Finding balance in the second half of life

This Is your Brain on Friends

In Community, Fulfillment on November 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

It went against my better instincts to have lunch with Lois before my first meeting with a prospective client. I felt that I should be brushing up on. . .I don’t know–something–and I’m not great company when I’m anxious. But we had lunch scheduled and I like having lunch with Lois. She makes me laugh.

Turns out my instincts were wrong. Research from the Institute of Social Research shows that the kind of “friendly talk” you have with a good friend or when making a new friend improves focus and working memory. My meeting went well and I got the project.

You might want to keep this in mind if you’re giving a big presentation. However, if the only person around to talk to is a frenemy, skip it. Researchers say conversations that have a competitive edge don’t have any cognitive benefits at all.

–Christine MacLean

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