High BP may cause you to misread people

Washington : Higher blood pressure might cause you to misread people and diminish your ability to respond to anger or other emotions.

Clemson University psychology professor James A. McCubbin and colleagues have shown that people with higher BP have reduced ability to recognize angry, fearful, sad and happy faces and text passages.

“For example, if your work supervisor is angry, you may mistakenly believe that he or she is just kidding,” McCubbin said, the journal Psychosomatic Medicine reports.

“This can lead to miscommunication, poor job performance and increased psychosocial distress. It’s like living in a world of email without smiley faces,” McCubbin said, according to a Clemson statement.

“We put smiley faces in emails to show when we are just kidding. Otherwise some people may misinterpret our humour and get angry.”

“If you have emotional dampening, you may distrust others because you cannot read emotional meaning in their face or their verbal communications,” McCubbin said. “You may even take more risks because you cannot fully appraise threats in the environment.”

McCubbin said the link between dampening of emotions and BP is believed to be involved in the development of hypertension and risk for coronary heart disease, the biggest killer of both men and women in the US.

“Dampening of positive emotions may rob one of the restorative benefits of close personal relations, vacations and hobbies,” he said.

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