There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to please others, but a new study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology is saying that your diet may suffer because of it. Apparently, people who want to please others tend to overeat.

To verify the theory, researchers asked 101 college students to answer a questionnaire that measured their people-pleasing tendencies. Those who showed tendencies to put other people’s needs before their own as well as avoid hurting other people’s feelings as much as possible scored high on the people-pleasing test.

After the survey, the participants were seated with a female actor pretending to be another participant. They were given a bowl of M&Ms to eat while they conversed. The actor ate five pieces and then offered the bowl to her partner. Afterward, the students were asked how many M&Ms they took. Those who ranked high on the earlier questionnaire reportedly ate more than those who scored low. The pressure to eat, according to researchers, is possibly brought about by a person’s need to make their companions feel more comfortable.

Another study published online in PLoS ONE discovered that women have a tendency to mimic their dining partners. When their partners took a bite, so did they. Whether this behavior is a conscious act of mimicry or not has yet to be determined. However, mirroring someone else’s actions has been known to be an effective strategy in establishing rapport.

So the next time you have company over for lunch or dinner, observe yourself. Are you eating more than you would have alone? Do you feel compelled to match the pace your dining partner is setting? You may not be aware of it yet, but you may already be overeating.


For more on overeating, read these articles on FN:

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

(Photo by sasastro via Flickr Creative Commons)

Get the latest updates from Female Network
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Comments

Latest Stories

You Can Get an Engagement Ring for Half the Price at This Local Store

The brand makes use of imperfect diamonds, which can be 30 to 50 percent cheaper than a regular diamond.

Kat Ramnani Weds Christian Bautista in Inbal Dror Wedding Gown

Christian Bautista and Kat Ramnani tied the knot yesterday, November 17, in Bali, Indonesia.

Jolina Magdangal on Midlife Crisis, Turning 40 and Husband Mark

The actress shares her thoughts on midlife crisis and what it feels like to be 40.
Load More Stories