I’m something of an introvert. I realize that a bare few weeks ago I was bludgeoning you (metaphorically speaking) with the throbbing, priapic magnificence of my Brobdingnagian genitalia, so some of you may find that hard to swallow (metaphorically speaking), but it’s true.
So coming to Japan was an interesting experience. Sure, there’s the expectation that you’ll fulfill the brash foreigner stereotype, but there’s also a more ready acceptance of the introvert. Poor interpersonal communication skills are the norm here, not the exception.
That’s not necessarily fair. In situ Japanese people’s communication skills are no better or worse than anywhere else, but the situ that they’re in is one where poor production-side skills are the norm – the onus is shifted far more towards the receiver – and are thus both expected and accounted for. In many ways that’s as limiting as the expectation of wonderful interpersonal skills is back home. The baseline is just different, and that benefits different personality types accordingly.
Anecdotal evidence? Sure: written tests favoured over interviews as a means of assessment, regardless of suitability; vending machines you can buy anything from and avoid the messy business of interaction with real humans; oral communication skills not taught during compulsory schooling; Morning meetings, Aisatsu, and Konpa all as ways of supplying rigid, formalized modes of behaviour that rid social situations of the threat of spontaneous ambiguity which so grips the introvert’s heart in cold, clammy hands of terror. Whereas in the West the cultural preference for a bit of gaudy patter leads inevitably to the confusion of personal style with personal substance; I’m sure we could all make a lengthy list of politicians elected on the basis of excellent communication skills despite being the bluntest of tools (and we’re back to cocks again). Once more, both cultures are fucked up, just in slightly different ways.
|Excellent communication skills. I'm serious.|
In my head I’m the strong, silent type, but in reality it’s probably more the insecure overcompensating type instead. And really, have you ever met anyone who actually fit that description in real life? There’s a reason the Man With No Name had no name, what with being a fictional character and all. Even then, Elizabeth despised Darcy for most of the story precisely because he refused to dance, despite the fact he looked great in a wet t-shirt and owned half of fucking Derbyshire. No, someone who remains resolutely silent is more likely to seem unsure of themselves, aloof, or just plain stupid.
But, as ever, it’s not so much what you lack that matters, so much as what your interlocutors lack. By which I mean that in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king and so sometimes just being able to smile and look a woman in the eye(s) while speaking to her can seem brazenly flirtatious.
|"Why sir! Such improprieties! We shall be the subject of|
tittle-tattle in parlours throughout the county!"
The Land of the Blind is Japan, in case you aren’t following, and I’m clearly trying to get a handle on the whole Charisma Man thing. I’m not going to be taking the piss either – or at least not too much – because I’ve actually got a fair degree of sympathy for your stereotypical Charisma Man. Not that I ever was one, you realize. No, back home I was balls-deep in perfect-ten minge. Really. Up to fucking here, it was. Every time I left the house I had to wear thigh-high rubber boots because my raw animal virility made every straight women in the vicinity just so gushingly wet that I was constantly wading through an onrushing tidal bore of female ejaculate. I made the effects of Hurricane Sandy look like the kind of weak drizzle that causes nothing more than a slightly disappointing turnout for the church fête.
I may be exaggerating slightly.
That, though, seems to me to be the implication behind a lot of the opprobrium directed at Charisma Men. ‘Couldn’t get a proper girlfriend back home.’ The exact reasons why they couldn’t get a ‘proper’ girlfriend are always strangely unspecified. I guess it’s an assumption of some failing on the part of the Charisma Man in question. Not attractive enough, probably. Ugly cunt. Insincere too; the sort of guy who judges people on looks and not personality, shows more interest in the many, many abnormally tiny Japanese women around him and not the fewer, normally proportioned Western ladies. Arsehole. Sounds like a right tool. Just listen to him. Wanker who thinks he’s all that because suddenly he’s getting all the attention. Not from you though, right? He’s getting nothing from you, attention or otherwise. Back home women wouldn’t look twice at a pathetic specimen like that. Look at him, enjoying all that attention, he should just voluntarily piss off back to where he came from and get disregarded like normal. Because we all know that Western women are proper women. They wouldn’t be attracted to someone just because they have above average levels of personal confidence and unusually exotic looks, no siree. They have significantly higher standards than these cheap J-tramps, as well as being far less grasping, codependent, crazy, superficial, irrational, and yellow.
Ah, bugger. That’s torn it.