Hahaha. Trying to understand how much or how little emotion is necessary to get a point across within a particular cultural matrix is seriously not worth it. Seriously. Not.
Better to rely on one's own resources. I'm no longer prepared to throw the dice, and I have enough knowledge, now, that I do not have to. I have a whole philosophy of life, which I didn't have before. I was still trying to work it out.
I've reverted to just being myself, rather than engaging with the practice of adapting. This means I no longer feel obliged to express the requisite amount of emotion in order to prove myself authentic -- the one you mention here: "It is interesting since at the same time, not to express the correctly conventional emotion at the right time is considered suspect."
In short, I no longer care whether I appear suspect. I'm sure I'm very, very suspect, but, oddly enough, not trying to adapt makes me feel less suspect, and in all it seems to come across much better than when I do try to adapt to something I don't fully understand nor have any natural feeling for.
If one thing has become very clear to me over the years, it's that I can't guess at the correct amount of conventional emotion to express in conventional settings. Under-doing it is my natural inclination, but I also tend to be too effusive if I'm impressed with someone. So long as the setting isn't politicized by workplace competitive haggling, nobody gives me a hard time about any of this. I'm not playing any kind of weird game in an unconventional way; I have nothing hidden up my sleeve.
No longer trying is the best solution also in terms of firming one's instincts. If someone cries or belly-aches and I don't know what it means, I'll just do whatever makes me feel comfortable. After all, isn't that what they are doing? They are perfectly comfortable within their own culture and they are belly-aching and it's supposed to mean something. I don't like it; and I also don't know what it means. I'm in a poor position to figure it out. In any case, the meaning isn't for me, but for someone who understands it.
I've found the worst mistake I've made in my life is to assume that I'm responsible for understanding everything that takes place around me. To draw too close to people who have fundamentally different ways of thinking about the world makes them believe that you need something from them, which has probably been true only in a limited sense, in the past. I've needed to confirm my own efficacy through understanding them. However, I haven't needed anything from them emotionally. A foreign emotional organization makes me cringe, and I don't like it at all. Not to get too close to it is my natural instinct.
Then you get too close, and these people blame you for everything wrong in their lives. I'm duplicitous; I'm manipulative, blah-blah. This is all because I don't experience a genuine emotional resonance with those whose emotions are organized differently from mine. I don't feel reality in the same way. The assumption some people have drawn, that I want to feel it in that way, but cannot, is untrue. I've actually never wanted to adapt to a Western way of feeling things. I've tried to do so out of duty, but I've never liked the feel of it.
So, definitely, definitely, I'm not what I appear to be to Western people. Whereas they seem to be hard on the outside, but are liquid caramel inside, I can appear to be effusive on the outside, but my emotions are sometimes very hard to get hold of, even for me. I employ various strategies so that I do not crack internally. Kickboxing is my main means to keep myself emotionally supple.
Avoiding Westerners and their confusing back-to-front natures also keeps my stress levels down. And not trying to solve their puzzle. They are alien, and I will leave it that way.