Stuck in the Comfort Zone

Do you have your comfort zone? Maybe it was under the bed sheets as a child, or It’s really hard to depart from a comforting familiarity. Everyone has that place, whether it would be the people, objects, or environment. This is the refuge we create when adversity strikes. It is almost an automated response manufactured by our habits.

While this is universal, I find it very interesting when applying this to relationships of Asian Men and Non-Asian women. As I have mentioned before, a relationship such as AMWF may face more challenges because there are different societal and cultural upbringings between the two parties. I would not say this is a setback, but it requires a different approach compared to an Asian Male Asian Female relationship. Regardless if the female is White, Black, Hispanic, or of another ethnic background we have to understand that these relationships are more of a complimentary paring rather than a similar (compatible) matching.

Both may value family (similar/compatible), but the Asian approach may have more family influence with children over a Western mentality. Weekly Sunday dinner visits to the parents would be almost expected – only to have a mundane conversation of work and weekly updates.

Now back to the comfort zone. What I find most striking looking back at my Asian upbringing was the creation of an environment where I was mostly unwilling to venture off to the unknown. I approached things when I was sure the results would exactly meet my expectations. Working hard would result in good grades and minimal scolding from an over controlling father. Video games provided a virtual challenge that failures would be less embarrassing. Not only that, I soon surrounded myself with like-minded individuals who enjoyed video games, computers, and other technological devices. Life was good.

There is only one problem with spending so much time in the wonderful comfort zone, relationships such as AMWF is next to impossible without some form of compromise and understanding. Traditionally Asian Men are measured by their social status and economic contribution to the family – so a car, house, and job would deem him dating material and additional cars and houses would make him even more attractive, and probably more respected by the Asian public. Don’t be surprised if an Asian Man makes gift giving gestures to signal his financial status.

While Western females recognize this, many also realize there is much more to life than just the collection of material items. Comfort to them is being able to finally take down the emotional barriers and be able to express their feelings candidly with a positive feedback. As a result, we realize that there are adjustments that have to be made when dealing with these kinds of relationships. Otherwise the woman views the Asian man as unresponsive or indifferent.

So how do we change our comfort zones? The simple statement is hard work, and the longer explanation is to create and develop a new environment which will result in a new comfort zone. It takes a lot of time to change behavior and habits, but it is possible – but not easy. Remember, nothing risked is nothing gained.

Advertisements

4 Responses to Stuck in the Comfort Zone

  1. Regalo says:

    The hardest part of stepping out of the comfort zone is stepping out in the first place. I use to be like the way you described, studying hard to get good grades to avoid the parent’s anger, playing video games as hours just whip by because failing real life challenges were dreadful. I had to summon a lot of courage stepping out of my comfort zone and not just by talking to non asian females but in other parts of my life as well. After that, it got a little easier. Also I like to leave behind this quote; “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller. Many find comfort zones as a form of security, but it’s mostly superstition as she mentioned because staying too long in your comfort zone has consequences as well.

  2. Brandon says:

    Ah!

    The good old comfort zone concept of not venturing out.

    I do not believe that asians (men in this case) are unique in delving into academics and video games to be safe. This is from observing friends and people of differing ethnicity all my life.

    If you are asian, especially an asian guy living in North America (the US in my case), I think that the individual will suffer unnecessarily in trying to please their impossible to please parents.

    Good grades? Do it for yourself. After all, it is your education, your life and your future. I have been there done that. Forget about your parents approval or disapproval. Don’t disrespect them. But realize, and convey to them, that it is you that will live with the choices made. And those choices should be your own.

    My parents are amazed and disappointed at the same time. I have a very very (very) high status profession. White collar as white collar as can be. Successful, yes. Well respected in the community. Yes. Whatever. You name it. I have it. While my parents are secretly proud of me, they still talk about how smart and successful their friends kids are. Trust me. Only one person of my family friends is on the same status as me and that is the person they never compare me to.

    So, why all this seemingly arrogant boasting? Because I found that trying to please your parents should be the least important thing in your life. Thus, this goes the same for failure. For you can not have success without failure.My parents would berate unrelentingly me for doing things that they didn’t ‘approve’ of and would fail at. And I have failed a lot to be where I am.

    I would have never ever achieved what I have achieved without stepping out of my ‘comfort zone’. I am not afraid of people judging me me nor saying negative things about me. In fact, if I even listened to my best friend with my career choice, I would not be where I am today. Let’s not even talk about what my parents said to me.

    Did I get good grades? No. I got ridiculously amazing grades. Not for anyone but me because I knew I needed them to get into the grad program I wanted to get into. Do I play video games to escape and avoid challenge? No. I went over to my friends when he just got Guitar Hero. He had been playing for a week or so. I made it a point to not only beat his high score but to destroy it.

    As for relationships, I found no difference whether my girlfriend was asian or white. All women want and need attention. Are there cultural differences? Sure, tom a degree. But remember: Changing for yourself is good. Changing for someone is disastrous.

    Change yourself if you want to do better in life. Not because you want some nookie.

    If anyone has read my previous posts, one would know that she is an amazingly gorgeous natural blonde. She loves me exactly the way I am. I have not changed a thing about myself to be with her. And she tells me constantly that she loves me exactly the way I am and doesn’t want to change anything about myself. I feel the same way about her. She isnt with me because I am asian. And I am not with her because she is white. We are together because we love each other who are.

    Comfort zone? Stay in it if you want. But don’t complain if you look back and feel unfulfilled because the only person to blame is yourself.

    • tranvk says:

      I like your post and you spot on about doing thing that is right for you. I was supposed to be an engineer and I studied mechanical engineering but got bored with it. Math and science were my two strongest subjects and it was easy but no longer an interest so I studied political science and history. Holy cow, that was tough! Having to read and write so much with English as my second language but I saw it through. I joined the military right after college and retired after a successful and extremely rewarding career. Surprisingly enough, my political science and history studies served me very well as a military officer.

      I have a doctor, a dentist, engineers, commodity trader, programmer and an accountant in the family but I think my parents are very proud of my career and I hear it often from their friends. I would have to thank my parents for letting all the kids study whatever they want, even when they asked me, “what are you going to do with that degree?”

      In my belief, stepping out of your comfort zone helps you learn and grow I was not trying to break any stereotype and just did it because that was what I wanted to do. I would not want to be on my death bed thinking about I should have done this or that.

      My Mom would sometimes mention that some of my acquaintances in school are very successful dentists and doctors, living in huge houses, driving nice cars, etc. I would tell her that they used to copy my homework and could not figure out calculus, physics or chemistry. I think most Asians would consider me stupid for joining the military, probably because it is not something Asians normally do and only people who failed out of school or rednecks do that.

      My proudest achievement? I brought every Marine ever entrusted to me home to their parents, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers.

  3. Pingback: 2012 Blogs By Western Women Who Love Chinese Men | Speaking of China

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: