Learning Touchy-Feely Mandarin

Today I had my first Mandarin class with a friend of mine. We decided it could be cool to do a joint class and maybe lower fees for both of us, but potentially have a wider variety of things to talk about and practice our Mandarin.
At the beginning of class, I related to the teacher what my goals were, which were to learn “feelings” words, conversation, and usage, and to gain enough fluency in business Mandarin to deliver my old creativity in online advertising presentation and be able to field questions.
The second goal was pretty standard; my teacher is already teaching at companies like Google and helping people with their work with China. The specific language used in online advertising is something she hasn’t much experience in, but I think we’ll get there.
The first goal was more unusual. Initially when I told my friend I was interested in learning Mandarin, and that I wanted to learn “feelings” words in Mandarin, she laughed and said that was exactly what she was doing with her current teacher. I laughed too and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do this.
Learning “feelings” words is definitely a female thing. But in the last 2 years post-divorce, I have come to believe that communication of one’s inner feelings is crucial to maintaining good relations with another person, whether in English or Mandarin. I think it is useful for people of both sexes to learn the language of feelings and to practice using them so that they become part of their normal everyday vocabulary.
As we talked today through class, I came to realize that many of these words were not known to the teacher. I asked why that was. Apparently, it is more than just not knowing the language. It’s much more deeper than that – apparently it’s a cultural thing.
The Chinese, over the centuries, have come to view expression of their feelings to be downplayed or not done at all for a variety of reasons ranging from men afraid to show that they are weak to just lack of modern research in relations and the effects of “feelings” communication.
This revelation was very interesting to me. I thought back to my parents and definitely they did not use this language much. Then when it came to English, they didn’t bother to learn these words and the use of “feelings” communication became doubly removed. Which then leads to the children – uh, that’s ME – not learning this method of communicating – or at least not from parents. It suddenly became very clear as to why my “feelings” communication abilty was severely hampered until the last 2 years or so and I actively pursued its study in attempt to be better at it…at least in English.
I can already communicate light conversation with someone in Mandarin. It was time to up the ante and get into more complex concepts. Ultimately, I believe this will make a stronger communicator when it comes to relating to someone in Mandarin, and, I believe, even in business situations.