It was brought to my attention recently that I sometimes intimidate people. Just by the look on my face.
Oh, I’ve actually heard this many times over the years, but I always chalked it up to the fact that I was over stressed, go-go-go, and [lets not kid anyone], often angry.
But lately…lately I’ve been Zen Mama, at one with nature, at peace with my life.
I’ve been climbing mountains [literally], digging trenches in the deepest part of my being [metaphorically], and spending time doing things I love. All of which have resulted in me being ridiculously happy.
So, imagine my surprise when I heard that I still give off an angry vibe just via my facial expression, even though I’m not feeling that way.
My son recently started dating a close friend of his. I was actually very happy to hear it because I like her a lot. She is a smart girl with a good head on her shoulders, and someone I’ve had some excellent conversations with.
The day after my first encounter with her as ‘girlfriend’ and not ‘just friend’, my son asked me if I was good with them dating. I said, of course. Why wouldn’t I be? He responded, she thinks you don’t like her because you didn’t say much to her yesterday and you had a mean look on your face.
I didn’t say much because I didn’t want to crowd you two and have it be all awkward. And I have no idea what you mean about my face. Honestly.
Now, fast forward a couple of days.
I was watching Jimmy Kimmel Live. His guest was actress Anna Paquin. He remarked about how she gets tons of photos taken by the paparazzi, and how she often looks angry in them. She then launched into a story that had me hyperventilating from laughter. The good stuff starts at the 2:12 mark.
But since I know that no one like to click on links, I’ll summarize it for you.
Paquin launches into the story of how she discovered a “condition”, known as Bitchy Resting Face. Explaining it to Jimmy, she notes that it basically means “You look really angry all the time; or like you want to kill people; or like you’re a giant bitch. And that’s pretty much how I come across all the time.”
She goes on to tell Jimmy that she’s actually very happy, that everything is wonderful in her life, and she’s not bitchy or angry – but her face tells the world she is. And what cheeses her off the most is that her husband, actor Stephen Moyer, actually has Happy Resting Face, which makes her look even bitchier, by comparison!
I had to view this PSA for myself.
Do not skip this! WATCH IT!
After I composed myself and wiped my tears, I took a moment to reflect. Okay, so yeah, Anna Paquin has Bitchy Resting Face. So do I. But hey, neither of hold a candle to the real Queen of BRF…
So while I may be beyond happy and loving life, my default expression will read as Bitchy Resting Face.
In the past, this condition served me well. It helped convey ‘tread with caution’ to anyone who was foolish enough to approach me with nonsense on a day that I was in a no-nonsense mood.
But these days, I’m pretty happy-go-lucky, and I have a lot more patience for stupidity.
So I realize that I actually do need to work on this. I really should make myself more approachable and way less scary. Because I’m not. Scary, that is.
They say that admitting you have a problem is half the journey towards fixing it. So, here goes:
Hi, I’m Nancy, and I suffer from Bitchy Resting Face.
I now “check in” with myself several times a day to see if I’m smiling or, at the very least, that I’m not in bitch-face. I’m working hard on trying to adopt Happy Resting Face, but I’m a work in progress. Thank you for your patience.
But, in the meantime, if you’re trying to sell me duct cleaning/insurance/long-distance phone service, or if you disturb my quiet Sunday by knocking on my door and inviting me to join your religion or even if you just generally waste my time with nonsense, please know that Bitchy Resting Face isn’t always just a harmless facial expression. Sometimes it reflects a brewing pot of bitch-stew.