Showing your stress to people could actually be good: study

49

New research has shown people treat you better and respond in better ways if you openly exhibit signs of anxiety or stress.

According to the study, visible signs that com-municate that a person is going through stress make them more appealing, allowing others to treat them warmly, reported BBC.

The research encourages people to not try ex-tremely hard to hide their anxiety and let people see it.

Jamie Whitehouse, a research fellow at Notting-ham Trent University in the UK, said that the be-haviours accompanying stress such as the heartrate are not functionless.

“They actually have communicative functions,” said Jamie.

In 2017, Whitehouse found evidence to support the concept. He observed 45 rhesus macaques in Punta Santiago, Puerto Rico. He found that those who nervously scratched themselves if an individual from higher-ranking were around received warmer behaviour from the other monkey.

This led Jamie to experiment on humans as well. The 23 participants of his study’s research underwent the “Trier Social Stress Test”, which induces anxiety. They were recorded while they performed their tasks such as fake interview or an on-spot arithmetic test.

Next, 133 participants were asked to rate the fake interviews. People who watched the video were able to recognise the stress in the interviewees. The identification came from non-verbal signs.

“This tells us that these behaviours are not just functionless but by-products of stress, but actually have communicative functions,” Jamie says.—AP