In the most recent episode of Stray Kids‘ YouTube series “2 Kids Room,” members Bang Chan and Lee Know were paired up to talk while the other members watched from behind a screen and added their own thoughts.
As the two oldest members, the two carry a lot of responsibility, with Bang Chan as the leader and Lee Know as the dance leader. But early into their discussion, Bang Chan brings up how, despite being the oldest, he wants all the members of Stray Kids to address him casually.
In Korea, the level of formality you use to treat someone is fundamental. Depending on if someone is older or more experienced than you, there is an expected level of respect you must treat them with in addition to using formal speech.
But Bang Chan tells Lee Know that he’s told all of Stray Kids to speak to him casually.
And Lee Know admits that despite Bang Chan telling him that, he “only [speaks] half-casually.”
Bang Chan explains that he feels more comfortable if his members are informal with him because when he became a JYP Entertainment trainee, he was one of the youngest trainees. So “the elders scolded [him] a lot back then,” which he became accustomed to.
But, when he saw how more senior groups interacted with each other, “they all talked casually regardless of age and seemed really comfortable.”
So upon seeing that, Bang Chan realized that he “wanted people to be comfortable around” him too. And that if they felt comfortable enough, he hoped they would speak to him casually.
But, laughing, Bang Chan admits that no one does speak to him casually.
But Lee Know has the perfect explanation for why the Stray Kids members have difficulty fulfilling Bang Chan’s request and speaking to their leader casually.
Lee Know brings up the scenario of “when a friend asks you, “Are you uncomfortable around me?'”
Typically, with your attention drawn to your comfort level, “you start feeling uncomfortable.” Even though you didn’t notice any uncomfortable feeling before.
Lee Know explains that he feels the same way when Bang Chan asks them to speak casually. When Bang Chan mentions it, even though it feels odd, leaving Lee Know to wonder if he has “to do it now,” he remembers to address him casually.
But the next day, when the idea of speaking casually has left his mind, he doesn’t remember to do it and naturally addresses Bang Chan formally.
But in stark contrast to Bang Chan’s desire to have all the members speaking to him casually, Lee Know wonders why his members only address him casually.
Lee Know jokes by saying that since that means his members feel comfortable enough addressing him casually, he “should show them [his] power.”