1 Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut
2 Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude
3 Backpfeifengesicht (German): A face badly in need of a fist
4 Bakku-shan (Japanese): A beautiful girl… as long as she’s being viewed from behind
5 Desenrascanço (Portuguese): “to disentangle” yourself out of a bad situation (To MacGyver it)
6 Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.
7 Forelsket (Norwegian): The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love
8 Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute
9 Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favor, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favor to be repaid
10 Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time
11 L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it
12 Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery
13 Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan): A look between two people that suggests an unspoken, shared desire
14 Manja (Malay): “to pamper”, it describes gooey, childlike and coquettish behavior by women designed to elicit sympathy or pampering by men. “His girlfriend is a damn manja. Hearing her speak can cause diabetes.”
15 Meraki (pronounced may-rah-kee; Greek): Doing something with soul, creativity, or love. It’s when you put something of yourself into what you’re doing
16 Nunchi (Korean): the subtle art of listening and gauging another’s mood. In Western culture, nunchi could be described as the concept of emotional intelligence. Knowing what to say or do, or what not to say or do, in a given situation. A socially clumsy person can be described as ‘nunchi eoptta’, meaning “absent of nunchi”
17 Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation
18 Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions
19 Schadenfreude (German): the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain
20 Sgriob (Gaelic): The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky
21 Taarradhin (Arabic): implies a happy solution for everyone, or “I win. You win.” It’s a way of reconciling without anyone losing face. Arabic has no word for “compromise,” in the sense of reaching an arrangement via struggle and disagreement
22 Tatemae and Honne (Japanese): What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively
23 Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left
24 Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods
25 Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways,’ referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language
In elementary school when I was asked if I liked this girl
When I get home just as my favorite TV show starts
I’m going to make reference to brain science, Buddhism, and meditation, so if that’s not your bag no worries. I am by no means an expert on any of these things, my interpretation of how these things relate has really helped me, and I hope others can get something out of it as well.
Behind the scenes
Your brain is a lazy asshole. Its only objective is to conserve as much energy as possible, and work on making sure things are going well in the short term. The very short term.
This is why it seems to make more sense to skip the gym, eat a box of cookies, sit on the couch, and watch TV or play video games, than do anything else. It’s easy, and you’re conserving energy. You’re not going to be winded and tired if you don’t go to the gym. Those cookies might not be healthy, but they sure are delicious – and they’re packed full of calories so you have some backup backup energy reserves stored up.
This isn’t your brain’s fault, it’s a matter of evolution. When it takes work to get your next meal, it makes sense to eat as much and do as little as possible.
This carries over into every other facet of your life. Your brain is great at convincing you that what it wants is what YOU want.
“If you talk to that pretty girl, you might get rejected – isn’t it much easier to just not approach?”
“Wouldn’t you much rather sit at home than go out? It’s been a long week, you’re tired, it’s expensive to go out… this will be easy.”
Now you’re overweight, unhappy, socially stunted, and lonely. You could take responsibility for this, and totally turn things around, but it’s going to require a lot of work, a lot of time, and effort.
This is when your brain comes back and says “but you’re a great guy! It must be everyone else’s fault! They don’t give us a chance! They’re biased against us because of ______. Guess we’re going to be forever alone, but it’s not so bad, we have each other – and Steam and that gigantic tub of ice cream!”