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'Being yourself' is not a good career move Add to ...

At work? Shut up and smile

“While revealing your character to a partner or friends is likely to make you happier, experts claim doing so at the office is not a recipe for promotion,” writes Murray Wardrop in The Daily Telegraph. “Scientists assessed levels of ‘authentic self-expression’ in 533 volunteers to see how far they opened up to people they interacted with socially. The results showed that participants were more likely to ‘be themselves’ with partners, followed by friends and then parents. However, they were much less likely to show their true self to work colleagues. Those who opened up to their partners tended to have greater well-being and were more satisfied with life. But the same benefits were not seen from being authentic at work. Dr. Oliver Robinson, from the University of Greenwich in London, said: ‘You hear self-help gurus say that the secret of happiness is ‘being yourself’ or ‘expressing your true feelings,’ but that doesn’t seem to apply in the workplace. So in some circumstances, it may be that a polite smile or tactfully keeping silent may be more conducive to your well-being than saying what you actually think and feel to work colleagues.’” The results were presented at the annual meeting of the British Psychological Society.

The unbanked world

“More than 2.5 billion people – or half of all adults around the world – are ‘unbanked,’ meaning they don’t have a bank account, according to data released by the World Bank,” says The Huffington Post.

Too old for regrets

“Do not look back in anger if you want to have a happy, healthy old age, according to scientists who have discovered that the feeling of regret is linked with depression among the elderly,” says The Independent. “Young people may be able to get away with regretting things because they can appear to do something about it by changing their behaviour but this approach does not work in older people, the researchers found. … Instead of coping with their regret by ‘emotional disengagement,’ which is how their healthy, non-depressed counterparts dealt with the situation, the depressed elderly were more likely to try to compensate by taking bigger risks in the future, just like younger people, the researchers found. ‘It seems to be essential for our emotional well-being not to look back in anger and to focus on the positive when we are older,’ said Stephanie Bressen of the University Medical Centre in Hamburg.” The study is published in the journal Science.

The order of the colours

“A common question in philosophy is whether or not we all see the world the same way,” writes Charles Choi for LiveScience. “One strategy that scientists have for investigating that question is to see what colours get names in different cultures. Intriguingly, past research has found that colours familiar to one culture might not have names in another, suggesting different cultures indeed have distinct ways of understanding the world. One mystery that scientists have uncovered is that colour names always seem to appear in a specific order of importance across cultures – black, white, red, green, yellow and blue.”

Phones and pair-bonding

“A study of mobile phone calls suggests that women call their spouse more than any other person,” says BBC News. “That changes as their daughters become old enough to have children, after which they become the most important person in their lives. The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. It also shows that men call their spouse most often for the first seven years of their relationship. They then shift their focus to other friends. The results come from an analysis of the texts of mobile phone calls of three million people. According to the study’s coauthor, Prof. Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, the investigation shows that pair-bonding is much more important to women than men. … [T]e data [also] shows that women start to switch the preference of their best friend from about the mid-30s, and by the age of 45 a woman of a generation younger becomes the ‘new best friend,’ according to Prof. Dunbar.”

21st-century truancy

“As the result of an attendance scam,” reports United Press International, “50 Berkeley, Calif., high school students face suspension, officials say. By paying for an administrative password to attendance software called PowerSchool, Berkeley High School students were able to manipulate attendance data. The scheme allowed for students to skip classes without their parents being informed – until spring break began April 2 and administrators discovered the breach. It took 50 to 80 hours for the school’s attendance team to determine the magnitude of the scam, The Berkeley Voice reported.”

Thought du jour

“The amount of temptation required differentiates the honest from the dishonest.” – Paul Eldridge (1888-1982), U.S. writer and teacher

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