How To Radically Improve Your Mandarin Communication IMMEDIATELY
With These Two Simple Steps: “The Mandarin Mingle Method”.
I used to have no clue how to communicate with Mandarin-speakers.
I’m not just talking about speaking Mandarin, although that’s part of it. I mean communicate!
To really communicate I had to learn Mandarin of course,
and I totally did, but even…
But even when you’re talking to Mandarin-speakers in English,
and later when you’re starting to get comfortable speaking Mandarin yourself.
I would be chatting away with my Taiwanese girlfriend and her social group
thinking we were having a great time only to be thrown into an angry argument the moment we left the gathering.
And I didn’t even know what I’d done wrong!
This was so frustrating! Frankly, it drove me NUTS!
I can’t tell you how many social events that turned into an invisible minefield…
all because I didn’t understand these basic assumptions about Mandarin conversation!
I wanted to have great relationships with people and be a part of society,
but instead I found myself being shut out from everyday interactions with family and friends.
But through a TON of experience I figured out TWO THINGS that you can start doing immediately to improve your communication and start fitting in with the Mandarin-speaking group.
This is what I started doing:
As Westerners we’re brought up with the ASSUMPTION that communication is about information and opinions.
So we’re always listening for a chance to give our OPINION, even if it’s just “yes!” or “no!”. We’re always looking for an answer or an explanation for everything.
I realized that in a Mandarin-speaking environment the conversation in itself is the point, and I stopped constantly evaluating what was being said waiting for my turn to voice my opinion. INSTEAD I started using the word “uhm!” (嗯), just like the locals do.
“Uhm!” is a real word in Mandarin, and it means that you’re paying attention. You’re acknowledging the SOCIAL INTERACTION and encouraging the speakers in a positive way that “feels like a yes” without offering any opinion about what’s being said.
Just by using this one word I deemphasize the focus on my personal opinion and emphasize LISTENING to the thoughts of my social group.
It’s so SIMPLE it’s amazing how long it took me to figure this out.
Sometimes I do want to make my opinion heard, and so will you.
Like for example when making plans for a night out.
In these situations I used to think:
The two of us decided on going downtown for a hotpot at 7PM, then there will be one way of going there that’s OBJECTIVELY the best and a certain time we’ll have to leave.
I thought the GOAL was to come up with the logistics solution. That was a MISTAKE.
Mandarin-speakers tend to use the word “maybe” (可能 – Kěnéng) a lot.
The assumption is that LIFE IS FLEXIBLE and nothing is ever set in stone.
So I started taking a more RELAXED ATTITUDE to social plans and programmes, and began to speak in terms of POSSIBILITY instead of in terms of ABSOLUTE PREFERENCE, and it changed everything!
This approach IMMEDIATELY released the tension of will-against-will in social settings to one of MUTUAL COOPERATION.
Suddenly I went from being a frustrated OUTSIDER to being PART OF THE GROUP, and we were deciding TOGETHER!
By using “The Mandarin Mingle Method”
my personal RELATIONSHIPS to my Mandarin-speaking social group are stronger than ever!
I have even REVERSED damage I caused previously by being impatient and too focused on my own way of thinking
But VERY best of all …
I did all of this with NO RISK OF REJECTION or social stigmatization.
This is because these methods have been designed over centuries to be non-threatening and to maintain social harmony!
So now I don’t have to waste my time trying to figure out If I’m unwittingly upsetting anyone,
and what repercussions may come later.
Because I know that feeling, and believe me it totally SUCKS.
That’s why, if you feel like “The Mandarin Mingle Method” might REALLY IMPROVE LIFE for you
when it comes to socializing with Mandarin speakers,
I’m here to tell you it’s really just the tip of the iceberg…
This is just one of many essential skills to IMPROVE and MAINTAIN your social relationships LONG TERM, in Mandarin.
Want to learn a ton more?
There’s a place you can go RIGHT NOW to do it…
is literally jam-packed with DOZENS and DOZENS of tips, insights and techniques for moving FAST from “What am I doing wrong?” to “My social circle loves me!” –
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