Dreading the incoming questions during the Chinese New Year visitations?
We’ve got three quick strategies (quoted directly from Sun Tzu’s Art Of War) that could help.
As long as you’re unmarried, you’re almost definitely going to hear the dreaded annual interrogation sessions with your relatives.
“So when do you plan to get married?”
If you’re married, your questioners will be cross-examining your other life choices:
“When are you having children?”
“When is the next one coming?”
The endless grilling doesn’t stop there, short of an apocalypse. Insatiably curious about you, their relentless onslaught continues.
“Did you put on weight?”
“What’s your job again?”
“How much money are you making now?”
The first Art Of War strategy requires almost no strategy at all:
“A skillful fighter avoids battles he may lose, thus ensuring he is never defeated.“
It’s no surprise that many of us seek refuge by escaping the country altogether.
Across my friends and colleagues, more and more are leaving for nearby getaways like Thailand, Malaysia or even Batam.
But if that’s not an option for you this year, fear not. Let’s go through your CNY battle plan.
The main idea is simple: don’t challenge them directly.
“Just as water shapes its course according to the ground it flows over, so you too must adapt to the situation, to the terrain, and to the enemy’s disposition.“
Or as Bruce Lee says, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.”
When faced with an uncomfortable probe about marriage, children, or income – there’s no need to proclaim big statements or assertions like “Marriage is just a societal construct that I refuse to participate in”, or “That’s none of your business.”
Adapt, and let distraction become your ally.
Talk about the latest news about Donald Trump, discuss the latest virus outbreak (there’s a deadly disease in Wuhan right now), or divert the conversation to how artificial intelligence technology is creating killer robots that will wipe humanity off the face of the Earth.
That’s more pressing than investigating your current marital or offspring situation, isn’t it?
That’s verbal judo for you!
If you’ve run out of breaking news from CNN to throw at your verbal assailants, the Art Of War still has you covered:
“You must fight so that you are prepared and the enemy is unprepared.“
Make it about them instead and praise them for this year’s especially delicious batch of cookies or their charming new year decorations.
Listen closely and find out what’s important to them.
Is your investigative relative a big fan of baking? Perhaps they recently bought a new home or car.
The end result?
They’ve extracted no information from you, but ended up telling you everything about their lives. Better yet, they feel more positive about you than ever—and you didn’t have to deal with anymore pesky questioning!
People actually looovveee talking about themselves. More than you imagine so.
The Art Of War is among the greatest frameworks to apply in business, sales, negotiation, and marketing, and it’s a core part of our work.
If you’d like to learn from an artful marketing warrior to help you double your customer acquisition, then clicking here could be the most profitable 3 minutes you’ve ever spent.
Here’s to a peaceful and prosperous Chinese New Year for you! 🥂