What does your resting face tell people?

Chapter 6 of my book Don’t Be A Stranger delineates RBF (Resting Bitch Face) – please note, I did not make this term up! RBF refers to a commonly known as a facial expression that unintentionally (or intentionally) appears displeased, unfriendly,  annoyed, bored, frustrated, angry, or another negative feeling, even when a person is simply feeling relaxed, neutral, or contemplative.  RBF might appear as lacking in warmth, joy, or confidence and can be distancing as a signal of possible rejection to those around you. RBF can be seen across a room and could explain why you’re not approached as often as you’d like. The good news it can be changed with awareness, intention, and practice!
Below are examples of what RBF looks like — no judgement at all, let’s just work on adjusting to welcome warmer and more positive connections around! As an aside, in the event of a facial deformity, paralysis, or condition that affects facial expressions/movements, please don’t fret! The skills herein can be used in concert to compensate for one another. Perhaps lean more heavily in the direct of offering sincere compliments and words of gratitude and/or using playful questions to open dialogue/show curiosity.
Here’s are a few examples of what RBF can look like and why you might want to consider retraining your face:

Also, did you know you could help remove RBF from someone else’s face?! How? Engage them! Ask questions that are playful or kind:

“Would you like me to help take that photo for you?”
“Where are you traveling to/from” (if at the airport)
“You look so much like {name a celebrity look alike…
if flattering!}” – or “Who do people tell you you look like?”
“What’s your favorite item on the menu?”

One of the most powerful ways is to help others uplift their resting facial expression is to compliment them on their smile as soon as they smile, eg “Your smile just lights up a room!”

(Careful not to try this if the person hasn’t smiled — that could be recieved as damaging sarcasm ) — and as the book says, please don’t tell someone who’s not smiling to smile or ask why they’re not smiling – that’s a surefire way to trigger defensiveness.

 For more tips on connecting more effectively with people, please read my book and find how-to’s under Book Teasers!
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