Complimenting others has always been a customary of socializing everywhere in the world. Abused by women, compliments can be honest or dishonest. It can be used to get the other person happy about us, like our boss or our partner in love.
But that is not the unique thing. The unique thing about being complimented is the reaction or the response. The American people, for example, will say “Thank you, I did my best” when they are complimented. Indonesian people, however, will not answer it like that.
Instead, they will say “Not really”. This shows that they do not feel arrogant. Of course, that does not mean the American people are arrogant.
This mindset of the Indonesian people, however, is actually bad for their future. Why?
One of many reasons that cause Indonesian people lose in international competition is this mindset. By saying “Not really”, it can also mean that they do not feel that good at doing what they are actually good at. It shows that they are not confident in themselves. It is as if they have lost the will to compete in the first place.
This must be why Indonesia moves forward slowly, and maybe a little too slow. The people work not to be successful, but to survive. They do not try their best but only so-so. They accept the routine of waking up in the morning, working from morning to evening, then reaching home just to realize the day is almost over.
(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)