Author Topic: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?  (Read 23928 times)

Benpercent

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Here's a unique question: Do you have what is known as "Bitchy" or "Asshole" Resting Face? If so, how do you deal with it, or how have you resolved it?

To define it, Bitchy (for women) and Asshole (for men) Resting Face is the description of what a person may look like when they relax their facial muscles into a neutral position. On their part it doesn't indicate any emotion or condition, it's just what their face looks like when relaxed, but people commonly interpret it as indication of intense emotion or a facet of the person's personality, and it makes the bearer's life a little harder to get along in since people are constantly misinterpreting them, which can alienate potential friends and lovers, and, in the case of this forum's financial focus, cost financial opportunities such as by failing job interviews.

I happen to have such a condition, and it's probably why I've remained so poor and lost so many jobs, and had a hard time gaining friends. If it's possible to resolve it I would like to undertake that self-improvement task, but I think it's a little more complicated than simply doing facial exercises.

However, to delve into its complexities I think this condition is best referred to as the gender neutral "Intense Resting Face," because while the popular conception may be of people interpreting it as anger or a hostile personality, I noticed a lot of people interpret it subjectively. In my case, the interpretations have varied from:

1.) Sexual Interest

Some people, both straight women and gay men, interpret my Intense Resting Face as indication that I'm sexually interested in them. It's caused some problems such as female bosses getting upset and trying to fire me because they thought I was flirting with them and eventually leading them on since I didn't reciprocate their interest, and of getting sexually harassed by gay men. Some men have followed me to my shower stall in the gym and tried peeking under the curtain as if they wanted to get in with me, and I think one guy was openly masturbating to me from his own stall. These days I throw my towel over the rail. Ugh.

It's tougher to be friends with women since they tend to take things the wrong way.

2.) Depression

Other people seem to think it's indication that I'm bearing some kind of emotional grief, as seen by the people who are repetitively asking "Are you okay?" It's a kind thought once or twice, but it can grate on the nerves when everyone is asking you that, or one person is asking you that non-stop. Eventually you do get upset when people ask you it so often.

3.) Hostile Personality

This one is probably the worst, as it's unfortunate that many people will make the illogical leap to think that they're able to judge your personality from your mere physical appearance. I think I have gotten fired from several jobs because of that. I had several bosses who would get visibly rattled when I looked at them, even if I was just doing something innocuous like looking at the clock or glancing quickly around the corner, and a few even get full-blown hysterical, such as one boss who would literally freak out and hit things when I looked at him. (No staring; just a split-second glance.)

I can tell it's my physical appearance that's the factor since there's no verbal provocation or inappropriate actions/behavior going on, and it's not like I'm staring at them. One glance at my boss while he was exiting the room got him to walk backwards, slowly turn around, and then slouch over forward to glare at me for several seconds. Obviously he mistakenly thought I was glaring at him, when I was in reality just quickly checking to see who was entering/leaving the room.

As to the firings: The above boss fired me in a little less than a week even though I wasn't doing anything wrong in comparison to the other staff (selectively punished), and one boss passive-aggressively fired me by cutting me out of the schedule without explanation even though I was a cornerstone employee. I got fired from my last job for a microscopic mistake despite having an excellent record and the bosses having tolerated very bad behavior from others (such as one frequently skipping shifts, or another doing actual violence). Perhaps the boss thought I was really angry and hostile during the mistake when I wasn't, and was therefore riled to take excessive action.

Aside from making it hard to keep jobs sometimes, my appearance is probably also why it's so hard for me to get jobs. I fail tons of interviews. Some interviewers get visibly upset, such as by staring at their papers intensely to avoid eye contact at all costs, flinching, or literally shivering with emotion.

It's also annoying in public. Some people will trace my movements while I walk or outright stare, such as one guy I passed by at the library who was so flabbergasted that he turned around while we walked past each other and called after me, "What?" Panhandlers notice I stick out from the crowd and approach me too, if I'm in that kind of area.

Since I'm very introverted I don't like sticking out from the crowd this much.

4.) Nothing

I can't say what fraction of people interpret it this way, but there is a good amount of people who simply don't see the "off" appearance and WILL treat you according to the substance of your personality and character. These people I like and get along with the best.

