Building Self-Confidence in Asian Men

One of the biggest misconceptions with Asian Men is that they are deemed to be not confident – all the time. Personally I cannot wrap my head around the fact that people can simply make a global statement for all Asian Men, when in fact there are a considerable amount of Asian Men who are confident, but tend to be more on the cautious and reserved side. By no means should they be immediately labelled not confident.

The Confidence Formula

Remember the first time you went to ride your bike? I remember mine vividly. The progression went from tricycle to training wheels, and the training wheels removed.  When my dad removed the training wheels I ended up tipping over my bicycle within ten seconds because I had insufficient speed. I cried in agony, but I picked myself back up and tried again. Building confidence is like this, it’s done step by step often with catastrophic failures, but eventually we get it.

To be honest, we instinctively learned the process as a child. However, for many somewhere along the line we forget about the process and take up the pathway of rote memorization. For me I would say it was by the time I was thirteen to fourteen, it was no longer the pursuit of individuality, but a submission into obtaining the highest grades possible with rote. I was fortunate enough not to have the same family pressures as my Asian friends, and my parents let me cultivate my own way of thinking.

The problem with the rote way of thinking was the pursuit of perfection. Only error free test examinations were acceptable and other grades were unsatisfactory. Now when we apply this to interpersonal relationships, this doesn’t quite work out. For many Asian Males, it’s facing the most dreaded school courses: English, and to a lesser extent the Social Sciences. What makes things so difficult is the lack of bivalent logic that Mathematics and Natural Sciences have. The information is hidden within the words that can’t be measured by a machine, but has to be felt emotionally.  

In short, for many Asian Men (and Asians in general), our formula for success is simply:

  • Memorize
  • Regurgitate
  • Purge
  • Repeat

I would say the steps for building a skill set and confidence in it would be:

  • Just try it (believe in it)
  • If it doesn’t work out, take positive feedback from the mistakes
  • If it still doesn’t work, find a mentor or expert.
  • After repeated success, build more belief in yourself

Confidence in this regard is when we have nearly absolute certainty on the answer. When we do not, we end up playing the reserved or cautious approach.

Being Reserved & Cautious

Since life for the most part is not something of absolute certainty, we tend to remain on the reserved and cautious side. Among the various factors that contribute to being reserved, shame would probably be the underlying reason. Being publically ostracized is one of the worst feelings to experience as an Asian, and while it may be used to keep every citizen to behave properly, the only way we perceive not to bring shame is really to do nothing at all. Being embarrassed in public is a terrible feeling for Asian Males, and even behind closed doors as well.

This is really no different when you are doing something that is not in your field of expertise. Not only is there a steep learning curve, you have to go through endless amounts of mistakes before you even feel like you’re progressing.  As a result, our natural inclinations as Asian Males tend to be subdued.

Regarding the AMWF Relationship

This is definitely a reoccurring issue when dealing with an AMWF Relationship. If language issues are not a significant barrier, then I would guarantee that a White Female needs a certain level of mental and emotional stimulation through conversation.  When the Asian Male shrugs his shoulders when a White Female asks about dinner plans, it’s of slight annoyance. The problem is that she may think that you are indifferent, or have absolutely no confidence with your preference. Of course as an Asian Male you may have played a little too safe attempting to communicate that you really just wanted to be with her.

When it comes to using technological devices such as the latest smartphone, Asian Males take on a completely different persona. We know the technical specifications and how to synchronize it with a desktop computer. What happened? Asian Males tend to have the confidence when we have absolute certainty, and when we are not as certain, we play the conservative approach.

Thus, when we speak of building self-confidence, it is something Asian Males already have, but is often underdeveloped. It begins with a belief, and then action is taken.  What’s important is that it usually doesn’t work out on the first attempt, but take it as feedback to point you in the right direction.  So go out there not to be perfect, but to make yourself better one step at a time.

