London: Honesty is usually said to be the best policy in social situations but the proverb may not essentially hold true when it comes to the workplace, researchers say. Scientists gauged levels of "authentic self expression" in 533 volunteers to see how far they opened up to people they interacted with socially.

The results indicated that participants were more likely to "be themselves" with partners, followed by friends and then parents. However, they were much less likely to show their true self to work colleagues.

Those who showed their true selves to partners tended to have greater well-being and were more content with life. But the same benefits were not observed in being authentic at work.

"You hear self-help gurus say that the secret of happiness is ''being yourself'' or ''expressing your true feelings'', but that doesn't seem to apply in the workplace - at least for the sample we studied," a daily quoted Dr Oliver Robinson, from the University of Greenwich in London, as saying.

"So in some circumstances, it may be that a polite smile or tactfully keeping quiet may be more conducive to your well-being than saying what you actually think and feel to work colleagues," Dr Robinson added.