“Just be yourself” might be a legitimate recommendation for most social interactions, but, while you’re at work, go ahead and “fake it” as much as you need to.According to a study recently presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, “authentic self expression” and showing your true colours at the office won’t make you happier or bring you greater satisfaction.
In fact, the better you are at faking it, the more satisfied you’ll be at work. This means that it’s far more important to fit in with the culture then stand your ground and therefore, create tension among your co-workers.
“You hear self-help gurus say that the secret to happiness is ‘being yourself’ or ‘expressing your true feelings’, but that doesn’t seem to apply in the workplace – at least for the sample we studied,” co-author Oliver Robinson says in the study. “So in some circumstances, it may be that a polite smile or tactfully keeping quiet may be more conducive to your well-being than saying what you actually think and feel to work colleagues.“
Researchers from the University of Greenwich and University of Houston assessed 533 respondents to see “how far they opened up to people they interacted with socially” and compared this with the participants’ levels of satisfaction and well-being. The study found that those who were the most honest were also the most unhappy.
Although the study did not find a positive correlation between honesty and satisfaction in the workplace, it does say that showing who you are is important in more personal relationships like ones with your partner, friends or family.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.