Share This Page

Monday, January 14, 2013

Taiwanese people are empty shells with no soul, personality or passion

Have you noticed this about Taiwan? It's a new observation I just realized:

Even if you make a lot of friends in Taiwan, you eventually realize that these friends are really just casual acquaintances, because there is no real connection with them. Taiwanese are like empty shells with no soul or emotions, like plastic mannequins (similar to America, but even worse). Their faces are passionless and robotic, as if their soul and humanity has been squashed, suppressed or drained out of them.

It's very sad and scary, like an inhuman society from the Twilight Zone. I've seen some of the older generation Taiwanese show some semblance of having a soul or emotions, but the young adult generation definitely seem empty and hollow with plastic exteriors. Thus, the friendships you make in Taiwan will ultimately be unsatisfying.

It's also kind of depressing when you see that people are empty shells here because it leaves you wondering "How can humans descend into such a state of being?" What's scary is that you know deep down that you don't want to become like them, thus being around them could have a toxic negative effect on you.

What's worse, most young Taiwanese are duds with no personality and can't even hold a normal conversation. There is nothing really there to connect with. They are the least engaging youngsters I've ever met - usually quiet with nothing to say and no expression (except for very superficial ones). When you talk to them, after a few minutes or few sentences, the conversation runs dry, like you've run into a brick wall with nothing more to say. Asking them open ended questions about themselves, like interviewers do, will not change any of this. (if it did, I wouldn't have a problem engaging them) They are like empty shells.

The Siberian girl I went out with in Taiwan, told me this after she returned to Siberia:

"Hello Winston! How are you doing? I dont miss taiwan. I really do not miss it, maybe just tea )))) 
i am happy here. everything is real here, people, emotions, etc. 
that girl she is a friend of mine on Facebook. I can ask her. when are you leaving taiwan? I wish I could travel around. 
what do you think about dec 21? 
take care, hope you answer me soon xxx "

As you can see, she is saying that people in Siberia are "real people with real emotions" where people in Taiwan are NOT "real people with real emotions". lol

A Taiwanese American girl told me something interesting:

"2) One point you should mention is many White men who come or live here 
think every Yellow woman is some kind of easy lay or submissive geisha 
should be in for a rude awakening, as you have stressed in your 7 points. 
I think you should try to think of the criticisms for the men. I went to 
university here and the white men who come as foreign exchange students--I 
always see most of them alone or hanging out with other foreign exchange 
students. Taiwanese society is just too hard to fit in and ever fully 
adjust to. "

That's very true and concurs with my observation as well. Most foreigners I see in Taiwan only hang out with other foreigners, or with Westernized Asians/Taiwanese sometimes. But not with local mainstream typical Taiwanese. No way. So you gotta wonder, what's the point of coming to a foreign country if you can only befriend or connect with other foreigners?

Further, I don't understand why any foreigner comes to Taiwan. If I were a foreigner who wanted to study Chinese culture, I'd go to China. I don't see why I would want to go to Taiwan. It doesn't make sense.

See also:


  1. Whoa...i understand where you come from and maybe that's what made you hate TW so much. To be honest, TW is not a best place for long term living but im sure most of the Taiwanese are kind, friendly and real. I'm raised in New Zealand but TW is always my home. Please look at the good side then you will realize TW ppl are cute. :) Cheers. C.K

  2. Yeah most Taiwanese are kind and nice deep down, but they are empty with no soul or passion at all. At least compared to most countries. The problem is, unless introduced, they won't talk to you. If you are a stranger, you don't exist to them, esp to young women. There is a cold wall around them. They are also very hard to connect with because young people are not engaging and can't hold a natural conversation. So their exterior and personality are the problem. Hope you see my point.

  3. Have to agree with you on this one.
    Taiwanese society has been driven by extreme materialism and and the "money is the most important thing" mentality for the past decade. The situation is worsening in these 3-4 years. Any pursuit of passion will be considered as unrealistic and insane in the current society.

