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Asians in Consulting

I generally have a good relationship with my parents, but when it comes to making decisions in my life, big and small, I’m expected to run them by my father. I find this mentality patriarchal and demeaning. I’ll ask for advice when I need it and do value their opinion, but I don’t need my father’s approval to make my own decisions. Any other Asian F experience this?

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Yes. I don't do it. Makes my Dad angry. But there's nothing he can do about it. I think it helps if you start with the small things (e.g. if you went somewhere or did something one day tell then after it happens, not before) and then move to some big things (like a move or a relationship). If they get used to you not telling them about the small things they'll chalk it up to "that's just how she is." If they only realize during a big life event they'll feel devalued and left out.

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It’s a cultural disconnect. Asians have a different concept of adulthood. Until you’re married, you’re still a “child” and the responsibility of your parents in Asian society’s eyes. - They’re not looking to control you, it’s just the system that they grew up in. They wouldn’t disobey their parents either. - This cuts both ways, your parents would continue to put a roof over your head, etc. I try to respect both the Asian and American culture I grew up in. It’s a balance but generally navigable. For example, I don’t present any major thing as “already decided” to my parents. I always present things as if I’m seeking their input (and often I am! They have a lot of life wisdom to offer). I present the pros/cons heavily weighted towards what I already am leaning towards and they agree with my analysis (especially when they have less experience in the field). Often they do give me useful things to think about. I find that regular communication helps this process a lot. If your parents are already aware of what’s going on, they’re more likely to agree with your context and decision. I bring them along the process. It’s surprises that they don’t like, and might express disagreement with (because it came out of the blue).

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