It's hard to maintain a cordial relationship with every colleague at work. What's harder is to have a good rapport with clients. We've all faked a smile at a co-worker or a customer/client when we didn't want to, because professionalism called for it. You can't show your emotions at work every time, can you? But turns out, faking a smile at work may be driving you to drink more.
According to a study conducted by researchers at Penn State and the University at Buffalo, fake smiling at work may lead to heavier drinking after hours.
In a statement, Alicia Grandey, professor of psychology at Penn State, said, "Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negative. It wasn't just feeling bad that makes them reach for a drink. Instead, the more they have to control negative emotions at work, the less they are able to control their alcohol intake after work."
She further explained how even though smiling is a positive thing, but faking it all day can have adverse effects. She said, "Smiling as part of your job sounds like a really positive thing, but doing it all day can be draining. In these jobs, there's also often money tied to showing positive emotions and holding back negative feelings. Money gives you a motivation to override your natural tendencies, but doing it all day can be wearing."
The study explained the more someone fakes their emotions (surface acting), higher is the alcohol consumption after office hours.
Grandey said, "The relationship between surface acting and drinking after work was stronger for people who are impulsive or who lack personal control over behaviour at work. If you're impulsive or constantly told how to do your job, it may be harder to rein in your emotions all day, and when you get home, you don't have that self-control to stop after one drink."
Given the hierarchy, employers regulate the task assigned to their subordinates and also monitor their code of conduct. But Grandey suggests, "Employers may want to consider allowing employees to have a little more autonomy at work like they have some kind of choice on the job. And when the emotional effort is clearly linked to financial or relational rewards, the effects aren't so bad."
Time to stop smiling?
Love all things colourful and cute? Take it up a POP with POPxo Shop's collection of super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves and more!