    Again, don't know which young people you've been hanging around with, but most of them are open-minded and have foreigner friends. (At least among people I know)

    I sincerely hope you can find your way out of the island as soon as possible.
    Cheers :)

  4. "what's the point of coming to a foreign country if you can only befriend or connect with other foreigners"

    A) Learn Chinese language/culture or B) Get acquainted with the more educated echelons of society who can speak English

    ... but of course, this takes effort... oh I know, maybe instead I'll write a hate blog and generalize Taiwanese people instead.

  5. I can't agree. I spent several months living with a group of Taiwanese.I found them to be passionate and full of life. Many of them willing to forge lasting friendships with people from many different cultures. I feel like you're generalizing a culture based on a few bad experiences. Also, saying that Taiwanese people have no souls is bordering on hate speech. This kind of rhetoric is shameful and close minded. You're misrepresenting your own culture as close minded an ignorant.

  6. I would say this definitely the most common article about Asia which full of misunderstanding and culture myst. Always judge it with unfair point.
    for example, can you explain whats no soul means?
    for most of white people , maybe it means having a dream and never afraid to tell people about it, blah blah blah...whatever, the point is those white people who ever been TW , I mean ,most of them actually dont know what asia is, they judging everything with their own mintality , such as having a dream and telling, or having a strong speech when you talking to others. They would never understand whats asian passion and soul is. Ive been America and Europe for many year, I realized that to understand a culture is not just about go there and stay there, its way too far from any understanding. the real understanding which should be, give up yourabbit and point of view, try to understand how it became , whats the reason, and try to understand the good, thats the way you can understand and feel a culture. During my long stay and travel , I realize that for most of white people , this is impossible, cause their world is just too small and narrow.

  7. Something I am really curious born in Taiwan and emigrated to America when you were 3 years old. But in your article you wrote "Taiwanese are like empty shells with no soul or emotions, like plastic mannequins (similar to America, but even worse)."

    And you are not happy with either Taiwanese or American? I guess you are just not happy with your life.

    Very sorry for you!

  8. Anonymous,
    Well I know for sure that the problem is NOT me. I just got off the phone with two great girls from China today and had long meaningful conversations with them.

    How come I have NO PROBLEM at all connecting with girls from China? I know this from direct experience. I also chat with them on QQ and have no problems holding natural good conversations.

    So how come with Taiwanese girls, they only write one sentence and then have nothing to say afterward? How come they can't hold a normal conversation? Why does it feel like talking to a blank wall with them?!


    How come when I talked to girls in China, I felt like I was talking to a real soul, whereas with Taiwanese girls, it's like talking to a plastic mannequin with no soul?

    I swear I'm not making this up! So how do you explain it?

    Yes I do not like social life in the USA either, but people are more normal than in Taiwan at least.

    I was happiest in Europe. People there are more broad minded and intellectual, like me. And girls are easy to chat up.

    Finally, I speak basic Chinese and pretty good Taiwanese. The language is not the problem. You know very little about communication it seems. Communication is about body language, vibes, enthusiasm. In Russia, I did not speak the language, yet I was able to hold many long conversations with almost every girl I met there EASILY and NATURALLY. Russian girls are a MILLION times more engaging, so it was easy to hold a conversation with them, using only an electronic dictionary.

    None of your shallow points holds any water.

    1. Only one of my cousins can speak Taiwanese. They have always lived in Taiwan. All of them besides one is older than high-school age.

      Taiwanese isn't even the main language- Mandarin is. If you only speak basic Mandarin, how do you expect every girl to be able to hold a conversation with you and not feel awkward?