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21 Responses to Building Self-Confidence in Asian Men

  1. Sarah says:

    oh my god I think you got the last part spot on, When I was in my old college, My boyfriend used to meet me for lunch after my classes, Anytime I asked him where would you like to go, he would always always say up to you. That used to drive me crazy I always had to think of an idea,

    But when I got a new Samsung android phone that I had barely learned how to use, He was dying to show me how to connect to a wireless network get apps and blah blah blah basically set the whole phone up for me copy my numbers from the old phone and so on. He really loves working on all the latest gadgets like cameras, phones and so on.

    I think that was his way of showing he cared in his own way

    • AMWF Love says:

      Asian men often do just that to show they care. In fact ,the same thing happens to me. Even when I am with one guy or a few Asian men, and we want to go out to lunch, its always up to me where we go. I always wondered whey they do this, why they don’t seem to care. Then I began to see that its because they want to make me happy, and that makes them happy in return. They also will do anything for you, yes like fix your computer or show you how to do soemthing they are very good at. Again it is their way of showing how much they care.

      Asian men are very smart, confident, and pay a great deal of attention to detail.They just often are quiet about it and you don’t notice that they are paying attention to you until one day 6 months later they tell you all about something you may have already forgot. This happens to me and I often end up saying ” You remember that? Wow!” I am always amazed how they pay attention to whats important, even if you don’t notice that they did it at that time.

      As a women we need to remember that paying attention to what your Asian man is saying to you, even when he is not speaking is important. When he is quiet, or when he seems like he may not have much to say about a topic, It is most likely is because he is paying attention to you and being respectful. Now many Asian men today are a hybrid of this more traditional quiet mentality and an expressive self. They have lots to say about topics and often want to share that with you. In fact for the men who were not raised that way, who did not have much in the way of self expression, they really cherish the ability to be expressive with western women.

      -Laura

    • AMWF Love says:

      Hey Sarah,

      Of course this doesn’t apply to all Asian Males out there, well mostly Technophiles (I do call them Technophiles for a reason). Ambitious types do know what they want, in this case where to eat, but sometimes it’s rather selfish. Nobody likes being disregarded. Comedians really want somewhere open for socialization, and Individuals prefer eating at a hidden gem even if it’s a hole in the wall type of place.

      In Chinese culture we are raised as Chinese Men to be very attentive to our female partner. Yes, sometimes we are backwards in equal rights, but it’s more of a balance of roles. The male would labour to bring in the income, and the female would be in charge of domestic issues. Essentially she would be the one in charge of how the money is spent – so your boyfriend was not wrong to tell you it was up to you, he was just affirming that he just wants to be with you. Unfortunately it does’t quite get interpreted the same way for Western Females, and it comes out as indifference, when it is the opposite.

      I agree with you, it does show that he cares, but in a sense, it’s usually not enough for a Western Woman. There’s so much more emotional content that has to be fufilled, such as a real dialogue between both parties. Sometimes intellectually or emotionally stimulating. We don’t fully grasp that in Asia, because our mindset is often very physically orientated. Being taken care of for living expenses is simply not enough for a White Female. I’m glad you are patient with him, and I am certain he loves you very much. 🙂

      – Brian

  2. Alex says:

    If u are not intressted in the ambitious one but in technofile, is there a way to encourage a bit of selfishness but in a delecate way?

  3. Alex says:

    Hey Brian did I post something that offend u?

    • AMWF Love says:

      Oh hey Alex,

      No I’ve been out of town and been busy with work for the past week, so I haven’t been able to respond as much as I would like to. Internet time is limited. Sometimes responses can take 30 minute to an hour to come up with (writing wise, and hours of pre-thought before I write)

      I’ve been thinking about how to respond to your questions – sometimes it’s not quite a simple answer. In regards to having a technophile being a bit more selfish, is that you have to build up his confidence and autonomy. His happiness does not have to solely rely on yours, and he shouldn’t think that way (often we do as Asian men) This takes a considerable amount of reinforcement and encouragement on your part. Meaning he shouldn’t be spending every single minute of every single day with you. If he has a very productive interest/hobby then you can encourage him to continue it. Video games would definately not count, but let’s say volunteering is something productive.

