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People Who Have to Smile at Work Tend to Drink More, According to a Study

There are as many as 19 types of smiles — and a fake smile is one of them. It’s okay to smile once at a waitress in a cafe or at a salesperson in a store even if you don’t feel joy from doing so. But they, on the contrary, have a hard time with issues like this. They need to smile all day which not only tires them, but it also influences their drinking habits according to a study that examined forced smiling at work.

We at Bright Side want to tell you about the connection between hiding our emotions at work and drinking more alcohol. And it’s not just a matter of feeling bad after a long day.

Researchers have studied the drinking habits of 1,592 workers. And those who interact with the public like nurses, teachers, and food service workers tend to drink more. They have to be radiant and smile while explaining a new task, talking with patients, or taking food orders. And they do this despite their personal emotions and current mood.

It turns out that the more often a person hides their negative feelings and pretends to be joyful and happy at work, the more they tend to drink in their free time. And this doesn't only happen due to a bad mood or fatigue from work. Self-control greatly affects this. The more people control themselves at work, the less they can control themselves while drinking alcohol.

Researchers used information about how often workers had to suppress their feelings and how much they drank after work. They also measured the impulsiveness of the participants and how much autonomy they felt at work. And this, in addition to hiding their emotions, also affects the amount of alcohol consumed after work. The more impulsive and less free a person is, the more they may drink.

Moreover, it's more difficult to control oneself while drinking alcohol if they're a highly impulsive person who has one-time encounters with customers than it is for a highly impulsive worker who has constant relations. For example, a call center employee may drink more than a teacher.

But not everything is as bad as it seems at first glance. If employees have a personal reward that's relational or financial, hiding real emotions doesn't have such a bad effect. In any case, this knowledge is useful not only for the workers themselves but for their employers as well.

This connection between fake emotions and drinking habits can be changed if they give employees more freedom at work. And we're not talking about rudeness or complete disrespect for a customer. It’s just that there's no need to put pressure on workers to keep having a fake smile on their face their entire shift.

How often do you have to smile at work? Have you ever lost your temper because of a customer's behavior but continued to appear joyful? Let us know your experience in the comments.

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