Well-Being//

The Surprising Effects of Concealing Your Identity at Work

Be true to yourself.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

It can be tempting to mask your true self in order to blend in with those around you. Research shows, however, that hiding your identity in the workplace can have damaging effects on you and your colleagues.

According to an article from The Economic Times of India, concealing the traits that make you unique can contribute to lower job satisfaction and self-esteem issues.

Those were the findings of studies from the Netherlands and the U.S. that examined “stigmatized” characteristics, such as being LGBT, traits associated with a history of poverty, or mental or physical illness.

Researchers asked participants how they would feel after hiding or displaying the stigmatized characteristics. In the situations where people concealed their true selves, their social interactions suffered, as did their commitment to their work.

“People may choose to conceal stigmatised identities because they want to be accepted, but in fact doing so reduces feelings of belonging,” Professor Manuela Barreto of the University of Exeter told the Times of India.

While openness about one’s true character generally leads to positive outcomes for everyone involved, the researchers do not suggest openness in all situations, due to the “hidden ramifications of prejudice.”

“What we need,” Barreto said to the Times, “are environments where people don’t need to hide—inclusive environments where people don’t have to make a choice between being liked and being authentic.”

Read more here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Courtesy of ra2studio / Shutterstock
Well-Being//

Here’s Why Bringing Your Whole Self to Work (Even the Messy Parts) Will Make You More Productive

by Shelia McClear
Westend61/ Getty Images
Well-Being//

Why You Should Bring Your Whole Self to Work, According to Science

by Rebecca Muller
Image via Author
Wisdom//

A Guide to Honing Your Identity Leadership Skills

by Stedman Graham

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.