How To Tell An Alcoholic Co-worker By Their Body Language

Fake smiling at work is linked to heavy drinking after.

Apr 15, 2019

| CNN – If you have to deal with the public on the job — especially in retail or restaurants — you know the drill: Flash those pearly whites, even when you don’t want to.

But there may be a price for all of that coerced smiling:

You might drink more when you get off work.

That’s the main finding coming out of a recent study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, in which researchers from Penn State and the University of Buffalo looked at the drinking habits of people who have to work with the public.

They found a link between the fake smiles and increased instances of “knocking a few back” after work.

Alicia Grandey, a psychology professor at Penn State, told Penn State News:

“Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively. It wasn’t just feeling badly 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.”

Grandey urged employers to rethink policies where employees have to serve up “service with a smile” because that might be something of a health hazard for workers.

The downside of “surface acting”

The link between forced smiles and drinking is especially strong in employees who are impulsive and who work in jobs where they only have one-time encounters with customers … Read more. 


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