Time to Embrace your RBF


By Melinda Y.

I USED TO BE OFFENDED when someone called me a snob or told me I was unapproachable. But now I really don’t care.  I’ve learned to accept the fact that I have a condition called Resting Bitch Face or RBF.

This condition is found in women around the world and while some try to correct it, I’ve learned to use it to my advantage. Rather than overcompensate by adding smiley faces to every email, plastering a big fake smile on my face when meeting someone new or laughing at every little joke in the workplace, I let my face be.

Yes, that sounds bitchy, I know.  In my life of 70-hour work weeks, a daily 2-hour commute, swim team, early morning UIL competitions, single parenting teenagers, OCD cleaning tendencies and marathon training, my time is limited. I am an introvert so forcing myself to be friendly with people who don’t really care is not something I go out of my way to do. This isn’t about being mean, it’s about being real.

Do you wonder if you might have RBF? Chances are you do if you been the focus of these unsolicited remarks:

  1. Smile! We hear this from strangers without any warning. I should add that their reason for smiling is rarely one that I find smile-worthy.
  2. I thought you were a snob. Because we are naturally more reserved or quiet around people we don’t know, we get this comment all the time.
  3. You look so mad all the time. Chances are we have a million things on our minds and your perception of our lack of ‘smiley-ness’ is not a top priority.
  4. Wow, you’re actually really nice. This is usually said after the other person has taken 5 minutes to get to know us.
  5. Show some emotion. Women often are seen as cute and vulnerable when they cry at a sappy movie or a hurt puppy. For those of us with RBF, our reactions are different. We act rather than react.

So if you have RBF or you know someone who does, keep in mind that with this person:

If you get a smile, it is genuine.

If you get a laugh, you’re truly funny.

If we show emotion, it is heartfelt and should be taken seriously.

If you make a friend, you’ve got a loyal, hard-core woman in your court.

We are the women who don’t let emotions run our lives. There is nothing wrong or bitchy about that.


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