Your first audition – getting invited to the house party
Let’s say for the purpose of discussion that you have a job and have met a bunch of people at the workplace. You’ve all become good superficial friends, meaning it feels like good friends but so far you’ve only been meeting and socializing at the office.
The day may come when you get invited to go somewhere outside of the office. If that happens, it’s your first audition and your friend’s first step into developing a closer relationship with you. Here are some things to keep in mind because you will be on stage and they will be watching.
So in our little fictitious scenario, let’s say you get invited to a house party. Now what?
Shut up and don’t be so haole!
I’m biased here because I’ve had to personally learn these lessons myself. There’s a spectrum of personality types with a braggart on one end and a wallflower on the other. Looking back at my past when I first moved here, I’d have to say I was (and perhaps still am?) on the braggart side. Local culture abhors the braggart side.
I’ll put it in one sentence to make it abundantly clear: there’s nothing more despised in Hawaii than a loud mouth mainland haole. In case you’ve never seen the Hawaiian word haole (“how-lay”) before, it is used to describe either caucasians (e.g. “go see that haole in the blue shirt”) or those that practice an ignorance of local culture (“e.g. don’t be so haole!”).
Especially not a clueless haole
Very few of us have the gift of accurate and honest self-awareness of our flaws. The only reason why I know I have tendencies to be a loud mouthed haole is because my wife has made it abundantly clear on several occasions. If she hadn’t correctly put me in my place, then I’d end up being guilty of the only thing worse than a loud mouth haole and that is to be a loud mouth clueless haole.
Or, as the locals call it, a typical mainland haole. If you ever get labeled as a typical mainland haole, pack your bags and go back home. You’re done here. It means you exhibit the worst tendencies of those that have come here, talk about nothing except themselves, and pay lip service (at most) to local culture and values.
So, if you’re like most people that lack the gift of honest and accurate self-awareness of flaws, assume that you too are probably a loud mouth haole and shut the hell up at the house party.
Chances are the the fact you even got invited to this house party means they don’t think you’re a typical mainland haole. It means they think that maybe, just maybe, you might be alright. So now you want to make sure you don’t blow it.
It reminds me of one of my favorite Confucius sayings and I recommend you take it to heart -”Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”.
Next up: Making it about them and not you
So now that you figured out you need to be quiet. Now what? Silent parties aren’t much fun. We’ll talk about what you should do in our next exciting episode!