DENVER (CBS4) — Forced smiles and drinking — the two go hand in hand according to a new study. It suggests service industry employees who force themselves to smile and be happy in front of customers could be at a higher risk of heavy drinking.

Those employees might include servers, hostesses, nurses and teachers.

Researchers say the link is between those employees who fake happiness, or suppress negative emotions, and heavier drinking.

A picture taken on April 3, 2019 shows glasses of beer in Paris. (Photo credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

“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,” said Alicia Grandey, professor of psychology at Penn State.

“Data included information about how often the participants faked or suppressed emotions, also called ‘surface acting,’ as well as how often and how much the participants drank after work. The researchers also measured how impulsive the participants are and how much autonomy they feel they have at work,” the studied stated.

Researchers found more alcohol was consumed among employees who interacted with the public compared to those who did not. They also found surface acting was linked with after-work, alcoholic libations.

Grandey noted these employees are majorily younger or don’t have a strong sense of self-control.


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