- - - - -

The other factor that makes this condition other than the multitude of ways people will subjectively interpret you is that it's not so simple as casting a smile to remedy it. People with this condition also do something called "Fake Smiling," which is when they'll try to sincerely smile, but due to the physical construction of their face it won't look "real."

For instance, in my case, when I try to smile I want it to look like this --> :-)

But it looks more like this -->  :-]

My lips just don't curve upward very well, so to my annoyance people are still asking me "Are you okay?" or showing fear towards me even when I DO smile . . . though some people have told me I do have a nice smile, so the subjective element is still at play.

I don't particularly like smiling either since my face feels as  if I have to push against some minor resistance to make it come out.

I recall doing facial exercises for several weeks, but I don't remember if it actually alleviated the condition or made my social relations any smoother.

- - - - -

The two major questions I have are:

1.) What do you think causes this condition? Is it truly just the way we're born, or can our regular facial expressions influence the shape or our resting face? Perhaps the emotions we *consistently* feel determines are default face? Intensely miserable people, after all, do seem to have a notably accelerated aging look, a distinct appearance of stress having eroded them.

2.) What do you think are the various factors are that need to be considered in solving it? Simple facial exercises? Dietary fix? Something else (other than plastic surgery)?

I'm not sure why, but in my own past I have noticed that the content of my diet will affect my personality. If I eat, sleep and exercise really well I'm very ambiverted, but if I fall off track then I tend to be reclusively introverted. On the ambiverted side it's not only possible for me to be very sociable, but also to express my emotions in my face sincerely. That is, when I smile, I WANT to smile and it comes out naturally, rather than my trying to do a physical motion simply to remedy my Intense Resting Face.

- - - - -

What say you?

Chranstronaut

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 01:38:22 PM »


I've been told I look tired or angry when resting my face.  I just kind of ignored it, but I recently noticed that I carry a lot of tension in my face every day and it's uncomfortable.  I get a little headache from it.  I don't know if this is the same for other people, but I never realized my face could be tense and I wonder if that's the real cause of my intense resting face.

I started trying to relax more throughout the day and make a conscious effort to relax my face.  I do "micro-meditations" many times throughout the day.  My process is:

1) Smile internally (not on my face, but you can if you want to)
2) Deeply breath in through my nose while thinking (and doing!) "Alert, Amused Mind"
3) Breath out through my mouth while thinking "Calm Body"
4) Relax face and let limbs become heavy when breathing out

I do this a few times in a row and repeat many times during the day.  I don't know if it affects my face, but it makes me feel better and reduces office related stress.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 01:45:14 PM »
omg! I've had the same thoughts that you are.  I have an "angry" or perhaps "sad" look when my face is in normal rest. I believe it's mainly the way my eyes look and how my eyebrows are.  Especially in the past five years, I've realized it and noticed it's affect.  I've always had people ask me what's wrong, or tell me to smile, etc because they think I am in a bad mood.  I honestly believe it's affected the way people perceive my character in hundreds of situations.  I've even tested, so to speak, this by consciously altering my facial expression, just slightly, in situations and it had a positive affect.  Kind of sounds crazy, but I know exactly what you're talking about.

It's just a combination of how your normal facial features are compared to the majority of people's perceptions on what happy,mad,sad,etc looks like to them.

highcountry

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 01:54:56 PM »
I have resting bitch face, and have not yet tried to correct it. I know it has affected my work history, specifically in one job where my supervisors almost never worked near me, and formed much of their impression of the people on my team from candid photographs. My partner has this problem as well, but only when he is in crowds. On him, it looks scary, which is kindof funny, considering how gentle and open he is..

Although it has nothing to do with being angry, I think it can often be a symptom of being stressed and/ or not in your body.  To that end, if fake smiling till it's real isn't getting the right results, I would think martial arts and meditation might help.

One of these days, I will focus on this in myself, but for now, the consequences of it are
Pretty mild for me at the moment. It helps that people aren't going to be scared of me.

