In China many different kinds of relationships exist between people. When dealing with different people, it is normal to encounter social contradictions. In China, these kinds of contradictions are caused by one phenomenon: ‘mianzi’, or ‘face’. We could translate this into proud or ego. The meaning of ‘mianzi’ is that you don’t argue against somebody. In other words, you give the other person some space to retreat. In Chinese business life it is normal to accept your own defeat, so to speak, to respect a trustworthy party. In the movie Feifei is explaining she did not refuse to drink when her friend invited her, while she actually didn’t want to. She acted in this way because she didn’t want to hurt her friend’s feelings. To maintain the others dignity, you set yourself aside. The literal translation of ‘gei mianzi’ is ‘give face’: do everything to prevent hurting someone’s feelings.
When talking about mianzi, there are many more little conducts in China. We will elaborate on those later!