By Judith E. Glaser
We are all familiar with the ‘chemistry’ factor in relationships and the chemical attraction metaphor. However, we are now learning that our insights about the chemical nature of relationships and conversations are more than a metaphor—they are a reality!
For many decades, I’ve been intrigued by the chemical impacts—both positive and negative—that conversations have on us. I married a biochemist and for decades we’ve shared lots of conversations about our work. When we first wrote about the “Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations” for Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today, we received confirmation that we were on to something important.
Positive comments and positive conversations provide a chemical “high,” and yet negative ones stick with us much longer. A critique from a boss, a disagreement with a colleague, or a fight with a friend can make you forget praise. If you are called lazy, careless or unprofessional, you are likely to remember it and internalize it, making it not very easy to forget, and discounting all the times people say you’re talented.