      Honestly you don’t need to threaten him or nag him. He needs to know that you love him very much, but you don’t want him to be completely reliant on you for emotional needs. Sometimes do you need to hold his hand and show him the way, and he will listen. The key is to tell him from the bottom of your heart, and maybe he may need the voice combined with body language to pick up on it. Saying it once is certainly not enough – it takes a lot of repetition actually, Asian Men really need to hear it over and over.

      – Brian

  4. Alex says:

    Ok good to know, I should be more patient :)I though that maybe the thing i wrote about supression was viewed as negative.Im just sometimes really honest to start a discussion.Dont like if it is to much agreeing on stuff.Any way thanks for your quick replies even thou u are busy.It’s apreaciated by impatient people. 

    • AMWF Love says:

      No worries Alex.

      I just try to respond when I can. Longer responses do take awhile because of the nature of the writing and thought process. 🙂

      – Brian

  5. Alex says:

    I have a question regarding this subject that I was thinking if I should ask or not.So I decided that yeah I’ll ask 🙂
    Ok, what I was thinking is that when I ask my western male friends what the main diffrence is in dating Asian women and western women they would say pretty much its the same part from that they felt that they were kind of expected to be the one in charge and lead when they were with the Asian girls.Now I have never got how that goes with the Asian men then letting you decide what you like by saying it doesn’t matter which would kind of be the opposit in being in charge.What do Asians then consider as being in charge is or do those Asian women have diffrent expectation from Western males then Asian ones? Of course I do get that this can be western mens misunderstanding of the Asian women as well 🙂

  6. AMWF Love says:

    To be honest, now a days most Asian men are quite liberal and really enjoy the balance of power that can be shared in a relationship with a western women. A balance in a relationship is always best, so men should not think they need to be in charge, or not have any say in the relationship.
    -laura

  7. Alex says:

    Hi Laura 🙂

    Ok I do have to add that I didn’t say that western male particularly enjoyed this.Not all western males who like Asian women are male pigs even though lots of people want to think that.When it comes to Asian men being in charge its for me difficult to see how they are in the first place because I still have my own image from the western male and how they behave towards women so that somehow sets a standard for what a male pig is. Asian males I have met don’t act like that and neither can u see that behavior in the movies.The only negative thing I can see is that they are stuck in the same gender rolls like from the 50s.Meaning that women are super feminine and men are masculine and there doesn’t seem to be a diversity.So my own ignorence about Asian men would be that if for example I would drive a harley davidson and had tons of male friends because I have more masculine interests that would make me less desirable to Asian men.And thats how I do feel as well.I look feminine but I have tons of traits that my western male friends consider manly although when I do ask them they will never say Im masculine instead I get told that I think like a man.Most western men do love that about me because apperantly its easy to talk to me but at the same time the guys who like more girly girls even though Im not bad looking women they will not find me attractive after they get to know me.So my personal ignorence against Asian men is that its not really that I think I would be cooking because really that wouldn’t be the case, its more that my personality have to be like Kyle Minouges otherwise he would not feel masculine 🙂

    • AMWF Love says:

      Hey Alex,

      I feel kind of bad that I haven’t been around to write much for the blog. Anyways in regards to sharing the power for Asian men, they are quite liberal as Laura says. Sometimes almost too liberal that they let you have your way. For the Asian men, it’s a gesture of respect to allow for your opinion to be voiced. However, on a Western standpoint it can appear very timid and indifferent. Yes there are Asian men who are not sure of where they want to go out to eat for the night, but there are others who are very certain of what they want but as a sign of good faith, they are willing to go out and do something you like as a Western Woman.

      Tradtionally as we have discussed before the families are usually based on the male as the hunter/gather, and the female in charge of domestic issues. Times have changed and women in modern times have rights and freedoms they never had before half a century ago.

      The misconception in our society is what defines masculinity and being feminine. On a biological level women have two gameplans: the short game, and the long game. The short game searches for characteristics of strong alpha-like features. This may include physical aspects such as hulking muscles or agressive personality giving strong survival traits. Yes, they are favorable characteristics, but chances are that the relationship ends up short term, or in worse case scenario the single mother. The longterm strategy is building a solid relationship for life, often not the most rewarding early on. While it provides stability, it can also be perceived as boring and forgettable.

