Has anyone ever asked you why you’re so serious? Or maybe they thought you were angry when you were happily daydreaming. Chances are they were confused by what I call your “introvert resting b*tch face”.
The pain of having a resting b*tch face
Introverts get a lot of flack for our resting b*tch face. People make all kinds of assumptions about what we’re thinking and feeling when our expression slips into its default grimace. They assume we’re silently judging them and the verdict is not good.
They might also think that we hate them and we’re having a horrible time. This assumption can be the most frustrating, especially when we’re with outgoing people-pleaser types who feel responsible for everyone’s happiness.
“Turn that frown upside down!”
Ironically, these kinds of people will make you feel insanely uncomfortable with their efforts to make you feel comfortable. They will launch into a desperate frenzy, trying harder and harder to turn your frown upside down.
They try to force you into having fun because they’ll be damned if they let one person have a mediocre time under their watch. Meanwhile, you were content to just observe the scene or wander off into your own fantasy world. Now you feel put on the spot, singled out for something so integral to who you are: your face.
Oops, I forgot I had a face
Even though the introvert resting b*tch face tends to be our default expression, we don’t always have a perma-grimace. We smile, too. It’s just that often we get so absorbed in our thoughts we forget we have a face, or a body for that matter. At this point we are a walking brain and we have no interest in slapping on a fake smile.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against smiling. I know that it puts people at ease and makes us more approachable. But sometimes—especially when I’ve done too much peopling—I don’t have the energy to put up any kind of front. I’m done with small talk, and smiling, and pleasing. I just want to let my face do its thing and for that to be okay. Because here’s the thing.
You need to give your face a break
It is okay to have a resting b*tch face. By now you’ve probably mastered your happy and polite face. You have to wear it all day at work and every time you encounter someone new. Sometimes you just need to drop the facade and let your face and body relax.
Sure, it would be nice if your default face was more zen and inviting, like one of those happy Buddha statues. But you’re not a statue. You’re a human with real emotions, so your facial expressions should be real and authentic, too.
So, the next time someone asks why you’re upset because you’re not smiling, tell them, “I’m not angry, this is just my face”. Wear your introvert resting b*tch face quiet and proud and don’t apologize for it.
Lots of love,