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Junior doctor working at his desk in his office

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Hiding your true self at work may damage your career, science says so. University of Exeter researchers have found that failing to reveal “stigmatized characteristics” such as being gay or suffering from a mental illness reduces people’s self-esteem, job satisfaction, and work commitment. Study author Professor Manuela Barreto says, “What we need 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.” However, researchers caution that not everyone should be open about all aspects of their life, as it can be very “costly.” Researcher, Dr. Anna Newheiser adds, “It is clear that there are times when revealing a stigmatized identity can be very costly. Those effects are very real and worth avoiding in certain circumstances, but it is important to realize that there is also a cost to hiding your true self.”