C came over to Singapore for a visit a few weeks ago and we reminisced quite a bit about old times as I showed her around the city. It’s funny how we have met so many times in so many different places in the space of 4 years. We talked about that time when I stayed in Japan for almost a month.
C: Do you remember after you stayed in Japan for almost a month, you kept nodding non-stop when other people were talking to you?
Me: Of course!
C: That’s quite funny.
Me: Yes, even when I didn’t understand what was going on, I just looked like I agreed with what that person was trying to say. That’s how I got away without getting beaten up!
In Japan, I appeared as if I agreed even though I didn’t understand the other person because it was easier to agree than to disagree. Now that I am thinking about it, even when I do understand what the other person is saying and I do not quite agree with his/ her point of view, I choose to look as if I agree. My mentality is: why get into an argument that is uncalled for? I remember talking to some other friends about styles of conflict resolution and I know I prefer a passive way of resolving conflicts, especially if I judge the conflict to be unimportant. The only exception is when I feel that the conflict is, in some way, jeopardizing my interests or the interests of the people whom I care for. In such situations, I will stand up and fight as politely as I could. I am still finding out for whom and for what I will fight for.