      I truly believe being a male isn’t just having traits to “fight & protect” with sheer physical dominance, it’s about allowing the female to be her best. A man is equally masculine when he can admit his flaws as a person and seek atonement. Yes he still wishes to protect and provide, but he isn’t a complete pushover.

      Women aren’t exactly looking for a man who cries all the time to sappy romantic comedies, but one who understands and can empathize with them as a man. He does not have to feel or act like her, but has to understand her, and always have a strong connection beyond the physical realm with her.

      One of the reasons why I perfer White Females is because I want to escape from the girly girls. I’m not looking for a relationship with a female with the mindset of a twelve year old girl. Frankly I don’t care if she ages either, because experiences we share together, and the connection far outweighs a youthful appearance. Well that’s just my opinion. There’s far more than just the “girly Asian guys”. That’s all I am saying. 🙂

      – Brian

  8. Alex says:

    Hi Brian
    Yeah I agree that there is some big misconception in West what masculine vs femme is.The biggest one is actually the one you are bringing up with the more muscular alpha males that are seen in our society as protectors.Women sometimes see this men as brave and strong but they don’t realize that most likely with this type of men they will end up being the strong one in the relationship and do the shit job but the guy will get all credit like they have always done. The perfect example of it is the movie 300, I think that movie sums up perfectly the gender rolls. He goes out to war and she is left to be screwed by that nasty guy plus has to ask the elders for help and fight for him and her self. The only thing he has to do is go and die in a war.
    I mean that is the perfect methapor for the shit women had to put in traditional relationships.And like irony in life this women see this men as them protecting them. How I ask when you have to screw that guy to save your man??? But I think now days a lot of women have figured this out and become more aggressive and they go out to wars. Problem of course is that they are now as well seen as strong independent, witch in my opinion is a totally irony because in reality thats what is the opposite of strong. So now everyone is kind of celebrating Angelina in Tomb Raider and this is what means to be a strong woman but in my opinion women in west haven’t become stronger at all.Instead they have become as weak as the traditional men have been and thats what it makes it more equal. Men of course bitch about this how we have become more manly and they like more femme women but what in reality they want is a women to be strong and do all the hard job and then see him as a hero. Of course the men who like this modern women and claim how they like strong women in reality want weak women but they just don’t get it.This is mainly because aggression and taking what you want in life without thinking of others is seen as strong in west. Now I don’t want to go to much in to it because I have hard time explaining in english and some of my ideas could offend someone if I don’t put it nicely. But I have read somewhere that in Asia aggression is seen as bad. Also sometimes when watching Asian movies I do get a feeling that Asians could be much closer to how it should be. Of course Im not talking about Koreans drama but fantasy movies like Crounching Tiger Hidden Dragon that put some fantasy ideology that does not of course reflect reality but is much better then what Tomb Raider fantasy is portraying in my opinion.

    • AMWF Love says:

      Usually what happens when we lose control of our emotions in Asian culture is when we become irrational. We lose our level-headed thinking. As you probably know already the majority of our basic emotions are ones that we use to naturally protect ourselves. According to Ekman (1972), our basic emotions are: Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, and Surprise.

      It’s no wonder that Asians tend to shy away from expressing basic emotions when 4/6 are not neutral/happy (happiness & surprise).

      Actually come to think of it, the real pursuit in Asian culture is more of a balance – almost a certain level of emptiness. Happiness is just the opposite of sadness, and it is not a proper balance. If you are extremely happy all the time, when you encounter someone very even tempered, you would tend to view him as pessimistic when he’s really just balanced.

      The problem with the strong independent woman mindset is that it results in exactly what it preaches. Independence. Yes it does somewhat feel liberating not having to deal with societal expectation and obligations, but in the end it gets very lonely without someone. Personally I have a problem with that message. To me it says “I don’t need you” or “I don’t need anyone to be happy”, when in fact it should be “I can be myself” or “I am free to do what I love”. Women still love being cared and having the little things done for her. To project the feelings like you don’t need anyone will just result in that. 🙂 As you can tell, based on my TCAI model, I am strongly an Individual.

