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"YingHua in Beijing" Honors Program Journal

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12/28/2005


by Bonnie on 0000-00-00

Dear Rachel,
Glad to see you're posting again. How are the other two doing?
I was worried that you might get a little holiday blue now, but you've certainly dissolved my concerns. I am sure your emotions must have had ups and downs, but that's the part I hope everybody is experiencing.
When you were at home, you had a sense of security. Whenever you ran into any troubles, you had a tighter safety net to ¡°catch you¡± that could ensure a quicker rebounce.
Now you are away from home, suddenly no one can READ your mind to provide that instant feedback and guidance any more - even though there are plenty of people caring about you. Somehow the safety net is ¡°looser¡± and ¡°weaker¡± - away from home. It tends to take a little longer for you to rebound when feeling low.
The good thing is you are building your own muscles trying to bounce back while being away from home. On your own, you're bouncing back quicker and quicker. This is such an important aspect of EQ - managing your emotions.
I am so happy for you learning to deal with more complicated interpersonal issues. You see, when you're at home, you can go home and leave those people whom you don't like at school. At Limai, you are with everybody almost all the time - whether you like them or not. You have to face a lot more issues than you were at home!
As for the lonely girl you mentioned, it sounds like she's got a lot to learn in dealing with people. My advice would be - it's your choice: you can leave her alone if you've got a lot of things on your plate already OR you can take some time trying to be open with her and be friend with her.
From my own experience, at this age, if you chose the second road, you might not get much friendship in return but a lot of headache - as kids at this age could be really mean and irrational for many reasons. You might wind up feeling hurt and distressed at times.
However, if your heart told you that you should not leave her alone, you should follow your heart and not try to do things only because others are doing it, but you¡¯d need to be emotionally smart about it and be emotionally prepared you're not GETTING much from this friendship. All you'd do would be trying to warm a lonely heart.
When I first started working, there¡¯s a guy in my group who¡¯s just like the Oscar in the Sesame Street. He¡¯s always negative, always grudging about something, and always being sarcastic. I later learned that he was mistreated by his parents as a teenager. Even though I did not agree with his attitude towards life, I felt that I could understand him so it showed in my working relationship with him. When he left for another company, I told him that I could understand the kind of pain he¡¯d been through and that he was a good person in his heart. He hugged me and wiped his tears.
Sometimes, all we could do is trying to understand others. Being able to understand others by putting ourselves in their shoes is another important aspect of EQ ¨C empathy. Needless to say, the more ¡°weird¡± or ¡°lonely¡± or ¡°strange¡± people you could get to know (in an absolutely safe environment), the easier it would be for you to understand ¡°normal¡± people. HOWEVER, the trade-off is the time and emotion you¡¯d be putting in making this kind of effort.
In other words, from a social development or EQ development point of view, I¡¯d applaud this kind of effort. However, knowing how busy you are already and the challenge of being a pre-teen, I would want you to be very cautious.
As for the new semester, yes, there will be a boy in your grade. I¡¯ll ask him to get in touch with you. There will be four fifth graders (one to be confirmed).
Hope to hear from you often. It¡¯s a joy to see how you grow!
Happy New Year!
Regards,
Bonnie
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