Nunchi: The Korean 'secret' to happiness

Nunchi: The Korean 'secret' to happiness

You will surely have noticed some people who, when they enter a room, immediately stick with everyone else, become one with them without much talk, feel the vibes of the room, read the moods of those around their.

Probably the first feeling these people cause you is jealousy, probably admiration. Whatever the case, you will probably be wondering "how do they do it?"

In Greek, British and most languages ​​in the world there is not a single word that can describe this property. In Korean, however, there is the word "nunchi" to depict this "magic" property.

The exact translation of the word "nunchi" is "counting with your own eyes," and as experts say, it's actually the art of "reading" a room.

For Koreans, "nunchi" is a 5,000-year-old tradition of carrying it from parents to children.

Of course, we do not write all this to introduce you to the Korean tradition or to embrace their way of life. What we want to highlight is that we must constantly strive to understand those around us and their needs, and not go solely with our own "want" and "must" ...


It's important to remain yourself

'Nunchi' resembles the notions of empathy or emotional intelligence, but it is not exactly the same. In empathy you have to get in the other's place, while in the "nunchi" you have to observe the way people around you work, but remain yourself.

The "art" of "nunchi" treats the room we are in as one single body, not distinguishing it from the people inside it.

The author of The Power of Nunchi, Euny Hong, explains that those who have "nunchi" can "read" an entire room and adjust their movements accordingly.

She exemplifies the actors, directors, and players of poker, that is, those who know that you can not only take care of the person you have against you, but also have to be aware of the environment you are in right now.

In addition, he notes that in addition to observation, the speed at which it occurs is important. If you manage to realize what is happening around you, but much later as the event unfolds, then it will be of no use to you.

People who do not even have a… nunchi trace and who are socially inept are called “nunchi eoptta”.


How to incorporate "nunchi" into your life

Having seen what 'nunchi' is and what is the opposite of it, the question arises as to how to acquire this great social skill.

- The first thing to do before entering a room is to leave your bias away.

Assuming you know everything in advance, limit your senses and leave no room for getting to know the other. This applies to every social contact you have, from a business meeting to an appointment.

- You need to be aware of the impression you make on others.

When you enter a room, your aura changes. Therefore, it is good to know the influence exerted on the site. If for example you like to joke, you should avoid it before getting to know your interlocutor and the site.

- Avoid talking constantly and listening to others.

There is nothing worse than a man who does not let his interlocutor complete. It's just as annoying when we don't hear what they're really telling us, but we're just waiting for the other person to finish talking.

- Move fast

The room you entered ten minutes ago is not the same as it is now. It is important to adapt quickly to new data. If, for example, everyone is sad for some reason, don't start laughing and saying cold jokes.




Euny Hong, (2019), The Power of Nunchi, Penguin Books.


By Dr Angel,

Αggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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