Two more thoughts: DONT wear sunglasses., and there's another discussion on this topic here:http://offbeathome.com/2013/10/introvert-at-work

Cecil

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 02:02:48 PM »
I generally have a constant mini-smile most of the day, but I do have "angry thinking face", and have been called out at work for it. When I'm deep in concentration, I furrow my brow and purse my lips in a way that makes me look mad. My super-thick eyebrows don't help with this appearance. It caused problems when a co-worker would approach me with a suggestion or question, and I'd seem to get really upset with them for asking.

Normally I would just notice the other person's body language and reassure them I'm not mad, but because I'm deep in thought I often don't notice! So I've take to reassuring people in advance - "huh, let me just think about that for a moment." That's gone a long way.

rubybeth

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 02:11:14 PM »
I don't think I have resting bitch face, but I have trouble controlling my facial expressions. I often can't help rolling my eyes, smirking, or make some other ridiculous expression when I hear something I think is idiotic, etc. My face is just very expressive (it's why I have pretty intense forehead lines even though I'm just a kid at age 33!). I kind of do the breathing thing that others have mentioned when I know I have to keep it together and not reveal my true thoughts, but honestly, it's difficult and I'm not sure it's worth it.

plainjane

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 02:15:50 PM »
Instead of focusing on your mouth and whether it looks "fake", you should think about focusing on calming down your eyes.  There are a bunch of muscles right around your eyes that people automatically use to figure out how you're feeling.

There is a bunch of research showing that (in general) people who are coached to put their face into a more "negative" state are then more negative, even if they don't know that is the emotion that their face is presenting.  Also, people who are shown "neutral" images of strangers are able to predict fairly well whether that person is generally a positive or negative person (self-reported).  While these things may not apply to you, they are a useful heuristic that other people will continue to use automatically, and thus will continue to impact your life.

This statement: "If I eat, sleep and exercise really well I'm very ambiverted, but if I fall off track then I tend to be reclusively introverted." makes me think that you really shouldn't focus on facial exercises, but instead on basic well-being, and consider adding a meditative component to your exercise if possible.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 02:17:39 PM »
I have one friend that has been accused of having a neutral scowl. Never realized it was so common! It never really bothers me, but I don't think I read faces as well as some.     

tmac

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 02:36:59 PM »
Upon reflection, I think I might have this. Certainly when I'm concentrating, people think I'm upset (furrowed eyebrows, squinty eyes, and narrowed mouth). And I've had more than one stranger tell me that I look mad or angry, when I was just neutral.

I haven't thought about it much, but I automatically do something with my kids or others when I want to be sure they understand that I need them to change their behavior, but I'm not mad about it. I relax the muscles around my eyes and raise my eyebrows slightly, and smile just a little as I'm speaking. If I don't do that, they're more likely to misinterpret what I'm saying as harsh criticism, rather than just redirection.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 02:45:04 PM »
I have Resting Bitch Face.  My face is pretty expressive in general (ie I have a hard time hiding what I'm feeling) but when I'm in 'neutral' I tend to look pissed off or angry.  I don't mind that much, the people who know me know it's just my face and they know I'm not actually angry. 

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 02:51:08 PM »
Pissed Off Resting Face.

That's what I call it.  And I have it.  Bad.  Most of my employees are at least slightly scared of me.  I've even started pointing out to new ones that I have Pissed Off Resting Face, but it means nothing.  If I'm really pissed off, I'll let them know.  That's helped.

I've also had to point out the resting face to my boss.  Mostly because he kept asking me if I was ok because I look angry.  Over and over.  I finally told him that if he didn't stop asking me, I was going to get angry, and then he could see my real angry face.

My other issue is that I don't emote very well.  Poker face, if you will.  My boss' boss told me a few months ago that I was getting a fairly substantial raise.  He took it personally when I didn't crack a smile, which was not helped by the pissed off resting face.  Oops.  I've spent the last few months working on smiling around him more.

Professor Ecks

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 02:54:57 PM »
Quote
...and it's not like I'm staring at them. One glance at my boss while he was exiting the room got him to walk backwards, slowly turn around, and then slouch over forward to glare at me for several seconds.

You might consider that your perception of your own actions may be a bit off. I understand that when trying to explain something in writing, nuances can often be lost, but in the passage I quoted above, you indicate "it's not like I'm staring at them" yet in the next sentence you said your boss "walk backwards, slowly turn around, and then slouch over forward to glare at me for several seconds."

