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Being Upfront About Your Embarrassing Past Can Make You More Likeable

Being Upfront About Your Embarrassing Past Can Make You More Likable

We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, but that doesn’t mean you should hide those moments from the world. A recent study suggests that being upfront about your embarrassing past makes you far more likeable than someone who withholds information in an attempt to look better.

Photo by See-ming Lee.

The study, led by Leslie John, Kate Barasz and Michael Norton at Harvard Business School, suggests that keeping things behind locked doors in an effort to save face actually backfires.

Basically, people tend to regard withholders as untrustworthy and being honest about your past might even be considered brave. Whether you’re creating an online dating profile, or filling out a questionnaire as a prospective job candidate, the researchers advise you be upfront about the less savoury details of your past.

The more you hide, the more it looks like you’re trying to hide something — and people’s imaginations can be much worse than the truth. You can learn more about the study at the link below.

What Hiding Reveals [Harvard Business School via NPR]


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