5 Common Traits of Chinese People's Personality | That's Mandarin (2024)

Oct 15, 2021 | Chinese Mentality

For most Chinese learners, an effective way to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture is to make some Chinese friends. Consequently, it’ll be a good idea to know a bit about Chinese people’s personality in order to make your communication with them more pleasant. In this article, we will take a look at five typical features of Chinese people’s personality in order to help you better understand their mentality.

5 Common Traits of Chinese People's Personality | That's Mandarin (1)

1. Making Concessions

You will hardly find any Chinese people who would constantly insist on doing something. In fact, Chinese people’s tendency to seek compromise can be noticed in many situations. For instance, Chinese people tend to actively express their own views during a discussion or a debate, however, they are also “unconsciously” making concessions by pointing out what they agree with in other participants’ opinions and starting to make complimentary comments on it. In China, people are considered to be educated and courteous if they are willing to accept other people’s opinions even if they don’t totally agree with them.

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2. Collectivism

Many Chinese people think collectivism provides a sense of security, and it’s explicitly reflected in their attitudes in terms of dealing with interpersonal relationships. For example, most Chinese employees are quite submissive when working with their teammates in order to create a harmonious atmosphere within the team. Meanwhile, they always listen to their team leaders even if they hold a different view regarding a certain issue as they feel safe if they “go with the flow”.

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3. Being Conservative

Generally speaking, Chinese people are very conservative, especially when it comes to love relationships. That’s probably why many westerners think Chinese people (especially men) are not romantic. Chinese people are educated in a way that “forces” them to focus on their work. In the traditional Chinese culture, Chinese men’s top priority is to earn enough money to provide their family members with a decent life, whereas Chinese women are supposed to take care of the housework and create a pleasant living environment. In addition, filial piety plays a tremendous role in Chinese people’s lives, therefore, there is not much time left for them to enjoy those romantic moments, without which westerners can’t live comfortably.

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4. The Idea of “Losing Face”

In no circ*mstance would Chinese people like to “lose face”, which means they try to avoid feeling ashamed or embarrassed in any situation. Meanwhile, some Chinese people tend to brag about expensive things they own to show that they lead an extravagant life. From a materialistic perspective, some people in China often see others as potential rivals and strive to “look better” than their peers. When it comes to Chinese parents, their kids’ excellent school performance is what they are proud of in front of their friends and relatives.

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5. Discipline

Chinese people are quite disciplined when facing a “national crisis”, and it can be easily seen in terms of how they’ve been coping with the spread of the coronavirus. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across China were actively carrying out the protective measures (including wearing a mask in all public places, social distancing, and self-isolation) suggested by the government and making a joint effort to minimize the negative impact the pandemic had on their lives. Chinese people have been told to listen to the elderly and their superiors since they were kids, and no matter if it’s their work or problems they encounter in their daily lives, they do everything carefully by the book.

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by Ivan Cao

Ivan Cao is an experienced teacher at That’s Mandarin. Apart from his native language, Chinese, he also speaks English and Russian fluently — thanks to his family ties and extensive experience living and studying abroad. He’s one of our rockstar teachers who can understand and explain the Chinese culture and language like no one else.

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