  9. Accurate four point summary of Taiwan:

    In summary and in a nutshell, Taiwan sucks because:

    a) Girls are unapproachable, uptight, stuck up, overly shy, paranoid, flaky, empty, souless, hard to meet, difficult to connect with, and cannot hold a good conversation. (compared to girls in most countries that is) They do not flirt, have a cold wall around them, are very cliquish, and will not socialize with you unless you are invited into their group.
    b) People are uptight, robotic, cold, stiff, narrow, insular, prudish, overly conservative, workaholic, hard to connect with, and difficult to hold a conversation with. They are empty shells with no personality, devoid of soul, passion and energy. (compared to most countries that is) Their nature is cold and practical, which makes them boring and lacking in creativity and imagination.
    c) There is not much beautiful scenery or nature, and the architecture and buildings are ugly and drab. The climate is often unpleasant and the air is humid and not very clean or crisp. (by American standards that is) It's also hard to find open fields, prairies or pastures.
    d) The culture is boring and flat, and does not even feel inclusive. There is nothing to grow your soul. Time just passes by and is wasted with no meaning or special memories. Eventually, you regret the time you waste in Taiwan, which could be better spent elsewhere.

    I have seen very few exceptions to the above, and countless examples that fit the above. God that sucks. What a terrible place, the most boring I've ever been for sure. Even America is a lot more interesting and exciting than Taiwan. Taiwan ought to win an award for "The most dull and meaningless country".

  10. Btw, check out what a cute Taiwanese girl I met on OkCupid told me about how she was happier in Australia than Taiwan:

    "And I have to say. I don't understand this place too!! I was much happier n free when I was in OZ. In TW, there are so many rules. Well I mean the rules in everyone's mind. Like if u don't think like what they think, u r called a freak. Sorry even I'm Taiwanese, I don't like some culture here. Especially the "restrictions" of one's mind. Also, when u work here, colleagues are hard to be frds, even u guys talks a lot but when shit happened, they become ur enemies straight away. Maybe this happens everywhere, I don't know. I always feel hard to make new frds here. Ppl are nicer in OZ. So somehow I can understand how u feel!"

  11. Your write-ups are far more than wow!
    virtual dating games

  12. This blog nails my feelings about Taiwan. I agree with what he said 100%. I can't connect with Taiwanese people either. They aren't present...masks with no expressions and real emotions. The people make the place and the Taiwanese generally aren't about anything. What really depresses me that I made the conscious choice to come here and now I have to figure my way out of here pronto. I hate living in such a cold, fake society. I just hope that I can leave with my spirit still in tact.

    1. I have found it exactly the same to you. Very strange indeed. And its not imagination. I miss depth in people too. And everything the writer of the blog has mentioned. There are exeptions to the rule, but overall definitely most of the culture is like this.

  13. right, I think it's most likely that the girls are really turned off with your stereotypical, negative attitude, or maybe because you look like a creeper, a really cocky creeper. I wonder if you're upset because you've been continuously been rejected...move on and grow up.

  14. Winston,

    I was a bit surprised to learn that you are 40 something years old, yet still view the world with such a negative tone.

    Usually I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but after reading several of your blogs and you background, I now believe that you are just a pompous, sheltered, ass-wipe from the bay area.

    You have no right to bash on Taiwan as a whole, considering how little you understand Taiwan culture. You even bash on the states, pretty much anything you come into contact with, you have something negative to say.

    Instead of being such a self-righteous prick, and having the opinion that you are the sole intellect on this planet, try being a little more introspective for once.

    You don't exactly have a stellar academic or business background. I read your autobiography. I've only encountered 1 or 2 people who admired themselves with such an arrogant disgust, and you come pretty close. Someone with your background and experience should be a lot more humble. No idea where you are getting the ego boost to proclaim yourself to being successful and "highly intellectual".

    Your writing style, syntax and grammar are poor, AT BEST. Your organization, observation are completely subjective in nature, with little to no objective analysis.

    Is it your soul goal in life to get laid? You came to Taiwan looking to find Love and fell flat on your face? I'll tell you why you failed so miserably in Taiwan.

    For one, your appearance is that of a Chinese Charlie Brown. Fat, hair thinning, have a creepy grin, and look perverted. This is the impression you give off to people. Appearance matters ANYWHERE in the world. You dress like a 50 year old douche and it looks like your mother cuts your hair. You keep accusing other of being "soulless" and absent of emotion. On the contrary, you are just so full or soul and emotion. So full to that point that it is smothering, overwhelming once you open your big fat mouth. Who wants to hang around with a negative spirited mutt who has absolutely no identity or loyalty to any country? Are you Taiwanese? American? European? Please get back to us when you do come to terms with what ethnicity you are.