To me, if you are looking at them long enough to watch them walk backwards, slowly turn around, and then slouch over forward to glare at me for several seconds, then you are in fact probably closer to staring than glancing.

Another thought. Based on your descriptions, your world seems to be filled with some pretty strange/immature people. It seems unlikely that ALL this activity towards you is generated solely by your neutral facial expression. A more likely scenario is that there are other factors contributing to these extereme responses, or that you associate with an inordinate number of people with below-average social skills.


VirginiaBob

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 03:00:20 PM »
I never even heard of this until I read this thread, but interesting, and has opened my eyes.  I have been told that I look really serious, which is completely different from my jovial personality (which a lot of people here have picked up on just from reading my posts).  Interestingly, I think my serious face has actually helped my career since it looks like I am always down to business.

Lyssa

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2014, 03:07:35 PM »
Instead of focusing on your mouth and whether it looks "fake", you should think about focusing on calming down your eyes. 

+ 1

Eyes and forehead are the area that most often are unconsciously tense and cause an angry or sad expression.

Luckily, I only have an angry thinking/deep concentration but no angry resting face. Smiling as part of expected politeness (especially for women...) however, has been a problem for me in the past. Today if I want to convincingly fake a smile I think of something that helps to produce a genuine smile. No idea if the smile is real of fake then...

OSUBearCub

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2014, 03:21:10 PM »
Just a thought on one troubling aspect of your post:

You're either going to the wrong gym or your "resting whatever face" is way out of the ordinary.  I'm gay, I go to a straight gym, and the hounding you described is verging on bizarre.  We're there to workout not hook-up. 

The reason I suggest that you may be going to the wrong gym is that there are indeed gyms that cater predominantly to gay clientele where some much milder version of "cruising" (looking to hook up) might occur. 

Roots&Wings

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2014, 03:23:39 PM »
Certainly when I'm concentrating, people think I'm upset (furrowed eyebrows, squinty eyes, and narrowed mouth).

Same here!  I have to consciously try to maintain a Buddha half-smile and project a generally pleasant demeanor/posture. 

Also use clear medical tape for the furrowed brow thing (an improvised 'frownie' solution), since I cannot seem to control this, which has helped immensely with headaches too.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 03:26:28 PM by step-in-time »

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2014, 03:33:28 PM »
Just a thought on one troubling aspect of your post:

You're either going to the wrong gym or your "resting whatever face" is way out of the ordinary.  I'm gay, I go to a straight gym, and the hounding you described is verging on bizarre.  We're there to workout not hook-up. 

The reason I suggest that you may be going to the wrong gym is that there are indeed gyms that cater predominantly to gay clientele where some much milder version of "cruising" (looking to hook up) might occur.

Whoa, do you guys classify gyms like that? Is it an informal process, or like, are all YMCAs cruisergyms?

Andy_in_Aus

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2014, 03:34:30 PM »
Count me as having this too (and I didn't even know it was a thing)!

Mine is mostly my eyebrows furrowing, I do wear fairly aggressive sunglasses which makes it worse.

On the plus side, most of my daughters school friends are scared off me (as well as their parents), and because I'm not a social animal, this suits me fine.

I'm also 6'1' and work out, so I find I don't get the random crazies / annoying salesmen coming up to me on the streets!

Threshkin

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2014, 03:35:46 PM »
I have a scar on my forehead and it makes me look angry in profile.  People sitting next to me would frequently ask if I was angry.  I counter acted this by intentionally smiling, a lot. 

The interesting result was that by forcing myself to constantly smile and look cheerful, I wound up being a much happier and content person.

I firmly believe that people's outward appearance, happy, mad, pretty, ugly, confident, unsure, etc. is influenced to a large degree by their own thoughts about themselves.

Tai

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2014, 04:32:54 PM »
I've had random strangers tell me I must be a nurse or a teacher because I have that kind of face !?! I was working with children and it's taken me a while to get my dirty looks down but I hope that I don't go around with those faces normally. That said if I'm annoyed with you likely you will know it! For interviews I focus on trying to smile and since I'm usually nervous I'll crack some jokes and laugh some. I think my serious face is my thinking face. What I usually get because I have a big, round face is people assuming I'm honest (I am, but I don't think you can determine that by my face) and also that I'm stupid. The stupid assumption is sometimes good for a few laughs and sometimes I take advantage I admit.

