Outside impressions can lead to misguided interpretations of feelings hidden below

By Mallorie Sckerl

This is addressed to anyone whom I may have offended in the past with my mean looks, side glances, eye rolls, evil glares, dead stares and any and every other face I could’ve possibly made that could be considered crass.

Let me start out by saying that I suffer from Resting [Insert Choice Word Here] Face, or RBF. This means that, typically, when my face is relaxed, or I’m not intentionally holding a specific facial expression, I look pissed.

This may not seem like an issue to many people, but, I assure you, it is. I am constantly asked what’s wrong, if something happened, why I’m upset, if I’m feeling OK and why I look so angry. Honestly, this happens at least twice a day.

Other times, friends tell me that before we were close, they had assumed that I wasn’t nice because I glared at everyone all the time, and I never looked happy. Some have even said they’ve gone so far as to avoid making eye contact with me because they thought I didn’t like them as I’d apparently shot them a dirty look before.

Every time I hear one of these comments, I find myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of the situation. I promise I not shooting glances and making mean faces on purpose. It’s just my face. There’s not really much I can do about the fact that I don’t look happy most of the time.

For a while, I used to actively try to avoid my RBF by forcing myself to smile constantly. I tried to intentionally make myself look pleasant as much as possible so as not to offend anyone or give off the wrong impression. Needless to say, that didn’t last long.

After about a week, I realized that I was being absurd. There was nothing wrong with my face or myself. My face was my face. It wasn’t my problem if it offended a stranger or made someone feel intimidated. That was on them, not me. And just because someone told me I didn’t look happy didn’t mean I couldn’t be happy.

Today, I like my face (most of the time). I don’t really worry about whether or not my RBF might come across as offensive to some individual or whether or not I look unpleasant.

My face is my face. I have to live with it, so I might as well decide to like it.

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