Detective Note

Vol.019 – Conquering Personal Faults


Theme:Conquering Personal Faults

Interviewer: Hu Lin

Lin:Today I`d like to ask your advice about my personality. Compared to other people, I feel like I live on an intense emotional rollercoaster. For example, in the morning I can be just fine and at night I am totally depressed. I have a hard time controlling my emotional state of mind.




Mende:Really?! Your emotions can really go so high and just plummet in such a short period of time?! In just one day?!

Lin: Yes, in just a few hours. I can be feeling great, but then all of a sudden I`m really down. In fact yesterday was like that. I just didn`t feel like talking to or interacting with anyone. When I have days like that I can`t explain myself very well in Japanese and I have a hard time communicating.

Mende:Lin, I don`t think this has to do with your personality. I think it might have more to do with balancing your emotions. I don`t think it is a problem with your personality, but more of your temperament.

Lin:By temperament, do you mean physically speaking?

Mende:Not physical as in your actual body, but I was thinking more of mental tendencies. Everyone has different characteristics, physically and mentally. Your personality may lean towards more cognitive thinking and emotion, just like others could be described as shy or bossy.

Lin:I think I have one more personality flaw. I can`t speak to people I meet for the first time very well. In order to improve as a contributing member of society, I need to be able to communicate better with people I meet for the first time.

Mende:Yes, it`s not easy, but everyone has the ability to control their personality, make changes, or fix flaws. Embarking on self-improvements is always worth a try.

Lin:My dream is to become a teacher. However, as is, I am not good a speaking in front of people. I might not be cut out for the profession. I`d really like to improve on such personal traits.
Mende:Coming from China you might not be able to use Japanese exactly like your mother language. I think you might be more reserved in Japanese or get frustrated when you can`t explain things well.

Lin:Maybe so. However, I gave several presentation in Japanese throughout the past year and I was not nervous at all. I think they went very well. My boss was sitting in on the presentations, so I think that is why I didn`t get nervous. I don`t feel any pressure, mentally, if I feel I have someone on my side listening to the presentation.

In front of a group of people, I think I feel more comfortable speaking in Japanese than Chinese. When I was studying Japanese, we had to give many presentations and I really got the hang of it. I don`t have many opportunities to present in Chinese and I haven`t learned the “rules” of a Chinese presentation. It still makes me nervous.

Mende: It is important to just get used to doing something though frequent practice and experience. It you don’t go with your boss to a presentation is it scary? Maybe you can encourage yourself by thinking “Today is an opportunity to present by yourself. An opportunity to gain experience.” If it doesn`t go well there is always a next time. People are programed to progress and rise. I have been doing it for 60 years! When I was a university student I wasn`t afraid to speak out and I gained many practical experiences that way, but I have also had my share of embarrassing moments. Embarrassing yourself is just part of the process of becoming a good public speaker.

Lin:I think many Japanese students are good at public speaking, but maybe this just a personality trait?

Mende:When I was a professor I think most of my students were not very good public speakers. Especially lately, most students do not look you in the eye when speaking. When I asked some of my students to look at me while speaking they would tell me they “aren`t comfortable speaking face to face so I should read their blog.” So from my experiences, I don`t think Japanese students are good speakers, at all. Many young students and young adults, for example those like you who grew up in China as an only child under the government`s one child policy, are very timid and don`t want to embarrass themselves. I understand where they are coming from, but when you are young you should really experience lots of humiliating situations. It`s a good way to learn and experience is the best teacher.

Lin:Maybe so. I`ll try to put myself out there. Challenge myself. Try new things with an air of confidence to gain experience and become a better designer. Thank you for our talk today.