Hi, my name is Stephen and I am a Chinese Canadian with disapproving Chinese parents.
I was born and raised in Canada in the late eighties and for the first five years of my life, I only spoke Chinese. Now I can understand Chinese but I can’t speak it anymore, my parents talk to me in Mandarin and I answer in English.
I’m writing this to you now because for a very long time before I found Way of the Player my parents were dominating my life and they were holding me back from finding happiness.
I don’t hate my parents, I love them. But they are very narrow minded and controlling and up until recently my life seemed to revolve around earning their approval.
Whatever I did, whatever I achieved it was never good enough for them.
I have one older brother who has lived in Canada his entire life. He speaks Mandarin with my parents and his English still sucks after all these years.
I don’t get on well with my brother. As long as I can remember I have always loved the Canadian way of life. When I was at school, I was always jealous of the white kids because their parents seemed so cool and relaxed and they were allowed to play sports that I wasn’t allowed to and they were allowed to date girls and go to parties.
My parents told me that I couldn’t date girls until I finished school, they made me take piano classes even though they knew that I hated it. When I would get invited out to my friends birthday parties, a lot of the time I wasn’t allowed to go because that was time that I should spend studying.
My brother was always the model child. My brother did everything they ever wanted, he never had a social life, he’s never had a girlfriend. The only friends that he has are on World of Warcraft.
He is your stereotypical Asian Nerd and my parents have always said to me “Why can’t you be more like your brother?”
Why? Because I’m normal, because I have white friends, a Canadian accent, I drink alcohol at parties and I want to get laid by girls?
When I told my parents that I didn’t want to go to Medical school and that I wanted to be a graphic designer, my father didn’t talk to me for a week.
They made me feel guilty for being a normal guy and going after what I wanted in life. I felt so guilty about shaming my parents that I became depressed and I let it affect me in a really bad way.
I felt like no matter how hard I tried that I would never be able to connect with my parents. I tried explaining it to my father but he wouldn’t even listen, I tried talking to my mother and she told me that I should respect my father.
It just seemed stupid to me. Why did they want to migrate to a country like Canada if they didn’t want their children to grow up with freedom and choice? I just think that’s hypocritical, what did they expect? Did they really think that I wouldn’t want to be normal? Did they think that I wouldn’t want to play sport and have fun like other kids?
For years I was frustrated over this. I would go out with my friends and I was doing what I enjoyed. Once I became an adult, the divide between us just seemed to grow further and further. I was deeply unhappy because of this.
How Way Of The Player Helped With My Parents
Then I came on here because I wanted to get some advice on this girl from my work that I had a crush on.
I expected to get some lines and maybe some strategies to use but instead I got a lot more. For me, it was a pathway to happiness and self-acceptance. I realized through reading a lot of the stuff on here that I was lacking confidence in a bad way. I felt like I was undeserving of happiness and I felt like I had nothing to offer a girl.
When I started actively changing my attitude and building my confidence, I felt a big shift deep within myself. It started to matter less and less what my parents thought of my lifestyle because I realized that I couldn’t be responsible for their ignorance and bad behaviour.
I had spent so much of my life in conflict with my parents and I realized that this was all a choice. I chose to care about their disapproval and I was fighting against it. I was holding myself up to their standard of what a good person is, rather than the most important standard of all. My own.
I know I’m a good person. I know my thoughts and my feelings, my own desire to help other people and do the right thing. They might think that I’m a failure because I’m not a surgeon on a six figure salary but I know that I’m a success. Because the big decisions I made in my own life helped me find happiness and got me to where I am today.
A few months ago I moved out of home. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. My mother cried, my father was being the same cold indifferent fool that he always has been but I told them flat out. “I love you but I need to live my own life” and I left. I put my life in the back of a truck and I moved it twenty minutes away to an apartment I have been sharing with my best friend.
It was only twenty minutes but for me it may as well have been the other side of the world. I felt free for the first time in my life and more importantly, I felt like my own man rather than the child of my parents.
I don’t know if my parents will ever come around but it doesn’t matter to me. I know they still love me, even though it’s hard for them to show it and I am the happiest I’ve ever been.
If anyone else has disapproving parents then don’t let them stop you from living your life. You can’t make everyone happy but there is only one person who is going to care about whether you get your happiness and that person is you (I think I read that on here but it stuck with me)