I should add that when I have an "angry" face on I apparently look pretty scary, although if its genuine my face will get red.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 04:36:23 PM by Tai »

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2014, 06:39:22 PM »


 
Ha Ha! Love this! I have a naturally "smiley face" and it drives me nuts. "I am not smiling! I'm pissed off and shooting daggers thru my eyes at you. Can't you see that!!!?"

That's as adorable as


rocklebock

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2014, 07:29:50 PM »
I've had random strangers tell me I look mad/sad since I was a little kid. I remember someone commenting about it on the school bus when I was 6 or 7. I'm almost 40 now, and I'm pretty confident that this is not something I could change about myself even if I tried, so I don't worry about it. I do make more of a point to smile at people when I first meet them, though.

RunHappy

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2014, 08:02:28 PM »
I have Bitchy Resting Face....to the random people on the streets I say Eff-em. 

Dicey

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2014, 08:32:03 PM »
KSII, that's hilarious. OTOH, my cat does look like she's thinking of murder all day. Angry cat face?

Seriously, I have always had a very expressive face. I'm told my face is easy to read and I'm sure it's true. In my late thirties, I developed a marked frown line, probably stemming from severe myopia (i.e. I can't see shit). I hated it and finally decided to kill it with Botox. Yup, Botox. It worked like magic and damn if it didn't stop people from asking what was the matter. The awesome thing about Botox is that if you can't scowl, you eventually stop trying to scowl. Even if you never realized you were scowling in the first place. Go figure. I did Botox about four or five times over a couple of years and that was all it took. Funny, the dermatologist always wanted to do more, but I wasn't there to try to look younger than my age, I just wanted to lose the frowny face.

I'm using this example to illustrate that you are the one in control of your face. If you think it doesn't matter, then do nothing, but do not complain about the way you are perceived or treated in life. If you don't love the way the world is responding to your face, you are the only one who can fix it. In life, one has to determine if a stranger is friend or foe quickly, based primarily on external clues. Why make it more difficult for yourself to be understood? What's the worst that could happen to you if you figured out how to make yourself look more approachable?

Wow, as I write this, I wonder if fear is an underlying factor. Perhaps it's not anger, but fear that's causing your face to look harsh. What are your fears, BP? Dunno, could be something worth exploring or could be something else entirely. Just a fleeting thought, I'm not trying to be critical. I am very glad you're asking the question here, BP. I think it is a huge first step. I encourage you to take the next one. You won't regret it.

P.S. One more story. In the very early eighties, my best friend and I had jobs with a big cosmetic company and solo air travel was required. It wasn't all that common in those days and we were both young cuties, perfectly made up and professionally dressed. We got tired of being hit on. We brainstormed and developed what we called our "Don't fuck with me" faces. We were shocked at how well it worked. You put it on when you went to the airport and took it off when you got home. It made an amazing difference in how we were treated.

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2014, 08:40:04 PM »
I can't tell if everyone is serious or just having fun regarding this post. By the way, I had Botox done (only once) on my forehead crease, and my eyebrows were so much higher that I looked like I was in a permanent state of surprise. Thank God, it only lasted a week and I had some bangs to cover it up.

Datastache

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2014, 12:39:42 AM »
People with this condition also do something called "Fake Smiling," which is when they'll try to sincerely smile, but due to the physical construction of their face it won't look "real."

For instance, in my case, when I try to smile I want it to look like this --> :-)

But it looks more like this -->  :-]

My lips just don't curve upward very well, so to my annoyance people are still asking me "Are you okay?" or showing fear towards me even when I DO smile . . . though some people have told me I do have a nice smile, so the subjective element is still at play.

Well there's your problem right there. An authentic (or authentic-looking) smile has very, very little to do with the shape of the mouth. Anyone can have the broadest, sparkliest grin on their face and still look miserable or furious...and conversely, a frowning mouth can be part of an expression that conveys happiness. It's all in the eyes. There are muscles around the corners of the eyes that scrunch up when you're smiling a genuine smile, or when you're a good faker. If I were you, I'd spend some time in front of a mirror trying to smile with only your eyes. Move your mouth as little as possible, but think some happy thoughts and try to let them show through your eyes.

