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The Power of Friendship with Lydia Denworth
Episode 1916th December 2020 • This Shit Works • Julie Brown
00:00:00 00:31:36

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Would you be surprised if I told you that friendship is as important for your health as diet and exercise. That there is an actual correlation between how social you are and how long you will live! New research shows that the power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, which doesn't surprise me one fucking bit since my personal experience is that families are messy and unreliable. And it's your friends that you can depend on!

Why then do they take a backseat to our more pressing day to day responsibilities?

We all have friends, we all make friends, and friendship seems to be a hallmark of human behavior. But despite all this, it’s taken years for scientists to formally consider this aspect of human life! Quite surprisingly, even the study of animals has uncovered that social relationships and bonding are what ensure that you thrive. That it's not just survival of the fittest but also of the friendliest!

Joining me on the episode today is Lydia Denworth, ​contributing editor for Scientific American, writer for Psychology Today, as well as the author of ‘Friendship: The Evolution, Biology and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond’.​ Take a moment to listen in on my conversation with Lydia to hear about her research into the biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations of friendships, the importance of these friendships for long term happiness, and how we can learn to cultivate, nurture, and invest in our friendships.

Friendship is like rewarding your brain, it's fun and it's pleasurable, so you keep coming back for more. Building on a friendship is neither easy nor quick. Lydia shares how a researcher at the University of Kansas actually counted up the number of hours it takes to go from an acquaintance to a friend, to a really good friend. Friendship is a voluntary relationship that definitely takes time to build!

Lydia introduces us to Sylvia, a real mean baboon, that is until she experienced loss. What Sylvia did after her loss stunned even the primatologists, and her actions ultimately led to a better understanding of the importance of friendship and social bonding in animals.Tune in to experience the surprise for yourself!

Growing up, I thought I was going to be a biologist, making me pursue a bachelor's degree in biology that I do nothing with today. And my inner biologists absolutely loved the conversation with Lydia. I hope you have a good time listening too.

Drink of the Week​ is Beautiful Friendship, a cocktail of Cointreau, dark rum, lime juice, simple syrup and tamarind concentrate. (P.S.-If you don't know about tamarind concentrate or tamarind juice and you aren't using it in your cocktails, you don't know what you're missing out on!)

Ingredients​- 0.75 oz Cointreau

1.5 oz Dark rum

0.5 oz Fresh lime juice

0.25 oz Simple syrup

1 bar spoon Tamarind concentrate 5 leaves Fresh mint

1 pinch Cinnamon

2 oz Soda

Muddle mint in simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Add Cointreau, rum, lime juice, tamarind concentrate, and pinch of cinnamon and fill with ice. Shake that shit and strain over ice into a Collins glass. Top with soda and stir to combine. Garnish with mint sprigs.

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Relevant Links:

Lydia’s book: 8 39 ​(Website) ​(Instagram)​ (LinkedIn)​ (Youtube)​ (Facebook)