When To Share Personal Info At Work
This can be a good thing
“Just be yourself” is often invoked as the right strategy for forming good relationships. But it’s advice that often gets moderated once we enter the workplace. While many of us might like our colleagues and feel comfortable disclosing some personal struggles, social norms often check our desires to talk about which gender we’re attracted to, our home-life issues, or the chronic pain we’re suffering from.
Now a study on revealing or hiding “stigmatized identities” suggests that in some specific cases, it’s worth being open at the office. Revealing and talking about personal information that’s not readily apparent—for example about one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or the fact that one is pregnant—might feel like a big deal, but overall can have a positive impact on relationships with colleagues.
The findings come from a meta-analysis of 65 studies on stigmatized identity—defined as “a devalued characteristic within a social setting”— and relationships. The study, led by psychologists at Rice University in Houston, Texas, is due to be published in an upcoming edition of The Journal of Business and Psychology.
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