    1. australian taiwaneseJanuary 15, 2014 at 6:48 AM

      Could not have said it better myself! Agree completely with what has been said here.

  15. If you ever say this to me you will find out just how "passionate" and "emotional" I am when I jam my fist into your face. I Hope we meet soon.

    Your Regular Taiwanese

  16. I had to laugh when I read this and other comments because its so true. But its not just TW, its also mainland Chinese. My colleague who is from Shanghai is a nice guy but he is way too reserved, boring, and has the same face with no expression or emotion. Or, they have the corniest sense of humor.

    1. Thank you. Totally agree. ive experienced the culture exactly like the blogger says. There were a few exeptions, but in general totally spot-on. It depends how shallow or with how much depth you see it..and if you yourself have depth, then you will recognize it. Its been very interesting and very surprising to experience this..but I noticed it very soon. And yes, it has totally to do with the "soul". Its the psychological make-up of the people. And most of Mainland China is that way too. Ive met them and foreigners who have experienced exactly it. Some people will never notice the difference because they don't have depth themselves. But I dot love the country and the people. Im taking the best from my experience and there is much that is positive too.

  17. you're a pathetic little bitch Winston Wu haha

    you seem to have nothing better to do than to make repetitive rants about girls that you fail to pick up.

    Haters gonna hate.

    Little Bitch!!!

  18. Hello. I'm a Taiwanese-American and I've been to Taiwan plenty of times. Once I went to a convenience store and the cashier started a conversation with me. I think Taiwanese people are not empty shells like you say. I know plenty of interesting Taiwanese-born-and-raised people.

    I, though I am raised with Americans, am not fully comfortable with Caucasians or even Middle-Eastern peoples. I would not expect Taiwanese to feel comfortable with these other races if I am not.

    In Asia you pretty much only see Asians- I went to a nightmarket and saw a Caucasian man speaking perfect Mandarin. I felt awkward and walked away quickly. It made me feel slightly freaked out that a non-Asian was speaking Mandarin so well.

    I do not agree with you that the Taiwanese are "empty shells". Please do not insult my culture and heritage- at the very least not online. I do not like hearing bad things about any culture. Thank you very much.

  19. People are empty shells and copies of copies in both Taiwan and Mainland China (less true but still kind of true in HK and Singapore), this is a part of Chinese culture where whoever stand out is crushed and pulled back in line by the rest of the group.

    I never succeeded to have a meaningful or even interesting conversation with people from both these countries, maybe except one Chinese girl from Chengdu, likely because she is a PhD graduate and seem to know better how to stand for herself and express her opinions (instead of what she was told by the medias). But the average folk in both places is hopeless.

    Most people in both places are completely unable to think by themselves, one example: because I work in HR, I got to interview my colleagues in both countries, most of the time the answer I received from the following question : "How do you evaluate your work performance?" was "I like clothes and I like shopping very much, also I like children very much and want to have my own one day" from people who speak fluent English (probably better than I do as a German, I know they can because I work with them everyday), it amazed me.

    There are also the cases where people (especially women) live completely outside of the real world, in some sort of bubble. For e.g. I know Taiwanese girls above 25, who still live in their cute world of Hello Kitty and pink candies. Similar I know Chinese girls persuaded that staying at home and spending their parent's money is the right thing to do and that soon or late there will be a rich and handsome man who will come to knock their door and ask them to marry him.

  20. Foreigners hang out with foreigners because they don't understand taiwanese culture and make no effort to do so.

    Of course not all of them, but most of them, especially exchange students.
    Most of the time I've talk with exchange students I've been wondering why did they chose Taiwan if they don't have any interest in this country. Well, for many of them Taiwan was not their first choice, it just an accident. And they are not open minded enough to close the gap between their western culture and Tawanese culture.

    To be honest east asians in western countries tend to stay together as well. In European universities you can see these groups of chinese students living in their "chinese safe" bubble.