      – Brian

  9. Alex says:

    Well the control of emotions doesn’t necessarily mean that actions are better because the emotions will still be there and they will influence your way of doing things as much as expressing them will do.You did cover earlier about Hong Kong and the reason why Asians did this. But I also think that in history this most have originated as a way to control people like christianity did in Europe. Personally I don’t think it matters that much because control it or not I think in both cases you will have to question your actions any way to be a better person.It is possible that if you live in West you will have to find a balance between both ways because it may not always work in your favor since everything in West would be more towards expressing them. Personally part from the passive aggressiveness there is some sexual elements with this in Asian men that makes them according to me the perfection of a male but this would be more towards the sexuality and the manly vs femme rolls in the bedroom. When it comes to independent women I think you are right there but that is also a direct response from the crap women have to put up from men and other women that try to put you down. On the other subject I have been thinking if I should say this because I don’t know you but I do have a input in this thing of Individuality that apparently would be missing in Asia.My personal believe is that Asians in Asia have as much individuality as we have in West. The reason why I say this is because this thing with being individual in west is nothing but crap that has originate from companies that try to sell us things. Humans always want to feel like the thing they are thinking and doing is something that matters but thats because they have a fear of dying and the idea that you will disappear is scary and you want to make a mark here on the planet. The reality is that we are not made to be individuals as the west claims because the perfect example is that we cant survive in isolation. We need other people to double check our thinking and because of that we will be always influence of others. Even if you intent to go agains any believe we have in west, other will follow and soon you are not special, not to mention that someone probably had that idea before you or your actions are direct influence of others people ways. Star Trek has a perfect example of this what I see as irony. The biggest treat to Federation is the Borgs. But when you think of it they are not that different from each other. They both live on ships in a community with the same outfits with regulations that they have to follow and one captain.On both ships there is a common goal, Borgs to assimilate and dominate and Federation is to explore. Resistance is futile ha ha. Thats something that I will say to people that try to be different.No point resisting. Borgs philosophy is so true. You just have to love Star Trek :)I hope I don’t offend you now Brian, because really its not my intention.Its just that I think Asians in Asia are fine as they are.

    • AMWF Love says:

      No way Alex, I LOVE Star Trek. My absolute favorite series has to be The Next Generation. I guess you can guess my favourite character from TNG? Yep, you guessed it. Data. I love how he is willing to learn and always have moments where he doesn’t “get it”. Spock was awesome, but also at times a major ass.

      When I talk about individuality I mean people who are willing to break away from societal norms. We have seen a lot of counter-culture reactions in Japanese subculture – especially the fashion. I can’t imagine how dreadful it is having your life permanently as a “salaryman” – working to support your family and speaking less and less to your wife as you both age.

      The most difficult part with Asians is that we are not raised by our parents to be expressive or creative. Early on we get a regiment of after hour schooling, piano/violin, and if we are lucky: sports. This is not really a bad thing, but our parents try to make us better than they were, but they use the same methods they were taught as a child. While it does work most of the time, it leaves us Asian Men with an incomplete character. Yes we have some academic intelligence, but we lose out on leadership or other character skillsets. Our mothers tend to overparents and love us to death by taking care of us, when in fact we need to learn to grow up.

      Yes we do have a sort of freedom in the West (without government opression), but we live in a life full of choices guided by politics and corporations. Our lifestyle choices start to reflect what television and popular culture dictate. We want to be like our idols, and we make life choices to align ourselves with our wishes. When I talk about individuality, it’s about the ability to have and express it. Eastern cultures do not foster or value this – while it is totally possible over there. In the West, we have the ability for it, but we tend to not use it to its fullest potential – thus becomes wasted.

      Thanks for writing Alex, it’s always a blast hearing from you!

