It’s GOOD to be grumpy! Maybe it’s not good for your social life, but it’s good for your health.

Allan Hall reports in the Sydney Morning Herald that German researchers have discovered that people who smile a lot die a lot earlier than the grumpy people of the world.

Flight attendants, sales people, phone operators, waiters and other people who have to be friendly on the job for long periods of time are risking their health. This false friendliness can lead to depression and stress, which in turn leads to a weakened immune system. Psychologist Dieter Zapf says, “Every time a person is forced to repress his true feelings there are negative consequences for his health.”

His study tested students who pretended to work at a call center, dealing with abusive people over the phone. Some of them were allowed to argue back, while others were told to remain friendly. The participants who got grumpy had a rapid heartbeat, but it quickly subsided, while those told to be nice had elevated heart rates as well, but theirs lasted much longer.

At last: a good excuse to be grumpy!

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