Don’t hold back

By Kate Hassett

Don’t hold back
A new study reveals why you shouldn't bottle up your emotions

For years experts have been telling us not to hold in our feelings for all matter of health reasons. Now, a new study has revealed that not only does holding onto your emotions affect your health, it can also drastically change how others perceive you.

Researchers from the University of Oregon investigated how emotional responses can affect first impressions. To begin, the research team asked four participants to view ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and a sad scene from the 1979 film “The Champ”. With both movies eliciting different responses from the viewers, the participants were then asked to either suppress their emotional reaction, or let it occur naturally.

Their reactions were then shown to 149 students, who were divided into groups where some were shown footage of the participants’ reactions in context,and some were shown footage without any idea of what they were reacting to.

As a result, the participants who suppressed their emotions were conceived to be less extroverted by the audience, as well as less agreeable and likeable than their more emotionally liberal counterparts.

“Further, the negative personality trait judgments that perceivers form of suppressors help to explain why suppressors experience difficulty forming close and meaningful relationships,” said the authors.

 

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