I don't mean to suggest that all faces are made equally. Lord knows there's plenty I'd change about my face if I got to redesign my genes. But a smile that looks genuine can radically alter anyone's appearance, and I've yet to see a human being with a complete face and functional facial musculature who was physically incapable of looking friendly.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2014, 05:35:12 AM »



highcountry

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2014, 10:46:30 AM »
Benpercent, I've been wondering if resting bitch face is what you are struggling with at all. When I, or any of the people I know with this problem, fully engages with someone, the pissed expression disappears. What you are describing sounds like everyone around you thinks you are either about to go postal, or trying to get into their pants. Your remark about not being able to smile also indicates there's nothing "resting" about your angry face.

I realize that we all wander around projecting stuff on everyone around us, but when someone is setting off as many alarm bells in the people around them as you are, there is probably something they are reacting to. I realize it's likely not anger, but by your description, there's something off about your energy As one person who likes to confront my personality and behavior quirks head on to another, I would suggest looking hard at internal stuff that may be reflected on your face, and in your posture. I realize you are broke, but therapy and, as I said above, meditation, dance classes, or martial arts, might get you a lot further than working on your facial expression.

Exhale

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2014, 12:31:09 PM »
I've been told that I'm "too intense" and have learned to breath deeply, soften my gaze and relax the muscles in my face and forehead area (as mentioned by others). I especially liked the idea of relaxing the muscles along side my nose (especially the area between nose and eyes). All of this feels good to do and fascinating to see that, if I'm relaxed in my own body, I get along better with others. It has taken years to build in this habit of being relaxed, but it has paid off - most of all in how I feel.

People still say I'm too intense. I welcome the feedback, but also know that I'm better at relaxing and so this may be a case of things being projected on to me.
---
Interestingly, in many cultures lots of eye contact is considered disrespectful. However, in western cultures not making eye contact is considered disrespectful (or a lack of interest). In fact, many of my students find that they're considered to be disrespectful (or not engaged) just for doing what was normal in their community.

epipenguin

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2014, 03:36:25 PM »
I don't think I quite have resting bitch face, but I do intentionally relax my brows. I found that I was developing those "11" lines at the inner ends of my eyebrows and it made me look like I was scowling all the time. I now consciously relax my forehead every time it crosses my mind, and I've found that that actually helps my face look better all day. It's like I now recognize the feeling of scowling because it's different from the feeling of having a relaxed forehead, and I can take action to fix it.

Still haven't done much about the corners of my mouth, which seem to naturally turn down. I do sometimes try to change it to a little Mona Lisa type smile, but I'm not sure how successful I am at that!

diesel15

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2014, 06:42:51 PM »
It's very interesting to see this topic come up here.  I was just having a conversation about this at work the other day.  I am definitely someone who has a resting asshole face so I can completely relate to the OP.  I have yet to find any real solution for it but it has affected my career in a few interesting ways.  As a few other people have stated, I have an intense look that makes people assume that I'm always really busy regardless of what is actually happening in my day.  This has been great for me in every performance review that I've ever had.  However, apparently this also makes me seem more standoffish and quite a few people have told me that I'm very difficult to approach (this is a negative in both my personal and professional life unfortunately).  Interestingly (to me anyway) I work in sales and strangely I feel like this has helped make me relatively successful.  It is only my hypothesis but I sense that people are less inclined to feel like I'm trying to "sell" them since I don't come across as a bubbly and gregarious "smooth talker".

I really hadn't ever considered botox but I may have to try it to see if it makes any difference.

Thespoof

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2014, 07:22:13 PM »
I have a bitch face, too. I can look pretty severe especially when I lean down this time of year for Mexico. I just try not to think about it too much and smile more often :-)

vetchling

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2014, 09:25:26 AM »
I have this problem as well. One book which I found helpful was The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane. It discusses various ways to change your inner monologues so that your face expresses emotions making you more enjoyable to be around. Some tips from that book:
* Rewrite or re-imagine reality so that you feel greater compassion and goodwill towards others. For instance, if a car almost ran you over on your bike, imagine that his wife is in labor and he is rushing to the hospital instead of assuming he is an asshole.
* A technique called Metta: think of a time when you performed a good deed, and then think of a being of your choice who you think has great affection for you, accepting you and forgiving all of your imperfections.
* When looking at people, imagine them with angel wings.

