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Why is it hard making friends in Japan? 2020/12/8 09:30
Hi guys, recently I have been very upset because I can feel that the gfriendsh I used to call in Japan feels insincere.

At first, they were very warm and welcome. They would message me all the time. Suddenly, they would message less and less. Even when we were hanging out, they were very cheerful and friendly. They even told me to tell them if I have any problems. And when I do tell them, I feel like they become less and less interested chatting with me. Why offer this when they donft really want it? (PS: Itfs not about monetary problem, itfs about relationship and cultural advise).

Our last hang out was a bit awkward, I felt their coldness this time. They no longer chat with me. I feel like any words I would say, it would be just a mistake and they would look at each other like Ifm a weirdo or something. And I also got hints that theyfre talking about me behind my back.

I did my best being friends with them but we slowly drifted apart. So I decided to leave the group and cut communication with them.

Ifm a foreigner whofs still struggling about Japanese culture and customs. They wouldnft teach me anything, I would have appreciated it if they would have been more open. But usually itfs always like gfake-niceh. Smiling but definitely not happy.

So I am very confused, is this normal in Japan? Why is it hard to make friends?

Thank you..
by galadriel143  

Re: Why is it hard making friends in Japan? 2020/12/8 10:58
What you describe isnt just a Japanese thing. You have just described what happens anywhere in the world.

You are new to a community. Just like all relationships. People give it a go at the start. But they may not be into upon further continued interaction, dissimilar interests etc.

All you can do is try to meet new people.

by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Why is it hard making friends in Japan? 2020/12/8 12:07
As the other poster said, it's been normal to me in Japan as it has been in the U.S. which are the two countries I've lived in (as a Japanese youth). I gradually found ways to make other friends in each country.

Through the process, I realized that the reason I lost friends was because I was being negative, I offered less than what I was gaining, I hadn't gained the reputation that I had unintentionally gained from my old friends, and I was following the trends that didn't fit into that specific group.

When I found my flock of swans, I realized I had been the ugly duckling. The swans were often those who share same and rare hobbies as mine, and they were either mature inside or forced to be matured. Either way, I'm glad I hadn't tried to follow some dumb trends just to attract "friends".

Of course, that's just about me.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Why is it hard making friends in Japan? 2020/12/8 13:28
From the nature of your post, I'm guessing that you moved to Japan as an adult. Making new friends as an adult in a new community is difficult in any country.

That said, you may also have made things especially difficult for yourself.

uThey even told me to tell them if I have any problems. And when I do tell them, I feel like they become less and less interested chatting with me. Why offer this when they donft really want it? (PS: Itfs not about monetary problem, itfs about relationship and cultural advise).v

Again, not knowing your former friends, I can only guess, but it's possible when they offered to help you with problems, they weren't aware of the sort of problems you would come to them with. Though I wasn't born in Japan, I've lived here for 15 years, and I'm trying to put myself in their shoes, i.e. if I met someone who was new to Japan and we became friends.

I'd probably say something like "Let me know if you have any problems, and I'll be happy to help you out," but I'd probably be envisioning things like "I'm having trouble signing up for smartphone service," "How do I tell the hairdresser to cut my hair a certain way?", or "I'm lost! How do I get from Station A to Station B?"

But on the other hand, if they came to me with "I'm having trouble with my boyfriend," that might be a larger, and more personal, problem than I expected I'd have to deal with. If you haven't known each other that long, and the friendship isn't that deep yet, they might feel uncomfortable or unsure about commenting on your love life, even at the level of saying "Yeah, your boyfriend was wrong/he should do what you're asking him to do" or "I know you're a wonderful person, and I'm sure you'll find someone who'll give you the love you deserve just as you are."

"But they said to tell them if I had 'any' problems!" you might say, but if it's outside what they imagined, they might not be prepared for it. Like, even if I told someone I'd help them with "any problems," I wouldn't expect the to then ask me to donate my kidney, and if they did, I might distance myself from them socially/emotionally, since I don't think I'd be able to supply the intensity of friendship they're looking for.

uItfs not about monetary problem, itfs about...cultural advise.v
Again, I'm having to guess here, but I haven't been part of too many conversations where someone says "I just arrived in this country and I need advise about this part of the culture that I absolutely love!"

Generally, when new arrivals are seeking cultural advice, it's about some aspect of the culture that they find unpleasant, unnecessary, or illogical. There's nothing wrong with feeling that way, but it's important to bear in mind that all cultures are a group-decided affair. Japanese culture is the way it is because of how people in Japan generally act. So if you're saying, for example "People in Japan are too focused on work! I told my boss I had a date, but he asked me to work overtime anyway! It's so strange!", the very fact that that sort of thing happens in Japan means there's a chance that the person you're talking to DOESN'T think it's strange.

"Yeah, I'd be unhappy if we still had work to do but one of my coworkers dashed out of the office right at quitting time too," they might be thinking. So they have to sit there and listen to you make what, is to them, an unfair complaint, and then possibly explain why they think it's not strange afterwards. Sure, that might be an interesting cultural debate to some people, but not everyone is in the mood to justify the cultural norms of their country on a regular basis when they're spending time with "friends."

uThey wouldnft teach me anything,v
Again, I'm trying to put myself in their shoes. If I was in the U.S. (my home country) and met a person from Japan who regularly came to me looking for advice about cultural difficulties they were experiencing, I'm not sure how strong our friendship would be. I'm not saying I wouldn't try to help them out, but I don't think I'd think of them as "Hey, it's my good buddy Hiroshi!" if Hiroshi was regularly coming to me with problems. Instead, I'd start to think of him as someone who needs help, and if I felt like our friendship was new/casual enough that his problems were too large or numerous for me to help with, I might start calling him less and also avoiding his invitations to hang out if I felt like getting together was going to turn into another session of me explaining the reasons for some aspect of U.S. culture he doesn't like very much.
by . . . . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Why is it hard making friends in Japan? 2020/12/8 17:34
probably, it is driven from the miss-matching from what you expect others as friends and what others (your friends ?) expect you as a friend. the relationship must be mutual or complementary, but, probably may not in your case.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

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