Case Study. The same old saying about ocean and fishes
Your parents are concerned with your little brother Marcus. Once a brilliant student with excellent grades and a joyful social life, Marcus has lost interest for a couple of months in studying and spending time on books, he has started isolating more and more from his friends, and he seems finding shelter in his room, by himself.
Per se, these are not negative things, but what is concerning is the sudden change in the behavior.
You know your brother, he used to look up to you for mentorship and now there’s something very unnatural in the way he carries himself and eventually your “big brother” instinct steps in…
After a couple of pep-talks, Marcus finally spills the beans: the boy experienced his first love rejection, and he just doesn’t know how to cope with it.
He really cares about this girl Sarah. She’s in his math class, they used to spend a lot of time together and while he was starting to develop feelings for her, she always saw him as her cool and funny buddy to spend time with in the cafeteria chit chatting about whatever…
You feel very relieved knowing that all of this is just because of Sarah, but at the same time you feel sorry for him: Marcus is very mature for his age, but he’s still naive and fragile about many things; he has just discovered one of the many harsh truths of life, one for which he was not ready yet…
- How would you help Marcus overcome his negative feelings?
- How would you help Marcus restore trust in himself?
- How would you describe the situation to your parents?
Of course, in these cases, there are no correct answers. Marcus alone can work on his feelings and process his thoughts. You, as his big brother, can stand by his side in this particular event of his life.
How would you help Marcus overcome his negative feelings?
Be mature and do not nurture false hopes, make him understand that rejection is part of life. Sometimes you get what you want and what you fight for, sometimes you just can’t make things happen.
How would you help Marcus restore trust in himself?
Support him in finding valuable lessons from this experience. Do not diminish his feelings and cheer him by helping him focus his attention on the many other things that he values in life.
How would you describe the situation to your parents?
Your parents need to be reassured as well. Talk with them very frankly, help them understand that Marcus is going through a typical teenager’ lifecycle, it’s his business and he just needs some privacy…
Emotional intelligence, relational capabilities, empathy