“Although people often think of older adults as ornery, they’re actually nicer when they have problems in their relationships. When they do feel upset, they’re more likely to wait to see if things improve than yell or argue.”
- - The New York Times, 7 June 2005
That’s a researcher from one of two new studies reporting that older people are not as grumpy or crabby as they are thought to be, and they are also better, according to the studies, at getting along with others than young people.
Although there are good reasons for Crabby Old Lady’s moniker, she has noticed that she’s more likely to let it go in recent years than in the past, at least when disagreements turn up among friends if not politics and the culture at large. And she agrees with the researchers about avoidance too:
“It may be that avoiding problems is good for relationships,” Dr. Birditt said. “Particularly if it’s a personality issue, something unlikely to change, it may be helpful to just ignore it.”
That fortunately, is a lesson Crabby Old Lady learned young: it’s not for nothing that for 20-odd years she has owned a sofa pillow stitched with a saying of Mark Twain’s:
“Never try to teach a pig to sing – it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”
[Thanks to M. Dent for the tip on this story]