Some visualization exercises from the book can be found here: http://foxcabane.com/book/exercises/. I highly recommend reading the book, though. I haven't heard any other advice with such a deep and practical focus on how to change people's perception of you.

MBot

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2014, 08:43:59 PM »
This is only one piece of advice that helped me, but as a woman who doesn't wear much makeup, if I put on a "color stay" (won't rub off) lipstick, even if it's in a very natural shade, it draws my attention every time I walk by a mirror. Then I remember to smile.

At work and at home I walk by mirrors in the halls and outside my office, so that helps a lot for me personally.

I also make an effort to smile in a way that it does actually wrinkle the corner of my eyes like a real smile. Usually ends up making me feel warmer and happier too.

dragoncar

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2014, 04:05:51 PM »
Yep, I have it.  How has this video not been posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v98CPXNiSk

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2014, 04:20:07 PM »
I don't think I have resting bitch face, but I have trouble controlling my facial expressions. I often can't help rolling my eyes, smirking, or make some other ridiculous expression when I hear something I think is idiotic, etc.

OH MY GOD ME TOO. Sometimes I don't even notice that I'm doing it, until someone points it out later ("ha, I totally saw you roll your eyes when M said something ridiculous in that meeting, your face showed what we were ALL thinking!!" awkward, and makes me look like such a rude bitch!). Or sometimes I make facial expressions that aren't even in response to what's going on around me, but instead to something I'm thinking about. So weird.

I think it's a great thing that "Resting Bitch Face" has become more well known/acknowledged in the last few years, because I personally was just assuming that those people were crabby or didn't like me. Now I try to remind myself to not judge people based on their neutral facial expressions.

Lian

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2014, 04:27:32 PM »
A bitchy resting face! Ha! I definitely do - a result of decades of a chronic low-level pain that is really no big deal, but it shows on my face. I know I look intimidating, and I don't know what to do about it. I've thought of doing Botox, but just don't want to.

DoubleDown

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2014, 12:16:04 PM »
I'd guess there's a mix of genetics and environment at work here. That is, genetics obviously play a large role in how one's face looks, but our outlook and environmental factors (like sun, wind, etc.) also play a heavy influence. I think OP or anyone else with this condition should do facial exercises to tone up their face muscles, and definitely take a deep look into their outlook and attitudes to see if their mood is unwittingly reflecting in their facial expression.

If I take a moment to become aware of my mood and what my face is doing, I can feel a difference. I can feel my face relax, or take on a brighter, more relaxed expression just by thinking about it. I'd be interested to hear what happens if the OP makes a conscious effort to relax and brighten their facial expressions throughout the day, and see if some of these bizarre-sounding encounters continue.

Benpercent

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2014, 06:37:36 PM »
Physical conditions are funny in that regard. I've noticed sometimes that when I'm tired I'll frown and scowl with deep intensity, as if my face had some kind of magnetic property and someone were holding a strong magnet on my chin. I'd be very interested in reading some research done about the physiological and psychological connections to facial expressions and resting faces.

I may consider doing some facial exercises, but right now it seems like I'd be overburdening myself with too many routines, as I do have some other habits in this regard I maintain. I'm presently doing a long-term scalp exercise experiment to see if it may regrow hair, and if I'm not doing that then I'm "rubberducking" (talking to an inanimate object to brainstorm, introspect, etc.) to sharpen my speaking skills and think out some topics.

I did get some good facial exercise, however, the other day when I had to hold a sign to advertise the new restaurant I'm working for. I made extra-sure to smile good and hard to those cars turning beside me (and plenty of my smiles were returned).

BlueHouse

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2014, 08:29:32 PM »
Instead of focusing on your mouth and whether it looks "fake", you should think about focusing on calming down your eyes. 

+ 1

Eyes and forehead are the area that most often are unconsciously tense and cause an angry or sad expression.

