

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« on: September 18, 2018, 12:50:50 am »
Koreans will rarely take my word for anything. They always have to have something demonstrated before their eyes before they accept it. Why is that?


For example, today I went to the cashier to pay for some items. The cost was W20,200. I had the 20,000 but I didn't have the extra 200W in change, so instead I just handed over a 50,000 note, saying "sorry, I don't have the 200W".
However he handed it back with a quizzical look on his face. I repeated "I don't have 200W in change, only the 50,000". So then he proceeded to crane his neck to look into my wallet as if there were coins in there. I had to repeat for the third time "I have no change" and shake the empty wallet, hit it on the counter, turn it inside out before he accepted that no, I wasn't concealing hidden coins and that yes, he would have to accept the bigger denomination.
But why did he not believe me when I first told him I don't have small change? It is annoying, I have no reason to lie, there is no motive. But no, he had to check and see for himself before he was convinced I was telling the truth.


Small example, but this phenomenon occurs often.  This default assumption of lies.


At work it is similar. If I tell the supervisor there are only 9 textbooks in the box instead of 10, she feels the need to come over to my classroom to personally count the books herself, before she accepts that yes..there are indeed nine books.

If I tell the computer repairman that my PC is blocking facebook, he insists I send a screenshot to prove that my computer is indeed blocking it.  Why would I lie?

I go to the used camera shop to sell a second hand lens adaptor. After checking it is in good working order, he agrees to buy it although he insists I leave my address and phone number, just in case the item was stolen. I furnish him with the garuantee, receipt and name of the shop I bought it. He calls the shop. they confirm that yes, they did sell me the item on that day. He looks annoyed then insists that I still have to leave my personal details, for the record. I refuse.


Seems like Koreans never accept something on trust, no matter how insignificant, without verifying it for themselves. Annoying.
Catch my drift?


Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 01:42:58 am »
This works both ways,  when I was there I always second guessed things my students would tell me or things my
Korean co-workers would tell me.   I guess it was kind of "cross-cultural mistrust" or something, I just automatically
assumed that they really didn't know what they were talking about.

And I know they were doing the same to everything I said unless it agreed with what they already knew.

It's not something specific to Korea or Koreans, I did have similar things happen in Mexico.

Years later after leaving Korea I am finding more and more of the things that I was suspicious of are actually
correct and that Koreans did know more than I gave them credit for.

I'm not sure if this helps, but it is something to consider.

Peas
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 01:59:01 am by some waygug-in »


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3487

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 03:41:18 am »
Koreans will rarely take my word for anything. They always have to have something demonstrated before their eyes before they accept it. Why is that?


For example, today I went to the cashier to pay for some items. The cost was W20,200. I had the 20,000 but I didn't have the extra 200W in change, so instead I just handed over a 50,000 note, saying "sorry, I don't have the 200W".
However he handed it back with a quizzical look on his face. I repeated "I don't have 200W in change, only the 50,000". So then he proceeded to crane his neck to look into my wallet as if there were coins in there. I had to repeat for the third time "I have no change" and shake the empty wallet, hit it on the counter, turn it inside out before he accepted that no, I wasn't concealing hidden coins and that yes, he would have to accept the bigger denomination.
But why did he not believe me when I first told him I don't have small change? It is annoying, I have no reason to lie, there is no motive. But no, he had to check and see for himself before he was convinced I was telling the truth.


Small example, but this phenomenon occurs often.  This default assumption of lies.


At work it is similar. If I tell the supervisor there are only 9 textbooks in the box instead of 10, she feels the need to come over to my classroom to personally count the books herself, before she accepts that yes..there are indeed nine books.

If I tell the computer repairman that my PC is blocking facebook, he insists I send a screenshot to prove that my computer is indeed blocking it.  Why would I lie?

I go to the used camera shop to sell a second hand lens adaptor. After checking it is in good working order, he agrees to buy it although he insists I leave my address and phone number, just in case the item was stolen. I furnish him with the garuantee, receipt and name of the shop I bought it. He calls the shop. they confirm that yes, they did sell me the item on that day. He looks annoyed then insists that I still have to leave my personal details, for the record. I refuse.


Seems like Koreans never accept something on trust, no matter how insignificant, without verifying it for themselves. Annoying.
It happens with my wife all the time. Every statement I make is met with "Really?" and then they have to be explained in great detail.


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 696

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 07:41:01 am »
This works both ways,  when I was there I always second guessed things my students would tell me or things my
Korean co-workers would tell me.   I guess it was kind of "cross-cultural mistrust" or something, I just automatically
assumed that they really didn't know what they were talking about.

I agree with this. I feel a part of it is making sure that nothing gets mistranslated. I know that mistakes can be made with some of my co-teachers so I'll triple-check the information with them sometimes to avoid future confusion.
The World Ends With You


Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 08:03:37 am »
This works both ways,  when I was there I always second guessed things my students would tell me or things my
Korean co-workers would tell me.   I guess it was kind of "cross-cultural mistrust" or something, I just automatically
assumed that they really didn't know what they were talking about.

And I know they were doing the same to everything I said unless it agreed with what they already knew.

It's not something specific to Korea or Koreans, I did have similar things happen in Mexico.

Years later after leaving Korea I am finding more and more of the things that I was suspicious of are actually
correct and that Koreans did know more than I gave them credit for.

I'm not sure if this helps, but it is something to consider.

Peas

This.

And what another poster said about language gap.

I mean, I almost always double check students on difficult vocab words even though they claim they know them.

Verification is good. The more times it happens the more trust is built and the fewer number of times they'll check you.


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1613

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 08:13:55 am »
Be careful with these casual observations of cultural idiosyncrasies, they're frowned upon by some in these forums.

Anyway, at least from my experience, I can't dismiss your claims.

Last month, Saturday morning I believe, I went outside and noticed the boot/trunk of an SLK Mercedes, parked in the complex, wide open. I recognised the Mercedes as belonging to one of the tenants of my apartment. I figured he was loading things and just popped inside. Later, I went outside again to notice it still open. Got his number from the windshield and called him, the guy refused to believe that his boot was open and actually asked me to send him a picture.

I told him I was just trying to help him, but I wasn't going to send him a picture and if he was ok with leaving it open that's his business, goodbye. 30sec later he calls back, apologising and asking me if I can please close the boot as he's an hours drive away. I close it and again, he thanks me etc. and that's the end of it.


Koreans will rarely take my word for anything. They always have to have something demonstrated before their eyes before they accept it. Why is that?

Seems like Koreans never accept something on trust, no matter how insignificant, without verifying it for themselves. Annoying.

I could simply be that you're a foreigner and years of silly "comedy" shows of foreigners goofing up things make them think you're incompetent. The other theory could be tied into 정 (Jeong). Crudely put, Jeong means that even a basic level of trust is reserved exclusively for people within your inner circle.

... or, it could be nothing more than a language barrier and as others have said "cross-cultural mistrust".
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 11:32:23 am by Aristocrat »


Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 09:20:40 am »
Really? I always felt I could start a cult here with how gullible people are


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1422

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 09:22:30 am »
Yeah happens to me all the f&$)(;:ing time. Drives me nuts. It happens even with Koreans I know well. They need it confirmed by another Korean to accept it as truth.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 3908

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 11:02:34 am »
Really? I always felt I could start a cult here with how gullible people are

Many do.


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1054

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 11:57:46 am »
the guy refused to believe that his boot was open and actually asked me to send him a picture. 

hahaha.

You see this is what I don't get, the automatic sense that someone is lying or out to decieve, even when they have no possible reason to do so. It defies logic.

In Korea people don't help out strangers out of simple goodwill. Everything is always done with the idea of gaining something or taking advantage of the other. So when someone actually does something "just to help", it shorts their system. They have no way of processing it.



Catch my drift?


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 11:59:52 am »
Nah. I don't think this is just Koreans. It's human nature....particularly with strangers.

Ever lost the TV remote? Your sibling will SWEAR they aren't sitting on it but you make them stand up anyway.


I think the incidents posted above don't prove it's a cultural thing at all.


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4382

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2018, 12:01:08 pm »
Nah. I don't think this is just Koreans. It's human nature....particularly with strangers.

Ever lost the TV remote? Your sibling will SWEAR they aren't sitting on it but you make them stand up anyway.


I think the incidents posted above don't prove it's a cultural thing at all.

Then how come Koreans can never believe I can eat spicy-as-shit food without showing them first?  :evil:
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1613

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2018, 12:15:54 pm »
the guy refused to believe that his boot was open and actually asked me to send him a picture. 

hahaha.

You see this is what I don't get, the automatic sense that someone is lying or out to decieve, even when they have no possible reason to do so. It defies logic.

In Korea people don't help out strangers out of simple goodwill. Everything is always done with the idea of gaining something or taking advantage of the other. So when someone actually does something "just to help", it shorts their system. They have no way of processing it.

I'd have to disagree, I've seen acts of kindness here for sure. Other day, an old guy fell off his bike and a guy stopped his car, got out and helped the poor sod to his feet. If they don't help, it's usually out of fear of lawsuits. Be thankful we aren't living in China though, Korea's alright.


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 696

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 12:17:44 pm »
Nah. I don't think this is just Koreans. It's human nature....particularly with strangers.

