It’s time for China’s ‘giant infants’ to become responsible adults

By Li Aixin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/2 18:38:39

A new TV series titled Chinese-Style Blind Dating triggered a lively public discussion in China recently. The show, which invites parents of young bachelors on stage to give opinions and even have the final verdict of whether a girl is a good match for their sons during blind dates, while single men wait in a room offstage, has raised some eyebrows.

Apart from the criticism calling it "arranged marriage," more people are disappointed with those bachelors after hearing some expressed they wanted to "find someone who can take care of me." It sounds like they are not looking for true love or their other half, but a mother.

It is thus not surprising to see some netizens call those men on the show "selfish giant babies."

Ninety percent of love and pain in our lives is related to one basic fact - for most adults, their mentality is at the same level as a baby. This is the latest research results of Chinese psychoanalyst Wu Zhihong.

In his new book Nation of Giant Infants, he claimed that a majority of Chinese adults' mental age is stuck at the level of a 6-month-old infant, which can explain a series of current social phenomenon including the emergence of Mama's boys and poor family relationships.

Soaring divorce rate in China may also be another example of how psychological distance between couples turns out to be the killer of marriages.

In early December, the divorce of Chinese pop singer He Jie and her husband He Ziming was among the most eye-catching gossips.

In the reality show they once participated, audiences can always feel how deeply he cared about her, because he often asked the same question to the camera crew once they were apart from one another - she might be hungry now, has she got anything to eat?

However, after years of marriage, she has to take on the responsibilities of caring for two children, doing household duties and focusing on her career. All the while, he is only interested in playing video games with his son while having no desire to come to her aid. When she wants to buy bigger houses, luxury furniture and improve their living standard, he tends to believe she is too careless with money instead of showing more understanding and support.

While she has to grow up at full speed as a new mother, he is still acting like a boy, not knowing what she wants or why she is anxious. All he cares about is whether she has eaten, which is perhaps one of the most useless concern.

People used to say that children in China generally mature later than those in Western countries. Even if they are known for being smart, good at math, reciting ancient poetries from memory and excel at playing musical instruments at a young age, they usually do not know how to do the laundry, wash dishes, respect and get along with others.

Unfortunately, such immaturity has continued into many people's adulthood. Being used to the lifestyle in which they are the absolute center of the world, they tend to have no clue how to emphasize, help and make compromises with others. In the face of conflicts, especially in people-to-people relations, some are too lazy to ponder the root cause.

Believing that problems are inevitable, trying to ignore and maybe escape from the enigmas are often their first choice, until one day, their games are over before they grow up.

In reality, substantial factors can result in the giant infant syndrome and the theory can also well explain the childish manners and anxiety experienced by many grown-ups, such as in their relationships. However, shifting the responsibility of immaturity to a mental disorder should not be a closure, but a starting point.

Now we know what is wrong, it's time to solve this riddle in pragmatic ways and make the giant infants grow.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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