Do you point out shortcomings or weakness of other people?
I think mostly that causes problem and just breaks the relationship.
So I could say that often result in a bad end.
But still I do sometimes although the sometimes rarely happened in my life.
Not from the emotional reasons such as I got angry or I do not like his or her characters like a child (although I still might have a bit childish emotions sometimes as I’m still mentally child, haha) but some people I feel like I should tell at least one time.
This time I got a guest from another country and this thing happened.
I’m Japanese but also a bit different character, so I introduce the case here from 2 points of view, how ordinary Japanese react, and I reacted.
I got a guest
Firstly I have registered in 2 community sites that is called interpals and italki.
I wanted to improve my poor English so I decided to register and wanted to learn English instead of teaching Japanese.
I recommend you these 2 sites if you want to learn Japanese or make Japanese friends!
Sorry, off the topic, anyway I got message from her that says she comes to Japan and wants company to take some tourist spots.
It was no problem to me as I often show my friends or guests from overseas around Tokyo.
So I accepted it.
But her suggestion was like taking a couple of days for the tour, actually my reaction is this is not normal although she might knows me well from my profile or blog, etc.
I declined the plan of a couples of days, but I accepted only 1 night.
Of course, I never have the thought for guests of lady or girl FRIENDS if you imagine something as I have no interest such kind of things for my guests or friends.
Anyway before we met, we talked in Skype face to face.
And just before the night we met, I showed around her Tokyo.
Shortcomings I noticed
Here I take up some of the shortcomings what I felt.
Punctuality of Time
The day before tour, we promised to meet at the lounge of her hotel but she did not show up.
I waited in front of the hotel for 15 minutes, asking the stuff if the girl came lounge but she did not show up.
After about 30 minutes we could meet.
It is OK to be late as there might have been a problem, but at least I wanted message in Skype, FB, etc. like I will be late or at least I feel people should say I’m sorry when showing up.
But she did not do both.
Actually most Japanese people are punctual and strict to the time.
Japanese train system is punctual, that’s one of the reasons.
If you get late to workplace even 1 minute, your boss gets angry or if you do it several times you just get fired.
Yes, I can not say only about others, because I myself had experiences of being late for both job and meeting with friends.
But it was rare or I was sure to send message or made a call before being late.
And I apologized.
I know this is culture differences, Japanese society is just punctual and that’s it.
And I myself had experiences of being late as I said and some people also do.
But at the same time this is very important not only here in Japan but also in all over the world (Even if the culture or country does not take much of punctuality of time).
Because you can find one’s character through it and lose trust sometimes both in business and private.
Punctual is no demerit but not punctual has just a chance of demerit.
As for me, time is more than money, if I can choose 1 hour I lost or $100, I choose 1 hour without any hesitation.
Waiting someone means removing more important thing than money from the one.
On the day of our trip, we went to a bus stop in mountain area, she said she want to take a picture of bus time table.
Her mobile battery died at the time so she asked me.
I wondered and replied “I think we don’t come back here so why you need?”
I think she replied she need it to guess the time of bus stopping in other bus stops for tomorrow.
For other bus stops around here, yes, certainly it might be good if we could know it but we can not know the exact time even if we take a picture of this time table.
So I replied her.
“Even if we take a picture of this time table, we can not guess the time of other bus stops because every time table is different depends on the bus stop”.
Then she shouted “Take a picture!”.
I was surprised as I think she was the first guest or girl FRIENDS in my whole life who shouted at this kind of small things.
I know she was irritating as I did not take a picture.
But I just wanted to know the reason, not like rejecting her asking, and actually I was going to take a picture if it satisfies her.
Finally it is my mobile so there is no right for her to instruct me.
I could say “I don’t take a picture who shout at such a small things although I was going to if you did not” but I felt it is just a trivial private emotion of mine and too childish act so I took a picture without express my feeling or frown face.
She was often complaining about her hotel in Tokyo as it was small and when she opened the window it was just building, no good view.
But I felt like, it is your choice.
She was always searching for cheap hotel but that means, not big, clean, good service, etc.(although I feel it is clean and good service even at cheap hotel here in Japan)
If you want good hotel you need to choose more expensive hotel but cheap hotel was her choice, so there is no wonder.
So she was going to change her hotel and contacted CouchSurfer of CouchSurfing.
CouchSurfing is a system, you can find place to stay from local people and great point of it is you can stay there for free.
It might be easier to imagine free version of Airbnb.
So I told her this system before and she found a man.
But she complained as he did not show his face when she talked through Skype.
She could not find his face well in profile picture, so she asked him but he declined.
But I can say, she is the one who chose this man with blur picture and he also has right whether or not shows his face.
Risk of trust people just from looks or surface
This time, I told her “But he also has the right to not show his face”
And I asked her “Why you want to see his face so much?” although I could imagine the reason.
She replied “I’m a girl”.
Her reply was what I imagined but I felt her way of choosing people is too risky.
Actually I felt this things from some other girls, too through Internet.
Because some people make a fake profile, picture and character.
Even if you could talk him or her in person, if the one was good at making fake character?
For travel, I know the some stories of people who were very nice first but deceived others at the last end for money.
It is their plan from the first and some people are very good at it.
If you are not very sensitive to other’s very subtle emotion, face expression, voice tone, gestures, etc. behind the thought, there is a high chance of being deceived as some of them are professional if I could call it pro.
Looks like she counted on face, but to me, face?
Yes, through the talk of Skype, you can find face or character but it is just a part.
Although it is OK if it is just a meeting in Japan without staying but it includes stay!
She replied me “I’m a girl”, then why she did not choose same female CouchSufer from the first.
Actually there are many CouchSufer of female in Tokyo or around.
Even if she could not find the one, there are many CouchSufer of man with many good reputation from guests and clear picture & profile.
