Can You Keep a Promise with Your Friends?

Recently I enjoy chatting with my new Austrian friend over Skype. When I chatted with him, he taught me a very interesting story about Japanese people. The story is kind of the culture reference. I hope my this journal entry will be useful for you to know about Japanese people.

For Japanese people, promises have very important meanings. After we promise with somebody, we try not to let someone disappoint because of breaking the promise. We try to exert a effort to realize our promise. After we promise, most of us will look forward to realizing our promise. To promise has such meanings for us.

On the other hand, in Western culture, according to my Australian friend, to promise isn’t so important thing. Even if people promise, they don’t look forward to their promise. It means for western people to promise isn’t so big deal even if they broke their promises. Therefore, after they promise, even if they broke it, they don’t mind so much.

There is our culture reference. If Japanese person and Western person promise, do you think what happens to them? If they didn’t know about the behavior’s meaning each other, they might get confused. And then, Japanese people might get mad if the promise was very important issue for them. You might lose your Japanese friends because of your ignorance.

I think Japanese people are much more serious than western people. I also would love to tell you about other story. Do you know that our society is very punctual? Japanese people keep time sharply. If you promise that you set your dating time at 8:00 am, Japanese people keep the promise and we show up on time very sharply. Therefore, we don’t like loose people who don’t keep our promise.

I really hope this tip will help you to communicate with your Japanese friends.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matthew
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 17:51:03

    For Western culture I think keeping promises is more up to the individual. I don’t think it is ok to break promises, but I understand circumstances can happen (ex. flat tire etc.) where someone can’t do what they promised. However, if some continues to make promises they can’t keep, I start not to trust them anymore.

    So I think promises are taken seriously here, but probably not on the same level of seriousness as Japan.


  2. yumi
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 22:25:34

    Hi, Matt. Thanks for the comment. I’m very sorry to respond you too late. Of course, it depends on our character. Yes, I think keeping promises is much more serious here than America. However, it makes us feel stressed a lot.


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