But Over Time ...
As crazy as it sounds, the tendency for old people to ramble on about the past may actually have been programmed into them by evolution. And that means you'll do it, too, once your cave dweller DNA kicks in.
See, nostalgia actually has an evolutionally beneficial purpose in that it stimulates a natural antidepressant in the brain. As we get older, this reflex only becomes more pronounced. The weight and stresses of life mount up with age and added responsibility, and so having a larger amount of life experience to reminisce over helps the brain calm itself and allow us to continue existing.
Unfortunately, hyenas are immune to hard-hitting war stories.
Back in prehistoric times, the risk of becoming depressed in your cold, dank cave without so much as basic cable would have been a death sentence in a world where you had to fight cougars for your lunch. The survivors in this world would have been the ones who kept up the drive to keep at it year after year. It would be a great benefit if growing older came with some kind of defense mechanism against misery. Unfortunately for everyone else in the cave, this mechanism turned out to be rambling about the good old days to anyone who would listen.
"This story is important because it happened to me."
It's all part of the circle of life, though, that just as your granddad annoys you with the same stories over and over again, so too will you annoy your grandkids in the same way, all in the name of the survival of your species.
You can attempt to coax Mike out of his misanthropic hate cave on Facebook and Twitter, but keep your eyes closed, it's not a pretty sight.
For more on what you'll be like when you're older, check out 6 Obnoxious Old People Habits (Explained by Science). Or learn about the 6 Habits You Didn't Know Were Keeping You Alive.
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