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My bitchy resting face started early—as early as the age of 3. I like to think that it was part of the reason no one liked me in elementary school, that I was merely misunderstood. In truth, I was the girl everyone called “bossy,” so if I’m being honest with myself that likely contributed as well. Another day, another post.
Today I want to to focus solely on the issue of Bitchy Resting Face. It’s real, and I’ve worked most of my life trying to manage public perception of myself because of it. Plus, let’s be real: frowning, however unintentional, causes wrinkles. Here are three techniques I practiced over the last decade that may help alleviate prejudice against your Bitchy Resting Face.
Look more approachable.
Do you know how hard it is to consciously half-smile 70% of your waking hours? Nonetheless, if you want to smooth out wrinkles now, if you want others to immediately see you as a potential friend, half-smile you must.
BE more approachable.
Acknowledge strangers. Start random conversations with people in public. Sit at the communal table. Uncross your arms. There’s nothing like body language at ease and a friendly conversation to steer focus away from your Bitchy Resting Face.
Practice a one-million dollar smile.
To hell with overcompensating; smile when you mean it. If you can’t smile all the time, just make it count when you do.
There’s a legendary family photo in which my Bitch Face makes its first appearance; it was one of those cheesy yet hilarious old western keepsakes. The memory of that day is still vivid in our minds. The photographer told me to hold the bottle in front of me and, for whatever reason, I was not in the mood to do what he asked. Instead, to underline my protest, I kept my hands to myself and stared daggers into the camera. (Apologies for not finding it in time to share.)
As unfortunate as Bitchy Resting Face is, I do have to thank it for saving me from talking to uninteresting people. If one more person approaches me at a party to tell me to “lighten up” or suggests that I “need a drink” because I’m staring straight ahead… Let’s put it this way, if you can’t make me laugh, what’s the point of talking to you anyway?
When I was sharing my self-perception, a few of my college friends said “You were probably the nicest person when I first met you. It wasn’t until later I found out you’re a bitch.” Guess it’s not just resting face.