Korea has an approach to happiness from which we could all learn

Korea has an approach to happiness from which we could all learn

via the Guardian by Adrienne Matei

Have you ever wanted to read minds? Or wished you had a little bit more of whatever ineffable quality it is that makes some people seem effortlessly popular at parties, lucky in love, and successful at work?

Perhaps you need to brush up on you nunchi – a traditional Korean concept of situational awareness and the focus of the Korean American journalist and author Euny Hong’s new book The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success.

According to Hong, nunchi is the “art of understanding what people are thinking and feeling” – a quality held by those who are sensitive to the dynamics within a given group.Advertisement

Koreans cultivate nunchi from a young age. “Kids in Korea know the word by age three,” she says. “You usually learn it in the negative; if everyone is standing on the right side of an escalator and a kid is lounging on the left, the parent will say, ‘Why don’t you have any nunchi?’ It’s partly about not being rude, but it’s also partly, ‘Why are you not plugged into your environment?’”

The word “nunchi” itself roughly translates to “eye-measure”, a sort of sizing-up, not of individuals but of the overall context and atmosphere of a situation. It’s applicable to just about every social setting one can be in, from a wedding to a job interview.

In action, nunchi involves noticing who, in any given context, is speaking, who is listening, who interrupts, who apologizes, who is rolling their eyes. From there, one can make potentially useful assessments about the nature of relationships and hierarchies within a group, the overall mood, and how to behave accordingly….

…keep reading the full & original article HERE