Ever lost the TV remote? Your sibling will SWEAR they aren't sitting on it but you make them stand up anyway.


I think the incidents posted above don't prove it's a cultural thing at all.

I love the way your example and the thing you call out are two different things. I would be more likely to attribute that to my sibling trying to mess with me, or just being stupid.
The World Ends With You


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2018, 12:49:11 pm »
Nah. I don't think this is just Koreans. It's human nature....particularly with strangers.

Ever lost the TV remote? Your sibling will SWEAR they aren't sitting on it but you make them stand up anyway.


I think the incidents posted above don't prove it's a cultural thing at all.

I love the way your example and the thing you call out are two different things. I would be more likely to attribute that to my sibling trying to mess with me, or just being stupid.

That was just the first example that popped into my head...the ultimate distrust haha. If I thought a stranger was sitting on the remote I would also make them stand up.

I do still think it's particularly with strangers (even though my example wasn't perfect granted)...but I'm probably a case where I don't believe anyone ever.

Still not a Korean thing though.


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2018, 12:51:03 pm »
Nah. I don't think this is just Koreans. It's human nature....particularly with strangers.

Ever lost the TV remote? Your sibling will SWEAR they aren't sitting on it but you make them stand up anyway.


I think the incidents posted above don't prove it's a cultural thing at all.

Then how come Koreans can never believe I can eat spicy-as-shit food without showing them first?  :evil:

Bahaha omg you got me there. The spicy food comes and I can see their side eyes watching me carefully..


  • Datasapien
  • Super Waygook

    • 404

    • February 04, 2012, 09:36:25 pm
    • Chungcheongbuk-do
    more
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2018, 12:52:12 pm »
Yeah definitely not a Korean thing. Otherwise we'd all be terrified of sleeping with fans on.
"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." - Jebediah Springfield.


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1054

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2018, 01:36:34 pm »
Yeah definitely not a Korean thing. Otherwise we'd all be terrified of sleeping with fans on.

Yes but Koreans have reputation for sloppy science. It is us who should be checking everything that they say.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify
Catch my drift?


Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2018, 01:48:32 pm »
Untrustworthy Westerner conversation:
Westerner 1: I have a problem. It is _________.
Westerner 2: Oh, really? Let me help you out with that.

Sparkling logical and scientific Korean conversation:
Korean 1: I have a problem.
Korean 2: Ah, really. What is the problem?
Korean 1: KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN
Korean 2: Ahhh? Uh uh uh.
Korean 2: KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN
Korean 2: Uh uh uh KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN
Korean 1: Ahhhhh KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN KOREAN
Korean 2: neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

etc
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


Re: Why do Koreans always have to see before they believe?
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2018, 02:54:20 pm »
Nah. I don't think this is just Koreans. It's human nature....particularly with strangers.

Ever lost the TV remote? Your sibling will SWEAR they aren't sitting on it but you make them stand up anyway.


I think the incidents posted above don't prove it's a cultural thing at all.

Then how come Koreans can never believe I can eat spicy-as-shit food without showing them first?  :evil:

Bahaha omg you got me there. The spicy food comes and I can see their side eyes watching me carefully..

I don't really have anything to contribute regarding the original point of this thread, as I'm inclined to think that this is one of those things that a) is more universal than Korean or b) happens to every foreigner in Korea except me. But I wanted to share a recent experience. A few months ago a locally well-known burger restaurant, run by a guy who lived in the US and speaks very good English, moved into the premises recently vacated by what was an excellent Korean restaurant. Everything was really fresh and homemade, including some badass, ultra-fiery kimchi. No MSG or yellow radishes from the wholesale bag. I loved the burger place, too, but I wanted to find out if the Korean restaurant had relocated. So there we were at the cash register...

Me: Hey, do you know what happened to the Korean restaurant that was here? Did they relocate?
Burger Guy: I'm not sure. I think they -
Burger Guy's Wife: Do you like Korean food?
Me: Yeah. So -
BGW (laughing hysterically, like I'd told an incredible joke): Oh but so spicy!
BG: They didn't tell me -
BGW: Too spicy!
Me: Ah, I was hoping they'd just moved somewhere else locally.
BGW: Can you eat? I think it's too spicy for you.
Me: Uh, yeah, I really liked that place.
BGW (hysterical laughter again): Really? But so spicy.
BG: No, I don't know where they went.
Me: Oh well, I'll try to look them up online. I'll miss their kimchi.
BGW (now exploding with incredulous laughter): REALLY???? Kimchi?
BG: Yeah, sorry about that.
BGW: No, I think it's too spicy for you.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 03:17:44 pm by Andyman »