Luckily, I only have an angry thinking/deep concentration but no angry resting face. Smiling as part of expected politeness (especially for women...) however, has been a problem for me in the past. Today if I want to convincingly fake a smile I think of something that helps to produce a genuine smile. No idea if the smile is real of fake then...
yeah, sometimes when I feel the stress in my forehead, I push my eyebrows up with my fingers and then my forehead starts to "remember" a more relaxed position.  It helps me to not look so grumpy.  Plus, when my brow is furrowed, I get a weird wrinkle between my brows that looks just like a buttcrack.  Do not want. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2014, 08:32:43 PM »
Yes, I used to have it.  There were a number of things I did about it, but it is like good posture.  practice it and then it will come naturally. My "relaxed" face now has soft eyes and very slightly upturned corners of my mouth.  If I completely relax the face and my mouth goes completely "slack", that is what I imagine dead people look like.  It's the equivalent of the dead fish handshake.  Work on it.

BlueHouse

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2014, 08:51:23 PM »
it's unfortunate that many people will make the illogical leap to think that they're able to judge your personality from your mere physical appearance.
Please realize that you can (and should) do something about this.  Our judgements based on physical traits stem from an evolutionary need to discern safe from unsafe.  You are likely projecting an image that our lizard-brains recognize as a danger sign (a stressed out individual). And yes, maybe our appearance tells the world something about us that we may not even be aware of.

Did you know that smiling actually reduces stress by reducing cortisol in the bloodstream?  Here's an interesting article about holding chopsticks in one's mouth to simulate smiling.  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/simply-smiling-can-actually-reduce-stress-10461286/?no-ist



HattyT

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2014, 03:55:38 PM »
This is fascinating.  So well written.  I so feel for you. 

I wonder if I have this.  People will often tell me to smile.  Especially when Iím focused on something. I find it annoying.  I always imagined it to be sexism.  I did very consciously choose a career in computers, so I could interact more with machines than people.

Could it be about how you hold stress in your face?  I wonder if stress reduction measures would help.  Laughter yoga may be worth a try. From my laughter yoga class, I learned raising eyebrows can make a fake smile appear more real.

Could TMJ be involved?
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/temporomandibular_joint_tmj_syndrome/page3_em.htm

AllChoptUp

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2014, 12:59:19 PM »
RBF has been a great asset to my military career. :|
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 08:28:22 AM by AllChoptUp »

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Benpercent

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2014, 04:19:21 PM »
All worthy thoughts.

I think facial exercises are the main thing I need to do. What would you guys recommend?

I think this because in large part I've just never been very expressive in my life. I didn't deal with my family much and was largely friendless in school, so I never got involved in those social situations where I'd pick up that facial expressions are a natural part of socializing, and that people have certain perceptions as to what kind of face constitutes what kind of emotion.

What I especially need to consider is how to "hold" a more comfortable looking face until it becomes my actual resting face. Another factor in my angry resting face, I realized, is that people might doubt the sincerity of my smile because when I approach them from across the room I'm holding my angry resting face. Trying to hold any other face, right now, feels like I'm swimming upstream, and is tiring. I need to train something so that a semblance of a comfortable expression in there, which won't negate my smiling.

This came to my mind when a coworker mentioned how he noticed what he considered the insincere smiles of waiters and waitresses he dealt with. He mentioned how they would have a bitter look when not dealing with costumers, smile when they serve the table, and then go back to the bitter look when walking away. My coworker thought they were expression a hatred of their job, but I think it's possible that those people had angry resting faces too, and that their faces were just going back to neutral when not dealing with costumers.

Another element in my social awkwardness is that I have a strong accent. My hearing-impairment affects how I interpret other people's speech, which in effect has influenced how I speak (since children, after all, learn to talk by imitation). I can't hear my own accent in comparison to others, even on an audio recorder, but apparently it sticks out to everyone else, and might to contribute other impressions alongside the angry resting face.

Threshkin

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2014, 08:30:04 AM »
I think facial exercises are the main thing I need to do. What would you guys recommend?

Smile.....A lot.

This worked for me.

Kaikou

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2016, 12:18:48 AM »
Wonder how OP is doing?

dragoncar

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2016, 05:23:38 PM »

tobitonic

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Re: Do You/Have You Had Angry Resting Face? What Did You Do About It?
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2016, 06:24:41 PM »
This thread gave me lots of natural smiles.