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Eureka: 10 reasons South Koreans are unhappy
by Joseph Gatt
2018-04-09 07:59:59
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South Korea. One of the wealthiest nations in the world. Also one of the unhappiest. I'll look here at 10 reasons why South Koreans tend to be unhappy.

1 - Not individuals

Individual choices tend not to be respected in South Korea. Rather than having the tendency of pursuing your dreams, marrying the person you love and having your own personal quirks and habits dressing the way you want, South Koreans tend to repress all those. There's a proper way to sit, to eat, dress, to choose a career and to marry the person you love. Not conforming to those norms will get you in trouble.

2 - Only get respected if on top

I respect everybody. I mean everybody. Rich or poor, high or low status. I can get a cup of coffee with anyone. As long as they don't invade my personal space, I can hang out with anyone. But not most South Koreans. The only way to be respected by family and friends is if you're filthy rich and at the top of your organization. If not, you'll probably have very few friends, and your friends won't always respect you. Lack of respect leads to unhappiness.

sko1_4003 - Education: unrealistic expectations

There used to be a bribe system where students of all ages bribed teachers or had their parents bribe teachers. If teachers received bribes they respected the students, otherwise they destroyed them. This still exists despite multiple attempts at eradicating the phenomenon. Bribing teachers to be respected as a student, now that's depressing.

4 - Corporations: unrealistic expectations

Now you have a job in South Korea. You're going to get told off for tiny mistakes that can be fixed immediately. In some cases you'll get told off for no reason at all. Now that's depressing. Plus in most Korean companies, you have to sit properly, can't take breaks, can't even answer your personal phone, and if you have a bad boss he'll make you spend the night at the company. 

5 - Families: unrealistic expectations

Your wife, your children and your parents will be expecting you to make lots of money. If you're not getting a fat paycheck, chances are they won't respect you. Now that's depressing.

6 - Passive-aggressive behavior, bullying and harassment

Your parents will harass you, your family will harass you, your colleagues will harass you and in some cases your friends will harass you. Harassment is a fact of life in South Korea. Now that's depressing.

7 - Character assassination

In some cases, your friends, colleagues or even your family will start vicious rumors about you. Rape you never committed, sexual harassment you never committed, people you never dated. Now those are painful rumors in any country.

8 - Bureaucracy

Schools want your paperwork, your workplace will want your paperwork, in some cases you need several dozen rounds of paperwork to go to university or start working at a big company. The problem is universities and companies have no guarantees they will keep you. Collecting the paperwork can last up to six months, and in some cases you don't even last three months on the job. Now that's depressing. 

9 - No freedom of speech

I tend to say what's on my mind. But if you do that in South Korea, you get bullied, harassed, assaulted, and all kinds of ugly things happen to you.

10 - Dubious rule of law

Courts and judges tend to side with the person they like the most, not with the person who pleaded best. So you may not even win your case in court. That's depressing.

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