Resting Bitch Face vs. the Power of a Smile

Two facesHere I am sitting, working, minding my own business and before I know it I have someone in my face asking me the same question I have heard time and time again: “Are you okay, why don’t you smile?”  Well I have for years just assumed this is the thought of someone wanting to make a conversation and who mistakes my peaceful thought and interjects themselves.   Honestly it was an annoyance that I thought I was mine alone.  Recently, however, in talking with one of my friends I heard a new term for the same look and instantly loved it, The Resting Bitch Face.  Yes this is the face that to me means I am thinking or planning or otherwise minding my business and someone expects that in the midst of my mental turmoil I should be smiling in the off chance they will come around and see me.  Now I still support how valid this though is, but the truth is a smile means something.  Even if we are in a smiling mood a smile gives the impression you are approachable, and open and dare I say even friendly.  For years I figured what is the harm with my “resting bitch face”, however, now I realize that this practice may do more harm than good when I do really want to make a positive impression on people.

So what could be the problem with the resting bitch face? I don’t judge who someone is or their mood until I engage them.  With age I have realized that just because that is how I judge others, how I think and how they think are not always the same.  A lot of people determine how you are feeling even before they approach you or say a word.  Just think about your determination to speak to your boss when you see him with a serious look or a scowl on his face.  In a lot of cases you turn right around with the excuse you will speak to him when he is in a better mood.  This is just a judgment based on what you see, but what you see does count for something.  The resting bitch face sends a vibe that you are reoccupied and many people are intimidated in approaching if they feel like they are not going to get a warm welcome.  I am still an advocate that there is a time and a place where it is not only acceptable but the preferred look to keep away random questions and let others know you mean business, it may not be the best everyday look.   You never know who is looking, and judging you based on that look.  Practicing a smile, even a small one, when there is nothing bothering you or serious on your mind promotes a friendlier look even when you are not doing it on purpose.  This default look of happiness comes in handy as like everything smiling is a skill where practice makes purpose.  The more you smile the easier it comes to you when you need it, like when you are networking or trying to catch eyes with the cutie across the bar.  At the end of the day what does it hurt anyway??