For about a year, John Leland interviewed five New Yorkers over-85. What they revealed to him became a long-form article in The New York Times. Here you can read it.
One of the chief findings, both from the interviews and the research Leland did, is that we really do acquire wisdom as we age. That becomes the platform for more appropriate decision-making. And, that, in itself, can prevent the kind of emotional and interactional conflict of our younger days.
For example, one woman balances what her boyfriend and her daughter want by delaying marrying. She leaves things as they are. Both the lover and the daughter can live with that. In our youth, we might have made that an "issue" we had to take a stand on. Currently, we understand the wisdom of, as the Beatles sang, letting it be.
Improving what I call my Wisdom IQ has helped me navigate the challenges of operating a business in a glam industry. Anything associated with glam is a code word for "young." The front lines of my profession are filled with cool women and men in the late 20s.
I could have pushed back on that, as I had repressive politics during the Counterculture. Instead I relocated my communications boutique to where most assignments are remote. Here in the Southwest, I simply inform prospects in Manhattan and Inside the Beltway what I can do for them, sight unseen. So far, so good.
In personal relationships which aren't intimate, I no longer try to "talk it out." I simply make a decision that I don't want those people in my life any more. And that's that. There is no need to invite interpersonal conflict with human beings not close to us.
Leland also brings out the downside of aging. The possible negatives include poverty and illness. The funny thing, though, is that I also experienced poverty and illness in my youth. This time around, I have new ways of framing those. That makes them less of a big deal.