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Smiling and RBF...


HerNameIsBuffy

4,995 views

I am one of those women always being told to smile.  I have resting bitch face and so even when I'm perfectly content I apparently look somewhat annoyed.  Or focused.  Or stop looking at my face if you don't like it...

This has been going on since I was a child.  I never understood it.  I'd be happily engrossed in a book, playing dolls, or color-forms and someone would tell me to smile because I'm so much prettier when I do.   Absolutely no difference between that and sitting behind a bank of monitors focused on work.  I wondered why I needed to be pretty when I'm busy...and what kind of person would just smile for no reason whilst reading or working?  At myself?  Alone?  Who does that?  

Another thing I don't get is the people who light up with a big grins whenever you greet them.  I'm not Ed McMahon nor do I have a giant check for a million dollars with their name on it, so they might want to ratchet down your excitement at seeing me.  Nothing I bring to the table will elicit that kind of joy.  

But I digress...my point is I'm a person who has been told to smile on at least a weekly basis for my entire life.

a much younger, much prettier version of me...

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My struggle...

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My philosophy...

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My answer to people who think they are entitled to a response...

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But today a co-worker commented that every time I reference this being my last week ....I smile.  A lot.  I'm super smiley apparently and was completely unaware of it.

So this is me now?

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It's amusing the people I like and annoying some others...hard not to smile at that.

  • Upvote 18

11 Comments


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clueliss

Posted

I get told to smile a lot.  I don't want to smile.  Maybe I'm just not that amused by you.  And I feel like a dork running around with a smile plastered on my face just to appease everyone.  And I agree in the smiling gives you wrinkles meme.  

  • Upvote 6
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HarryPotterFan

Posted

I have resting, "I am miserable face." It's like sorry if I'm just you know, sitting around existing, and I'm not happy looking. I dunno. There have been so many times when I've looked miserable when I'm not. Or I  just totally unenthused when im actually enjoying myself.

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ClaraOswin

Posted

I am the same as HarryPotterFan.  When I first met my husband's friends years ago...I was told I was "stand offish" or something like that because I was just listening to everyone talk and not smiling enough. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation and I don't do well in large groups. And I don't just sit around with a smile plastered on my face. Oh well.

I always think of Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

Spoiler

 

 

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Maggie Mae

Posted

I DO look better when I smile. But I also lived through years, probably 6 though, oh,  college, where fellow students felt it was their business to complain when I smiled, complained and/or mocked when I didn't. In general, who gives a s*** about what other people think about your face? Do what you want. RBF it up if that's cool. 

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Grimalkin

Posted

I get asked "what's wrong?" A lot. I used to wish I could be more bubbly and outgoing. After a while SOME of the people I admired for being bubbly and outgoing start to get annoying and really seem self absorbed. 

Small doses.

  • Upvote 3
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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Posted

It doesn't happen very often, but every so often I've been happy enough that I keep smiling. It's almost like I'm so full of happiness that it leaks out of me. I'm glad you're having that! :my_biggrin:

  • Upvote 3
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PreciousPantsofDoom

Posted

So, my 87 year old Uncle   keeps asking me why so many of the other old gimmers in his care home always look so sour. He generally says this at the top of his voice (sometimes pointing at the offending person. )   I usually gently remind him that some of them are not smiling because they might not be feeling too well etc., but last week I got bored of having that same conversation and explained the concept of resting bitch face to him. He quite liked the idea that the scowling people were not really scowling at him, just that their faces had settled into an unfortunate expression (and I didn't tell him that he himself often has RBF. )  

Of course, he does have dementia, so by yesterday he was back to loudly wondering why that woman over there looks so unpleasant...

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usedtobenice

Posted (edited)

I'm envious of those with RBF. I have a tell me your life story face. When I'm at the neighborhood bar by myself, I have met so many people who just want to share way too much. It's like our local Cheers. Most of us are in the service industry and are good friends, but there are a few non regulars who come in and make a beeline for me. So yeah, wish I had resting bitch face lol

Edited by usedtobenice
  • Upvote 2
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Jellybean

Posted

@usedtobenice you took the words right out of my mouth!

Having pretty much the opposite of RBF, I promise it isn't always the panacea some people seem to expect. I'm a pretty hardened introvert, definitely not helped by years of being either mostly bed bound or housebound. Internally, I'm decked out with bunting and banners telling people to go away; externally, my face sends the exact opposite message. 

This face, coupled with an inability to make eye contact with people without smiling, and an inability to smile without using my entire face, means I get a lot of life stories. I also get a lot of people (mostly in hospitals) who think it's appropriate to tell me how happy they are to have met me because it really puts all their own problems into perspective. They sure do feel lucky in comparison. Sigh. 

Having anti-RBF means that I can't rely on my face as a deterrent. Hints rarely work because my face undermines them. So I have to be really quite rude, which goes against every fibre of my Britishness, and always makes me feel really unkind. People always look so shocked. As though they've been viciously attacked by a Labrador puppy.

My brother has Classic RBF, which never seems to cause any problems for him. I wonder if it's more of an issue for women because were generally still expected to be softer and kinder, and to care about other people finding us attractive. 

Take heart, @HerNameIsBuffy. Your face saves you from many oversharing incidents - what a useful face! 

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choralcrusader8613

Posted

On 9/23/2016 at 4:16 AM, usedtobenice said:

I'm envious of those with RBF. I have a tell me your life story face. When I'm at the neighborhood bar by myself, I have met so many people who just want to share way too much. It's like our local Cheers. Most of us are in the service industry and are good friends, but there are a few non regulars who come in and make a beeline for me. So yeah, wish I had resting bitch face lol

One of my friends has said I have "Resting-I'm-Going-To-Kill-You-Face". Somehow, that doesn't keep people telling me that they're having the worst week, etc. I'm going into a therapy profession, but I don't do that stuff off the clock :lol:

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Playagirl

Posted

I have Resting Sad Face. No matter what my mood is, unless I'm actually smiling I look like I'm about to cry. One of my siblings tells me it's cuz I have hooded eyelids, or as she likes to call them, super-sad puppy-dog eyes.  So I'm always being asked if I'm OK and of course not being believed when I say I'm fine. Getting older and having the corners of my mouth starting to droop is not helping matters at all. I sometimes try walking around with a smile plastered on my face to avoid the inevitable 'what's wrong?' but then I look like some sort of whack-job and people look at me strangely.  Can't win.

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