She also asked me to talk in Skype before, looks like to trust I but I have to say that’s too risky.
Trust never Comes Back
During travel, I sometimes lent my socket for her battery charge because she did not have her socket.
She did not have Japanese socket that she could not charge her mobile.
And the last stage of our travel when I lent it before getting on the train for Tokyo I did not say return it to me as I thought she would say it voluntarily before we leave.
I was waiting to the end but after all I was the one who said “Do you have my socket?”
She just handed it over to me without saying anything and I knew from her reaction that she was going to keep it if I did not say anything.
I know it is very important and she can not connect internet with dead mobile.
So I felt sorry that I lent it but what she did in return was.
I remembered my travel in Nepal and Vietnam 10 years ago.
For Nepal, one of the stuffs at immigration asked me “Could you lend me something to write with?”
And I lent him a pen although I thought “Why you don’t have even a pen while you are stuff of immigration!” in my mind.
But I forgot to say “Return it to me” after he used it.
I just came to know a story later the place and some people are famous for cheating for the pen like that because it is “Japanese” pencil.
For Vietnam, I got on a boat on the river, and old lady was asking me if I also buy some pictures.
They were certainly beautiful pictures and I was going to buy some of them for souvenir.
But when I paid the money for riding the boat what she returned was small money.
Definitely short of some big paper money!
I could notice as I counted each paper money carefully, or I did not notice.
I claimed proper change and she reluctantly paid me correct change.
Because of this, I did not buy any pictures from her
If the guy in Nepal told me honestly like “I want it if possible”, I gave it.
If the old lady did not cheat me, I happily bought some pictures,
And if she had told me voluntarily like “I need this socket, so can you lend me for some more days?”
I would have said “Yes, of course” or I was going to give her although I also needed it.
Some people just think immediate profit on the surface and not notice they lost more more big and important things in the future.
“The Trust” one lost never come back even one stack millions of dollars.
The Reason I told Shortcomings
When you find shortcoming of friends or other person, do you tell it directly?
For Japanese, it depends on the person but I feel like they stay away or talk behind one’s back.
For child, it might just becomes fight sometimes, haha, but staying away and or talking behind are both in common in both adult and child in Japan.
Some people might tell the one directly but I feel more like most people just stay away without complaining on the spot.
For my case this time, actually I also did not say anything about her manners on the spot although I advised some points calmly.
I think I did not express my emotion or complain about her manners during the travel.
So yes, that’s usual of Japanese.
But different point of mine was, I told her after travel by mail.
Actually, I was not going to do anything on this matter as I’m just a stranger.
For my close friends or people, I tell them shortcomings directly, because I like them.
But she is just a guest and I think I do not see her again in my life.
It also takes time to write her and I could imagine negative emotional reply even if I write it.
But she told me she likes Japan and studying not only Japanese but Buddhism Shinto, etc.
So only this just one time, I decided to tell her.
Another point was, I was sure that she’ll have many problems with others not only in Japan but in her country and every time she hits that kinds of problems she becomes unhappy, frown face and others around her also becomes unhappy.
Until she notice the fact that the problem is created by herself, she will be live like that forever without notice.
I also felt a bit sorry for her.
Yes, I know that’s mind your own business, but even so I felt I should tell her at least one time.
Her reply was just she does not want to waste her time to read negative message.
I see, as I imagined.
Actually it was positive message, if she could read carefully and see things from another point of view but any criticism looks like negative to her.
But saying so, does not waste her time, she looked like read my message as she could find it negative.
Anyway that was good.
Criticism is the Big Chance of Grow
For me, criticism is the big chance to grow myself up if it is to the point.
Although I know it is hard for some people to take it face to face as some small prides prevent it.
The more we grow older, the more obstinate we become.
I think what I wrote was to the point because I just wrote the manners she did with some advice for improving.
People who only take positive comments from others but reject all inconvenient criticism never grow up.
Anyone can make positive comment but to criticize people, especially for close friends take power, energy, time and risk of being stay away, etc, in the end.
And what you can get in return is, yes what you can imagine.
So most people don’t do anything (except for some short-tempered people who shout emotionally on the spot) and I also do nothing and stay away if he or she is not important to me.
There is a proverb that says “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.
I always think people who can tell things or people who can act for others in a desperate situation are real ones.
Just praising or doing nice in casual daily life, anyone can do it because there is no harm.
But at even desperate situation, that might hurts you seriously or risks your life, can you do it for the one?
That is the time true value of the person is tested.
And here what I want to stress is not having someone who you can imagine they would help you, but you can imagine the ones you definitely help even if they do not help you.
Thank you very much for reading to the end.
Looked like just all my complaint?
If so, I’m very sorry I have to improve my writing skill as that’s not my focus.
Or I have to say I’m very sorry for wasting your time for make you a negative feeling.
Actually I don’t recommend you to point out other’s faults bluntly without any thought.
Without thinking, just blaming others from private emotion often means blaming yourself.
It can also be mirror.
What I wanted to tell here was my thought or Japanese thought.
But this matter is not related only to Japan but all over the world as it is a matter of communication.
It is difficult to make understand each other.
Or it might be sounds like a bit cold but I feel there is no need all the people understand each other.
Some people force others their thought but that is a kind of self-contentment.
Still I also hope if we could understand each other beyond surface such as race, religion, country, etc. and I think we can do it if all the people give things deeper thought and respect differences.
I also have many shortcomings and I don’t think I’m always right.
But I felt I should give some advice I noticed at least one time.
I have some great friends around me fortunately and we can tell each other’s shortcomings directly.
Of course, not like shouting or emotionally, but tell each other calmly.
But we have good relationships more than 10 years, I can say some of them are more than 25 years.
Because we respects each others not only on the surface but in depth.