Smiling has always been considered to be extremely important, as it eases the mood and acts as a social cue. But according to a recent study, this may only be if the smile is genuine. If a smile is fake, it may actually be doing more harm than good, and can have negative implications for our health. The study was a joint effort from Penn State University and the University of Buffalo.
According to the researchers of this study, people who work in areas that expose them to the public (such as clerks, waiters, taxi drivers and so on) are more likely to go out for a drink after a shift, where they will have spent several hours dealing with people they do not necessarily like and pretending to be happy. The link between having to try to please people with a facial gesture and then consuming alcohol was even stronger in highly impulsive people, and in professions that required constant customer engagement (such as virtual customer service.
Based on these findings, the leader of the study, Alicia Grandey, says “Pretending and suppressing emotions with clients leads to the need to drink more than one’s own work stress or negative emotions.“
“If you are impulsive or are constantly being told how to do your job, it may be more difficult to control your emotions during the day. So, when you get home, you don’t have that self-control to stop once you start drinking,” Grandey explains.
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