Do Koreans Talk Behind Your Back? And Why?


I’ll let you in on a secret. Koreans are non-stop talkers. But what is it that’s so important that they have to be gossiping all the time? The problem is an inefficient system to get correct information. Since there’s a social penalty to directly ask someone a question, especially your ‘superior’, you have to go through backchannels.

This can be exhausting work because other people are in the same boat having to interpret and reinterpret bits and pieces of clues. Moreover, this is a ripe scenario for plotters and schemers to manipulate the ‘truth’ that everyone’s trying to piece together.

Since you can’t sufficiently verify good information from bad, you have to weigh lies equally with fact. That results in more and more talking to gather more and more data so that you don’t mess up your final decision. Therefore, if you see a Korean person that needs to ‘rest’, their brain more than their body is probably overheating from a web of social calculus.

It’d all be so much easier if you could just verify directly with the source. But that’d be, well, too efficient.


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