Hello, my name is Jennifer and I have Resting Bitch Face.
Phew, it feels good to get that off my chest.
As far as I’m aware, Resting Bitch Face (henceforth known as RBF) is a condition that’s plagued me all my life. I have a really strong memory of being at school, in sixth form I think, and someone told me that someone else had said to them, “I think Jen hates me because she never smiles at me.” The truth was I actually really liked the person who thought I didn’t and was totally shocked that they thought anything different. With hindsight, I should have gone back and told them that, but instead I kept schtum and tried my very best to plaster a huge grin on my face every time I saw them.
Now I realise that the problem is not me, it’s my face.
I frown a lot of the time, whether I’m ecstatic or fuming, and it’s because there is a constant stream of thoughts going through my head that I’m sorting through, filing away for later and probably worrying about. Unfortunately I can’t see my face most of the time so I have no idea what I look like. An ex-boyfriend from way back when described me as mysterious, which really made me laugh, but now I see it’s probably all to do with RBF.
It’s only recently that the condition has come to people’s attention and I, for one, am really glad that it has. Because let’s face it, without an explanation people would just think I’m a bitch! And I really don’t want that. Research from New Scientist even shows that angry faces belong to untrustworthy people. Not good for me and my fellow sufferers.
So you can imagine how glad I was to read that RBF is finally being lauded as something positive by one of my favourite magazines, Stylist. One of their latest articles online states that RBF means you’re actually great at communicating. Apparently, because others think people like me look grumpy, we become more acute to the emotions of those around us so we can communicate well. Because we’re so misunderstood, we become better at understanding others. Bloody brilliant!
And you know what, it’s true – since I’ve become aware of my RBF I’ve become much more self-aware. Because I know people might think I’m unhappy, I make more of a conscious effort to smile more, think about what I’m saying and what my body language is conveying. I’m still learning all the time, and I’m sure people still think I’m snooty, grumpy, bitchy or all of the above, by just looking at my face. The good news is, if you get to know me, I’m actually kind of OK.
So let’s give those with our grumpy faces a chance – like the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover.
Fellow sufferers of Resting Bitch Face, unite! Do you have it? Do you know someone who has? Do you think you’re better at communicating with others? I’d love to hear!