In China, the #1 cardinal mistake is to get excited, lose your temper or even show emotion. It’s drilled into the Chinese mind, not to do this.
Impatience, anger, worry; these are some of the biggies that you’re best not to show in public, in front of business partners, colleagues, or even in front of the fabled lady behind the bank window, who I’ve referred in a previous post.
In the West; we’d agree,…”yeah, yeah, keep calm”. But we don’t really mean that; at least not the 100% absolute way it’s meant here.
In China, they show 0% reaction to adverse situations. In the West, it’s common for people to huff-and-puff if they have to wait too long in line, to be seated, or on a larger scale, lose temper if it’s obvious someone is cheating you. (now keep in mind, when I say “West”, my background is from the USA, but this largely applies to the West in general).
In China; showing those emotions, will hand you a swift defeat before you even start the battle.
No matter, if someone has blatantly cheated you out of a large sum of money, losing your cool, will cause you to look like the offensive party. Regardless of if “you’re in the right”; if you’re getting excited, you’re swiftly deemed a weirdo by everyone involved (decision makers, law enforcement, restaurant staff, etc..) and nobody will want to help you.
Embarrassment is something that is quickly caused in China. It’s like an unseen epidemic that can swiftly come on mass amounts of people at any given time for a multitude of reasons that most Westerners don’t understand.
Losing your cool or slightly “getting fired up” releases waves of embarrassment to everyone around you. This is the Chinese Achilles heel, but if you have a temper, it will also be yours. Their embarrassment will cause them to freeze up, refuse service, “take their ball and go home”.
Even if it’s an righteous anger, deserved frustration, or you’re nobly perturbed; don’t do it, don’t show it. The Chinese will laugh (their standard reaction to embarrassment), but I guarantee you, once you hit that brick wall and can get no further, you’ll soon find, there’s nothing funny.