Restorations Therapy Blog

Being Forced to Smile at Work Can Increase Heavy Drinking

by on Monday, December 16th, 2019

You are told in training anytime you are working with customers to put on a big smile. It does not matter if you are in a bad mood or if a customer made you feel bad. A new study has shown that being forced to smile at work can cause you to want to drink more as a way of self-medicating.

Penn State and University of Buffalo Study

Penn State and the University of Buffalo studied people who worked with the public like nurses, teachers, or in the food service industry. Based on a survey funded by the National Institutes of Health and phone interview data from 1,592 U.S. workers, the study found a link between those who faked positive emotions or suppress how they feel. The study would also show how often they drank after hours. There was a stronger link between surface acting and drinking for those who do not develop a relationship with their customers like working at a call center. People who work in rewarding jobs like nursing tended to drink less afterwards. Someone who fakes emotions for a customer they may never see again could be more draining and demanding.

Downside of Surface Acting

Workers who were impulsive or had less control at work were more likely to drink when their shift was over. If you are constantly told how to do your job, it can be harder to keep your emotions in check. And when you get home, you no longer have that control anymore after one drink. Age can also be a factor in that people who work in restaurants or retail tend to be younger and may not have the self-control that adults do.

What to Do About It

It is important to recognize the link between surface acting on the job and drinking. You can skip happy hour after work if you are aware you do not have self-control. Jobs like working at a call center where you lack social interaction or are dealing with low pay do not have to put on an act or force anything if they are given rewards for doing a good job. Employers need to be more understanding of their employees instead of yelling at them for feeling grumpy. By having employers speak to their employees about their emotions during work, it can make them less likely to want to go on a drinking binge.

Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

About Kyle Beard

Chris Simon founded Restorations Therapy Center to help those struggling with sexual addiction to discover health and wholeness for themselves as well as for their marriage and family. The havoc addiction brings is not compartmentalized to one area of life, but influences marriage, family, work, friendship and more. Chris experienced the turmoil of addiction in his own life. Through his own recovery journey, he strives to help others in the throes of addiction to experience the freedom and joy he lives today. Chris received in Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health, working solely with individuals struggling with sexual addiction his entire career. He trained under Dr. Tom Olschner, a psychologist working with sexual addictions for over thirty years, gaining a breadth of experience and knowledge from a renown therapist. A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) is the only certification in existence for sexual addiction recovery, which Chris has pursued with fervor. You can contact Chris via email at or telephone at (720) 446-6585

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