Mouthwash: The answer to bad clients and co-workers?

Unsavory encounters could literally leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Mar 05, 2009
By staff

Next time a client or co-worker treats you unfairly, think about what's going on in your mouth. Are you so upset you can taste it? Probably so, says a new study in the most recent issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the University of Toronto examined people's facial expressions after they tasted a bitter liquid, looked at pictures of dirty toilets, and found out they'd been cheated in a game. The reaction was always the same: A wrinkled nose and raised upper lip. Cavemen had the same response to poisonous food.

What does Cro-Magnon Man's bitter taste have to do with your bitter reactions to bad clients and colleagues? The common facial movement illustrates that people react to moral and physical disgust in similar ways. So shaking a dreaded pet owner's hand could cause the same physical feeling as drinking sour milk. Here's the positive side: Gargling a little mouthwash or chewing a piece of gum could give you a fresh outlook when you're feeling slighted.