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5 mins

Why Is Everyone Talking About The Korean Superpower Nunchi?

Discover the subtle yet powerful Korean superpower of Nunchi, and how you can use it to connect with anyone, transforming everything from your work life to your love life.
by Vanessa Gibbs | Dec 7 2023

Want to turn strangers into fast friends? Expand your network and make colleagues love you? Build trust and rapport with just about anyone? You need the Korean art of Nunchi.

Nunchi literally translates to “eye measure,” and it involves using nothing but your eyes to assess a social situation and read a room. By observing more, you’ll pick up on the subtle clues that tell you what people are really thinking and feeling.

Eye Contact

If it sounds like a superpower, that’s because it is. Korean-American author Euny Hong dives into the concept, and how you can use it at work and in your personal life, in The Power of Nunchi.

You can learn this Korean art in just 15 minutes on the Blinkist app. The Blinkist team takes key insights from nonfiction books and shares them as 15-minute explainers you can read or listen to on the app.

As well as The Power of Nunchi, you can explore 6,500 titles across 27 categories like personal development, psychology, and mindfulness.

Blinkist is offering its explainer of The Power of Nunchi for free on the phone and web app so that you can learn this superpower for yourself.

Want a taster of what you can expect to see on the app? Here are four lessons from the explainer to get you started.

Lesson 1: Read the Room, Not The Person

One key part of nunchi is reading the entire room you’re in, instead of focusing on one person in particular. That includes being aware of how everyone in the room is behaving and interacting with each other, as well as noticing the overall atmosphere of a room, or boonwigi, as it’s known in Korea.

Next time you’re at a party or in a large meeting, see if you can pick up on the room’s overall mood, and how it can change depending on who walks in and how well people are getting on. This will help you adapt your own behavior to match.

Lesson 2: Try the Practice of Stilling

Stilling is an important part of nunchi that involves slowing down, being quiet, and paying attention to everything around you, almost like a form of mindfulness.

For example, before you enter a room, clear your mind and bring yourself into the present. Go into the room without any preconceptions or mental distractions.

This will not only help you read the room — and the people in it — more accurately, it’ll ensure you start each interaction you have with a clear mind, giving you a better chance at connecting and striking up a friendship.

Lesson 3: Never Pass Up a Good Opportunity to Be Quiet

When you’re focusing on reading the room and stilling your mind, you may naturally become quieter. According to the art of nunchi, this is a good thing.

Being quiet will allow you to watch how others interact, listen to what they’re really saying to better respond to them, and pick up on nonverbal cues that are easily missed when you’re busy being loud and assertive.

Korean kids are even taught not to ask questions during class. Chances are, by being quiet and actively listening, their question will be answered soon enough. And if it isn’t, they can ask once the lesson is over and there’s no longer a risk of distracting other students by interrupting the teacher.

Lesson 4: Figure Out What Your Boss Really Needs to Excel at Work

To get a promotion at work, you need to ace all your projects and make your boss happy. But that’s easier said than done. One way nunchi can help you in your work life is by reminding you to observe.

Instead of getting swept up in your own to-do list, observe your boss and work out what their biggest problem is. Then, present yourself as the solution.

This could be handling a tricky account they no longer have time for or taking on admin responsibilities they don’t enjoy.

By practicing the art of nunchi, you’ll not only be working smarter, not harder, on the tasks that matter, you’ll be making yourself practically irreplaceable in your boss’ eyes.

Clearly, nunchi has the power to transform how you view the world, and how you interact with the people in it. Want more nunchi wisdom? Blinkist’s explainer of The Power of Nunchi is now available for free, so you can learn more about the Korean superpower in just 15 minutes. Here’s how the app works.

A Book Explained in 15 Minutes

Nonfiction books like The Power of Nunchi are packed with interesting ideas and actionable advice, but they can take hours — or even days — to read cover to cover. That’s where Blinkist comes in.

The expert team of researchers, writers, and editors at Blinkist pull out the key takeaways from a nonfiction book and share them as a 15-minute explainer you can read or listen to.

If you like what you read or hear on Blinkist, you can buy the book in full, knowing it’ll be worth your time.

A Library of Superpowers in Your Pocket

Nunchi App Screenshot
The sleek and simple design makes it easy to learn from some of the world’s best books in minutes — whether that’s through listening or reading.

Beyond nunchi, you can learn everything from how to negotiate how to invest, how to get into a flow state to how to lead a team.

Blinkist’s library is 6,500 books strong, and it’s getting bigger all the time — the team adds 70 new books every month.

Explore categories for your work life, personal life, and superpowers to help you excel in everything from parenting to management to productivity.

“When we started, most apps were for social media or gaming. We wanted to do something different and build an app that would add genuine value to someone’s life.”
–Holger Seim, CEO of Blinkist

Apple Calls Blinkist One of the World’s Best Apps

Blinkist’s mission is to help the world read and learn, and tech giant Apple has taken notice. Apple named Blinkist one of the world’s best apps and one of the top 20 apps for lifelong learning.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is even a fan of the Blinkist app.

28 Million Users Love Blinkist

Beyond Apple, Blinkist is loved by the likes of The New York Times and Forbes, and it’s won awards from Google and the United Nations.

“Time is everything. It’s all we really have. Blinkist is useful because reading is powerful. It helps me to learn every day.”
–Ian Warner, Olympic Athlete and FIXT Founder

But, most importantly, Blinkist is loved by 28 million users from around the world — they’ve given the app 104,000 5-star ratings.

Users turn to Blinkist to discover life-changing knowledge in nonfiction books in less time. Want to join them? To get the explainer of The Power of Nunchi for free, visit the web app or download the Blinkist app and search for the book.

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