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A psychologist has warned female business leaders that being a people pleaser can lead to physical health issues.

As an oppressed group in society, women often feel forced into conforming to gender norms and stereotypes.

For most women in business, becoming a leader requires patience and persistence.

Being maternal and empathetic often leads to women being perceived as weak, but when female leaders take on behaviour traits that are considered more masculine, they are slammed for being too forceful or tough-minded. They can't win.

Psychologist and podcast Host Marta Eyal, who analysed both women leaders who violate gender norms and women leaders who have conformed to gender stereotypes, found scary health statistics that are caused by self-silencing.

Writing in a recent TIME Magazine article, Eyal noted: "Our culture rewards women for being perpetually pleasant, self-sacrificing, and emotionally in control, and it can feel counterintuitive for my clients to say 'no' – or firmly assert their wants and needs."

When voicing their opinions, studies show that women are victims of increased stress in the workplace. The stress has been related to female leaders feeling like any contestation would be viewed as hysterical and jeopardise their careers.

According to Eyal, keeping quiet, also known as self-silencing, and being perpetually pleasing to others in the workplace is terrible for your physical health.

"It seems that the virtues of womanhood are not really virtuous after all; instead, they are wreaking havoc on our bodies and our health," the psychologist stated.

Revealing a list of terrifying statistics related to women's health, the psychologist and podcast host wrote: "Today, women account for almost 80 per cent of autoimmune disease cases. They are at a higher risk of suffering from chronic pain, insomnia, fibromyalgia, long Covid, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines."

Women are also "twice as likely as men to die after a heart attack", Eyal said, going on to note that females also "experience depression, anxiety and PTSD at twice the rate of men".

While genetics and hormones play a big part in elevating female health conditions, Eyal explained that the "very virtues of our culture rewards in women-agreeability, extreme selflessness and suppression of anger may predispose us to chronic illness and disease".

Self-silencing in women has previously been linked to psychological issues including depression and eating disorders – says Eyal.

The psychologist also referenced a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh who discovered that women of colour, who admitted to suppressing negative emotions, were 70 per cent more likely to experience carotid atherosclerosis.

Carotid atherosclerosis is an impediment that puts people at a higher risk of a heart attack.

Other investigations into people pleasing and women's health have also linked self-silencing to irritable bowel syndrome, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cancer.

One study, which analysed almost 4,000 people in the US, " found that women who didn't express themselves when they had fights with their spouses were four times more likely to die than those who did," Eyal added.

In a bid to encourage female leaders and women in business to speak up and set boundaries to protect their health, Eyal advised: "Rather than women treating our emotions as inconvenient, bodily malfunctions best to be muted and ignored, we can teach ourselves to view them as windows of insight. Instead of casting away our anger, a valuable question we can ask ourselves in moments of frustration is: what am I needing right now?"

The podcast host also explained that for women who have been unconsciously raised to believe that likability is the greatest asset for females, "boundary setting can often feel counterintuitive".

Setting boundaries has proven to lead to healthier relationships and healthy relationships are "integral to our physical well-being", she added.