    About other western foreigners in Taiwan, I noticed that most of them were english teachers, usually not the most clever population. They are in Taiwan like they could be in Korea, Japan or any other east asian country. They live in Taiwan as they live in their home country.

    Most of them don't even speak decent chinese after few years in the country. If you use chinese with taiwanese you'll find that they are very kind, very open. It's just that they are not confident enough with english language. They will avoid to be in a situation where they have to deal with english.

    Your article is very offending, for both Taiwanese and American. I've seldom read something that stupid on internet, that's quite an achievement.

  21. Ya know...... I've read all the comments concerning this blog, and as always THE REALITY or truth is always somewhere in the middle. I live in Taipei and my quick summary is this.... Taiwanese people are very friendly, polite and orderly but the blogger is partially correct. There seems to be a blankness and a lack of intellectual depth to the people. I've dated a couple of Taiwanese women as well and there is something missing. They seem to be robotic, very practical and lack expressed emotion. It's very hard to connect on a deeper level. Now, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I've considered some factors.... Taiwan's political isolation from the international community, Asian shyness and conformity, living at home with parents as adults, English being a second language, etc. It all could contribute to a lack of expression. The last thing I'll say is this.... I've never seen anyone raise there voice here. There is no confrontation. Which sounds good, but it means that overall, people are not saying what they feel... or they don't feel much. Not sure which one it is????

    But Taiwan is a beautiful Island, the mountains, rivers and ocean are gorgeous, the public transportation is extremely good, the people are pleasant, and the food is interesting and diverse. It's not a bad quality of life. It's just a little dull... the people that is. ;-)

  22. I have only talked to a taiwanese girl once, which btw has lived outsided of that place. She seems lonely, cold and workaholic. I had never so much struggle connecting with a girl before.

  23. From the point of view of a European living in Taiwan for eleven years, I can tell you that at some point you don't even realize that everything you complain about is not just Taiwan, but the world. Any problems you see in Taiwan exist on a global basis (except for the true cultural differences). We also don't know where to travel within Taiwan anymore, or where to eat. But that would happen anywhere we live. When we lived in the UK we also ran out of ideas where to go. People are different wherever you go. Taipei is different from Kaohsiung. Foreigners living in Taipei complain more about the people. They are as ice cold as New Yorkers who I also can't relate to after visiting there seven times. People in Kaohsiung are friendlier, of course young people tend to appear like they hate life, but then who doesn't at that age, especially nowadays with the additional shitty modern pop music. Apart from society as it is, your complaining is probably based on your bad experience. It doesn't need to be that way. There are many different kinds of people in Taiwan, despite the few types of drivers (fast and malicious vs slow and inconsiderate). Yes, the architecture in Taiwan is ugly, the food is the same everywhere, people stand in line for the most meaningless sample of food, are not very romantic, and don't know how to celebrate with tons of enthusiasm into the night, but each culture has its upsides and downsides. I could write a book, but can't be bothered now. You will often find Taiwan as superficial as the US, but people get as excited as the southern Europeans.

  24. This blog clearly masters the art of generalization. I wonder what you encountered in Taiwan that led you to this one-sided conclusion.

    I was born and raised in Taiwan until 16 then I moved to Japan. I have been in Japan for almost 8 years now, and I cannot say I've seen it all, but I tell myself not to to hate a culture just because I do not understand it. I have encountered people I find difficult to chat with, but I won't generalize and call those people empty shells with no soul.

    What do you really know about Taiwan anyway? It could be the language barrier that was causing you from truly understanding Taiwanese; it could be your lack of interest in wanting to learn about a culture. Also, there is more than just 'Chinese culture' in Taiwan. Taiwan had been the subject of colonization throughout centuries, so Taiwan actually has a mixture of different cultures that can be seen from existing architectures and literature. Certainly in China you would be able to learn about Chinese culture in depth, but when there is government surveillance in every corner, do you expect to learn about Chinese history and culture without any bias?

    You talk about the people and culture of Taiwan as if you truly understand it, but just because you cannot fit in, doesn't meany you can start criticizing the whole population of Taiwan.


Please do not leave spam or advertising junk on this blog!