Brain Care and Social Interaction

Maryam ziaei
2 min readMar 2, 2021
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We are social creatures and social interaction impacts not only our mental health but also our cognitive health. Individuals with high-quality social relationships are at lower risk of dementia. Social isolation is a major contributor to dementia.

Our ability to understand and respond to social cues is an important skill in this fractured world. Are we good at empathizing with others? Understanding how others are feeling or thinking? How do we perceive information from faces and how do we respond to them?

Our ability to read other’s people minds and understand their point of view, our ability to empathize with others, our ability to get the cues from faces are among those that are critical in how we respond to others. They are called “social cognition” skills.

Have you ever heard of “read the room” topic? People who are good at social cognition are the ones who are able to read the room and understand how others are feeling or thinking. That has huge implications for having successful social communication with your family members, friends, and colleagues.

Understanding how to respond in a social setting help you to manage your anger and others’ anger, help you to achieve more from your communications and interactions with your colleagues and employees, help you to have more satisfaction in your communications with others overall!

What to do?

How can we strengthen our social cognitive skills?

Strengthen your EMPATHY muscle. This is a validated technique that focuses on the following:

  1. Strengthening reading the cues from faces, voices, postures of others.

2. Practicing with labeling your own and other’s emotions.

3. Practicing with paraphrasing and trying to understand other’s points of view without judgment.

Also, it is important to practice self-compassion, talking to ourselves the same way we talk to a friend.

Don’t think about blaming and criticizing yourself as a way to motivate yourself. Love is more powerful than fear!

At NeuroAcer we offer different strategies to improve social skills and empathy skills. Our research is based on understanding these cues in late adulthood and brain areas important for these skills. For more information look at our publications page too!



Maryam ziaei

I'm a neuroscientist, a mum, and a mental health advocate. I inspire to help people get through difficult stages of their lives.