3 important life lessons you can learn from popular K-drama ‘Queen of Tears’

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Press Release

Without a doubt, ‘Queen of Tears‘ is the most popular Korean drama right now. It has the right mix of ingredients—from a renowned screenwriter (Park Ji-eun, also the writer of the popular Korean series ‘Crash Landing on You‘) to a charming and effective cast (led by Kim Soo-huyn of ‘It’s Okay Not To Be Okay‘ and Kim Ji-won of ‘Descendants of the Sun‘). The show is the most-watched drama in Korea this year. 

Queen of Tears‘ begins like a romantic comedy, with office worker Baek Hyun-woo (played by Soo-hyun) falling for intern Hong Hae-in (played by Ji-won). We then see them three years later, married but with a less than ideal relationship. Hae-in, it turns out, is a chaebol heiress and has moved up from intern to chief executive of the Queens Group, obsessed with hitting a one-trillion-won sales target for their company’s department store. Hyun-woo has grown to resent his wife and is determined to divorce her. 

Just as Hyun-woo is about to give her the divorce papers, Hae-in reveals she has a brain tumor and only has three months to live. Initially, Hyun-woo thinks of this as a stroke of luck: he only has to endure his wife for three months while trying to convince Hae-in to include him in her will. But what follows are narrative turns—realistic in their portrayal and occasionally farcical in their soap opera-like qualities—that reveal how their relationship turned sour, making viewers ask if Hyun-woo and Hae-in would get a happy ending.  

Filipinos love ‘Queen of Tears,’ which aired its finale recently, because of its emotionally mature depiction of relationships coupled with twists that keep viewers wanting for more. Of course, while presented in a dramatic, sometimes over-the-top fashion, the show’s portrayal of adult relationship problems are true-to-life. The issues of Hyun-woo and Hae-in here are realistic and relatable.

Experiencing a ‘Queen of Tears‘ hangover? Reminisce by dissecting the life and money lessons you can learn from the highly popular show!

Communication is key.

Anyone in a long-term commitment with a significant other knows that relationships require a lot of hard work. Part of this work is communicating with each other and how. A study published in the journal Frontier in Psychology claims that how one responds during conflicts with a partner is linked to the quality of their relationship. Based on the study that surveyed 130 people in dating relationships between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, it adds that an “active-constructive capitalization response” has the strongest influence on relationship satisfaction.

During the course of the show, viewers will find out that the relationship issues of the main couple go beyond Hae-in’s workaholic, almost ice queen stance; it is merely a façade she uses to cope with her traumas and how people, including Hyun-woo, have mistreated her. In real life, their relationship would be far rosier if Hae-in and Hyun-woo simply sat down and talked about their issues in a safe and understanding space.

Knowing and understanding people outside your social circle and class.

The initial draw of ‘Queens of Tears’ is seeing how Hyun-woo and Hae-in’s relationship could work given that they are from different social classes. Fiction often depicts the difference between the upper class and the lower and middle class too significant that it could create a gap in romantic relationships. There is truth to this. 

According to an article published by the British Psychology Society, people in middle to low socio-economic classes are better at understanding other people’s emotions. This makes them more emphatic, able to properly respond to the problems and concerns of others. Meanwhile, a study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science claims that upper-class individuals are likely to feel more confident and independent than those from lower socio-economic classes.  

What’s important is to recognize how people from different cultures and upbringings may differ from you. Perhaps Hyun-woo would learn to emphasize with Hae-in more if he is more aware of how to bridge the difference of their economic classes?

Money is not everything—but it also is.

In the first few episodes of “Queen of Tears,” part of the show’s farcical qualities come from Hyun-woo’s efforts to hide from Hae-in his initial plan to divorce her before knowing she only has three months to live. This is in his attempt to be included in Hae-in’s will. Viewers may find this funny and deceptive, but the truth is that money is an important factor in any relationship. A 2019 study from the University of Tennessee says money is the issue couples often disagree about.

It may have helped Hyun-woo if he knew Hae-in was a chaebol heiress before they pursued a relationship. But outside of that implausible scenario, it will help couples if they assess their financial values first before marrying. It’s also important to be financially honest with one another before any long-term commitment, including—this includes knowing each other’s financial status (savings, debts, assets) and goals.

While that may not sound romantic, including financial honesty can make your relationship stronger. Part of achieving this is through maintaining financial health with your partner, after all. While numerous financial partners offer tools and services, a particularly beneficial option is RCBC’s Hexagon Club. An award-winning club for individual account holders where members can enjoy premium banking service and special perks meant to help you reach your financial goals—including free life insurance coverage, access to a dedicated business relationship manager, higher rates on time deposit and lower rates on loans, among others. To become a member, simply open any RCBC Peso Checking or Savings account and maintain the required deposit of at least 100,000

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