I Suffer From RBF, Part II

I’m sure you can tell from the title that this is the sequel to a post I wrote some time ago.

To recap: RBF stands for “Resting Bitch Face” and it’s something I definitely have. I have this tendency to look stressed out or super angry when my face is just at rest with no real emotion behind it.

That original post was written more than two years ago and it’s as true today as it was then. And I’m only bringing it up again because of something that happened as I was leaving the grocery store last week.

I’d stopped by the local Kroger to pick up a few things and as I left the store and began crossing the parking lot, headed toward my car, I was confronted by a strange woman whom I’d never before seen. At first, I wasn’t sure what she said to me, but then it registered in my mind that she told me not to be so mad.

Uh… I wasn’t mad.

Honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with my situation. I had just finished dealing with a crowded grocery store, so there’s that. But I wasn’t angry.

I threw her a quick, fake smile, and kept walking toward my car. Other than that, I didn’t respond to her. And maybe I was beginning to actually feel angry based on what she said. Though I’m not so sure angry is the right word… irritated is more apt.

First of all, who is this stranger in the Kroger parking lot to tell me how to feel? How does she know what my day has been like? If I’m genuinely angry about something, I have every right to continue feeling angry about it if that’s how I choose to feel.

Secondly, who is this stranger to assume how I feel at all? She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know I have the RBF and my default facial expression makes me seem kinda pissed at best. Especially if I’m walking out of a crowded grocery store and I’m determined to get to my car as quickly as possible in the hopes of not being forced into awkward conversation.

So if you see me out in public and you think I’m mad about something just from the expression (or lack thereof) on my face, there’s a real good chance that I’m not actually mad. Sorry, it’s just my face. But, please, do me a favor and don’t assume I’m feeling what you think I’m feeling. Don’t tell me how I’m supposed to be feeling how I should be expressing that feeling.

Please and thank you.

2 thoughts on “I Suffer From RBF, Part II

  1. I can relate, and it gets worse the older I get. Or maybe it’s the more stressed I get. It used to be that my resting face was a smile and people would smile back at me as we passed on the street. (sometimes that smile would startle me – why are they smiling at me?) Now they are frowning as they emotionally back away from me at the grocery checkout. Maybe we think we aren’t feeling emotions when we actually are. Denial is an age old coping mechanism and I make good use of it. Maybe the fierce/mad look on our face is actually a true reflection of our feelings – insecurities, feeling unloved and unlovable – if we’re honest.
    I try to remember to relax my facial muscles when I’m out and about but so far it’s not working out all that well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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