Do We Get Better at Picking Our Battles?

University of Michigan researcher, Dr. Kira S. Birditt recently reported that elderly people are more likely to just walk away.

"People assume that it's best to actively deal with interpersonal tensions by discussing problems and trying to figure out ways to solve them. But we found that most [elderly] people avoid problems by not saying anything, ignoring the situation and just letting it pass. Maybe avoidance isn't such a bad way to deal with tensions after all."

So we get more passive with age? These findings explain a lot in the sense that they are correlated with findings that elderly people are generally less upset by bad personal interactions. But they beg the question, “is this the underlying cause of increased untreated depression in the elderly untreated depression in the elderly"? They are passive. Maybe we expect them to be passive. Is that why we don’t recognize it when the adoption of a passive coping strategy in the elderly has become maladaptive?

Only one criticism of these important findings

"The researchers analyzed the responses of 666 participants who…"

Come on Dr. Birditt, couldn’t you have thrown out one subject just to avoid, “The Beast”? You know how politically charged science is these days.