The pubescent pains of the heart

Nerd smile Foreword:

My thoughts on inter-personal relationships

interpersonal relationships at work

Picture from:  The Goodfield Institute’s article on “Interpersonal Values Exercise”: “Some years ago I developed a test to surface a person’s place within his or her interpersonal relationship…”

The Goodfield Institute is a professional training organization dedicated to improving the understanding and practical application of all forms of communication. Their mission is helping people and organizations function in a more effective manner…

Yes, “interpersonal relationships” is what they’re calling it in a more studious manner, you know, when it’s something to be worked on.  The intangible matter between two people who are about to embark on a relationship (any relationship) is called an interpersonal relationship and the skills required are gathered under the banner of ‘interpersonal skills’.

From <Student Academic Help> blogspot’s Interpersonal Communications: Article Analysis
(30 Jun 2010). 

The website is by a “highly qualified academician and the website offers free professional academic help to students in their research assignments.”

Interpersonal Relations

God, I’m so glad the days of being a young University student are over.  Don’t get me wrong, I did love it at the time: a time of excitement, the new, the progressive and the relatively unknown.  But to prove that it was truly right only for that time, I now can’t bear the thought of revisiting that time in that state.  Thank God, I think I may just have grown up… a little!  Who me?

Now that really makes me feel ‘old’.  I never really thought I’d hear myself say I’m glad a period of time is over.  I guess it was because up until that time I’d never really experienced any true personal challenges that bring on the ends of you, the death of the old you.  That shedding of ‘old skin’ is a sign of moving on, but the vulnerability of the wilderness that follows is horridly awful.

I’m sure I’ll be the one who says things like:

:: “Now, when I was your age…” ::

:: “I wouldn’t do that if I was you…” ::

:: “Who told you that was a good idea?” ::

Oh God, help!  Embarrassed smile

However, to undergo aches and pains of the heart are an invaluable part of growing up.  Is there any other way to gain emotional maturity other than to earn it? Anything else is superficial, even false, surely?

Emotional maturity is to have the sincerity to be involved with and take initiative with things that you don’t know the ins and outs of:

        • the uncertainty of details;
        • the indefinite endings;
        • the numerous ill-defined paths;
        • the only guarantee is that there will be risks
          like no other you’ve experienced before. 

The stakes are indeed very high… but as they say:

“The greatest love comes from taking on some of the greatest risks life has to offer.”

Now that really is getting deeply involved with your life – to build lives, to create yourself and to touch upon others.



A thorough way to emotional maturity is
to truly participate in your life
and to touch upon the lives of others.

Yes, life can be a bitch, but they do say:

“If it doesn’t kill you, it’ll only make you stronger.”

I am certain some kinda bitch said that.  Winking smile 


“Achy breaky heart”


China Daily | Life: Pulse; 10 May 2011; Mei Jia and Guo Shuhan report

public display of affection by young couple

<< More youngsters are struggling with relationship problems on campus and a proposed compulsory course on the affairs of the heart may just be the balm to soothe these disturbed souls

Xiao Wei, a senior student of Peking University, will never forget the two depressing months he spent getting dragged out for beer and long conversations night after night by a roommate who simply could not come to terms with his break-up. “I was startled to see how an energetic and positive individual like him had suddenly turned into this depressed person, lingering in bed till noon, doing nothing all day and hanging out till late at night,” he says. “But I could do little to help other than listen to his rants.”

It is to help such people that the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education is considering running compulsory courses in universities to teach college students how to deal with affairs of the heart.

In early April, the committee issued new university guidelines for mental health education, including relationship issues.

Aimed at preventing psychological problems from turning into tragedies, the courses are designed to address common problems such as break-ups and same-sex love.

  • A pair of lovers on the campus of Nanjing University

Originally intended as an optional course, it is now considered a compulsory one.

The move has triggered wide debate but most students, teachers and researches are in agreement about the need for such education.

Xia Cuicui, a teacher with the Psychological Consulting Centre of Beijing Normal University, says around 15 percent of the 250 students who turn to the counsellors every year, seek help with relationship problems.

  • Students attend a campus forum on love
    and marriage at Capital Normal University

Xia says the real number of troubled students could be much higher as a number of students hesitate to approach the counsellors, grappling with their pain alone, with disastrous consequences in some cases.

“Most of the students magnify their problems when frustrated in love,” Xia says. “They then lose the confidence to strike a balance in their lives.”

Some students are also troubled by a lack of courage to express their love and are unclear about what they want in a partner, Xia says.

She recalls the case of an academically gifted girl who, despite a host of pursuers, chose an average boy. She told Xia she did a lot for him, even helping him with school work, but the boy broke up with her a year later.

“I really don’t understand why I’m dumped,” the girl told Xia during a consultation, saying she felt humiliated.

Xia advised the girl to take setbacks in love in stride, and as a normal part of maturing.

The teacher, who has been running the optional course, Intimate Relationship and Self-growth, for four years, believes guiding people through relationships is crucial to building their positive self-image.

Wang Hongqi, veteran researcher of women studies at Capital Normal University (CNU), agrees and says since university students are at the threshold of forming relationships, this is the right time for such “love education”.

Wang believes the emotional problems faced by today’s youngsters have to be seen in the larger context of a society in transition, pointing to changing attitudes in the choice of a spouse in recent decades. The overriding emphasis is on the position one occupies in society and the wealth one possess.

Many young people lack a value system to guide their choices, she says.

.:: The way out is to define “a set of up-to-date
values for the 21st century
she adds. ::.

As director of China Research Base on Women Culture under CNU, she believes having campus forums on issues of love and marriage can help this process.

At one such forum held on April 16, writer Cui Manli, speaking to some 100 CNU students, said they should not assess themselves based on others’ value systems.

A random survey of 92 post-graduate students conducted that day, showed that 43.8 percent would agree to a blind date, premarital sex, “naked” marriages (where both partners start their marital life from scratch) and “blitz” marriages (where couples get married soon after their first meeting).

Li Tonggui, a psychology teacher Peking University, says relationship problems are often a result of different perceptions of love as shaped by one’s education, friends and social experiences.

He says the ultimate goal is to teach young adults about how to establish and maintain healthy personal relationships with everyone, and not just between lovers.

The Peking University student Xiao Wei, one of Li’s students, hopes the proposed course will help strengthen traditional values.

“There is too much emphasis on the material aspects at present,” he says.

But Wang Shiyim a senior at Beijing Foreign Studies University, fears the course may not be of much practical help. >>


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