Of course, no one — regardless of culture—wants to look bad or have their ego bruised. Although both are equally important to understand. Unlike Western face, Chinese face can be given or earned. It can also be taken away or lost.
No one likes to be embarrassed or lose dignity in front of other people. But what may constitute as offenses against the social image differ between cultures. The culture of saving face takes form in everyday interactions, from a formal board meeting to bargaining for a bundle of vegetables in the market. Disclaimer: This guide will not focus much on saving your face. Think of it this way.
What Is ‘Face’ In Asian Culture and Why Should We Care?
Suppose you're a Westerner newly arrived in China. As you're leaving a business meeting with a Chinese associate, he offers you a lift. But as you're staying far away, you politely refuse. Now in the U. But in China, by declining your associate's offer you've just made a serious mistake.
One famous quote of many by American civil rights activist Maya Angelou goes: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Keep that advice very much in mind during your interactions in Asia. Causing someone to "lose face"—even if done on accident with good intentions—can lead to poor interactions.