      – Brian

  10. Alex says:

    Funny I have the same taste as you in Star Trek. Well part from that I always secretly wanted to be captain Picard and be married to Data ha ha.7 of 9 is my favorite from the Voyager series and Spock in the new movie.I just love how he turns down academy when they insulted his mother…aaa my favorite moment. Can watch that scene over and over again 🙂 Any way back to individuality yeah I understand that it could be tough sometimes if you don’t have your own freedom and there is that government that don’t allow you to have Facebook 🙂 I’m not really wise what the best thing really is.I have to get older and understand a bit more about life, so maybe you can ask me when Im 50 if I have figured it out. Now I just turned 30 and to be honest I really don’t see that in West there is so much freedom.If Japanese salary men work hard and they don’t see they wifes well its similar to western people who don’t have money and have to work 3 jobs to support they kids.I wouldn’t say that they see they kids that much and there is not that much choice there either. We have of course sub cultures here everywhere but the funny thing is that its still the same principal as Star Trek. Lots of small ships still belonging to one and that is Federation. You can brake away and do you own thing but unless you are Amish and you are thinking to create your own farm you will still be depending on the people you brake away from.Witch basically will mean that you will end up defending your choices on a regular bases and I don’t know if thats really somehow freedom. Regarding the incomplete character you are mentioning in you post. I honestly don’t thing you should look at it that way.If you think of the opossit and that your parents raise you to be more expressive with lots of freedom and I can say I have met lots of people like that. Sure they have more artistic skills, sure they can be flexible, but they character fault would most likely be there is no real responsibility, most of them would not work hard unless it suits they egoistic needs and I bet my ass of that if you would be on a sinking ship with them, they are not the ones who are gonna sacrifice them selfs for you.Of course Im generalizing when Im saying this but I truly think that when raising kids you can’t really do enough good job because its never gonna be perfect regardless on what type of parenting you choose.Im not saying that Im for the military upbringing.I had that my self and I was not happy as a child regarding this but I see it now not as a character fault instead as an advantage.I will take good parts from it and the thing that is missing I will just add it myself.Its fun now to challenge my self to be more creative, its fun to not book a room in advance and show up at a place spontaneously and lots of other stuff that I can fill a whole page with.The people that had the opposite childhood will have much more difficult to adopt to other way around because they part will not be as fun. Plus I will be able to do a better job with my own kids some day because they will have a mixture from the both strict and the free 🙂

  11. AMWF Love says:

    My all time favourite from Star Trek has to be from the film Star Trek: Generations. This is when Data gets the emotion chip. 🙂

    I personally loved Star Trek for the allusion to our own humanity. There was this social-political element to it that made it so fascinating. Yes the most recent film was pretty kick ass and fun, but the older series and films had so much character. I was so sad when Data suicided in Nemesis, but at least he implanted his data into B4 – and Picard smiles.

    – Brian

  12. Alex says:

    I cant really say that I loved it because of the social-political elements. Its more the fantasy and trying to figure out the metaphor behind it. I have my own superhero that I have created and all the stuff that happens to her in my head amazingly you can direct translate that to what has happened in reality and how I was feeling.
    So thats why I love all fantasy movies out here, always trying to figure out what that stands for in real life. But yeah you are right the old series are the better ones or as I see it its kind of diffrent type of Star Trek. Same as batman now, the new ones are good but somehow you just love the two first movies more. And yeah I was upset when Data “died”, I actually started to cry.The writers should not even joke killing the main characters in Star Trek. So not funny 🙂

  13. brittany220 says:

    Yeah I don’t know why some people assume that Asian men or women are not confident and quiet all the time. I have a tendency to be reserved and cautious as well. I guess it’s out of fear of embarrassment, but if you put it another way really being cautious just means that you want to do well. There are definite positives to shyness and introversion too, like sensitivity to others, kindness, empathy, etc.

    • AMWF Love says:

      Well put Brittany,

      Just because there are people who are more cautious and reserved than others, does not mean they are not confident. They just have a think before acting mentality. This is useful in situations that require attention to detail or any possible lawsuits from careless action.

      Like I have mentioned earlier, even the quieter types are confident with many things, but the scope of audience is different. An extroverted person loves the crowd, while someone more introverted would prefer 1-2 people at most. Everyone has their own preferences and that’s what makes it so great.

      – Brian

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