For those who haven’t heard, Chronic Bitchface Syndrome, or the ‘Bitchy Resting Face‘, is when someone’s neutral or resting face (one without any emotions) looks like they are very angry, bitchy or sad – permanently.
Are you one of those unlucky souls? I am!
I always thought I had a normal resting face. Whenever I wasn’t interacting with someone, I had this neutral face on. It was the face that happened when I wasn’t using any of the muscles on my face to create an expression. After all, using your facial muscles all the time becomes really tiring after a while. I thought I looked normal. I felt normal.
… that was until one day, when one of my friends pointed it out to me.
I was 14. I had just started high school and was taking the school bus to school. I was one of the first few to get picked up, and sitting at the front near the door, I could easily see and interact with everyone who boarded after me. It was a good opportunity to make new friends – and lots of them. A smile should do the trick.
Every day, throughout the journey, whenever anyone boarded, I put on a nice face. It wasn’t a grinning face, but at least I smiled – albeit subtly. I looked happy. I looked expectant. I looked approachable. I acted nice. That’s how I really felt like. I wanted to make friends, so I put on a friendly face.
…only to find out that all of these happened exclusively in my mind.
No wonder people never approached me. When one brave soul finally sat beside me, I was really happy. After exchanging a few words, we started chatting. Not long after becoming friends, she finally told me: “You know, when I first saw you I thought you were a very cold and distant person. Maybe a bit arrogant as well.”
I was shocked. All this time I had been smiling. All this time I had been putting a lot of effort into looking approachable. All this time I was looking and acting friendly… and none of that ever showed on my face??!
That’s when I learned that my “neutral” face looked completely different than what I thought I was projecting. Being the quiet and shy person that I was didn’t help either, of course. I thought I was warm and friendly – but instead I looked cold and distant. Unfriendly. Unapproachable. On top of that, arrogant. Yikes.
Now it makes sense when people look at me and say “What’s wrong?”
“Be happy! Why do you look like you’re not enjoying yourself?”
Whaaa- but I am!
ugh… this is tiring…
It really is tiring to make an effort (an actual physical effort) to keep smiling all day long – not to mention it feels faked. I would love to look like I’m not about to kill everyone in my sight. I would love to look happier, more cheerful, or at least more normal when I feel completely normal. But, alas, this is my resting face and I’m afraid we’re both stuck with it.
Even though, over the years, I have learned to live with it and I probably don’t have the worst resting face there is, it suffices to say that it still affects one’s life and how they are perceived by other people.
So, people: I am smiling and happy! No, I don’t look like I’m pissed off at something. I am not thoughtful or worried. And I am NOT depressed. Neither am I sad!
I am just resting my face!
Enjoy this video that explains the Bitchy Resting Face & the Resting Asshole Face with real life examples: