Over the last few weeks, a new affliction has caught my interest and I am pretty sure I have it. Now, I haven’t had this disorder confirmed by a certified medical professional. Like most of America, I’m using the internet to self diagnose. I will admit to being a bit of a hypochondriac (also self diagnosed, but I’ve gotten reliable second opinions on this one and they all agree), and while it seems unlikely that I have a brain tumor or restless leg syndrome, this affliction hits close to home.
It’s the socially debilitating disorder known as Resting Bitch Face (RBF). When I first saw a friend link to an article about this, I thought it was kind of funny and laughed it off. But then another article showed up in my news feed….and another…..and another. I have come to find that this is actually a real thing and there are some repercussions that come with it- people think you’re always mad and/or unapproachable, you constantly get asked if you’re okay or tell you to smile more.
The thing about RBF is it’s hard to know you have it unless someone tells you that you have it, Until someone clues you into the fact that your face often looks like you’re being forced to watch a Chelsea Lately marathon, you walk around oblivious,
As I said before, I have come to the realization, on my own, that I have Resting Bitch Face. None of my friends or family have ever said an unkind word about my face (for which I am thankful), so maybe I just have a mild case? The symptoms and reactions are there though, and it’s something I have become extremely conscious of, especially when meeting new people.
If I have an RBF look on my face, it’s not because I am mad or trying to ward off conversation. It may be because I am lost in thought a lot and just never think about how that looks to outsiders. I start thinking about one thing, which leads to something else, and before I know it, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole. I like to think of it as Mom A.D.D. I’m not thinking about anything upsetting or super serious. I’m just thinking and not quite tuned in to everyone around me.
It may also be because when I’m talking to people, I’m actively listening, yet constantly thinking about how I am going to add to the conversation- can I relate? am I going to offend? what’s the right word to use so I don’t sound completely uneducated? I like to make sure the other person/people know I’m engaged and not just throwing out cliched responses. Sometimes it comes more naturally than others.
It might also boil down to the fact that I’m a stay at home mom to a daughter with more energy then that damn bunny, and a son that has had molars erupting for the last month. Sleep in our house is not a guarantee, and after what feels like the 90th trip across the hall to reinsert the binky, smiling is just sometimes, unfortunately, a sporadic event.
I’m trying though, so don’t count me out! If I’m not absorbed in my own grey matter, I do make an effort to keep a smile on my face, in hopes that others know that I am an approachable human being. I honestly love meeting new people and striking up random conversation. I’ve just been cursed with a few personal quirks that seem out to sabotage me.
The best thing you can do if you see me, or anyone else for that matter, displaying a Resting BItch Face is just smile. Chances are you’ll get a genuine smile right back!
P.S.- I have now set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for the blog. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll be alerted to my sporadic posts. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll get that plus some other random thoughts that are better suited for a more immediate forum 🙂