Tag Archives: introvert

Time to Embrace your RBF

My 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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Eleventh Heaven

By Amanda S.

Maybe I was looking for stability. Dad used to manage Target distribution centers – he’d get them up and running for 18 months, and then our family was off to the next site/state. At some point in eighth grade, deep into a diary one weekend, I decided I needed something that would ground me, keep me me, and that the number 11, with its mysterious pull lately, was the answer. “It’s the first two marks when you’re drawing a smiley face!” I reasoned in the diary. Okaaay.

And then, 11 changed my life.

I started small, making wishes at 11:11 a.m. and 11:11 p.m. and setting my alarm clock for 7:04 or 9:02 because the digits added up to 11. I felt me, and it got sillier. I’d eat 11 M&Ms at a time, watch TV at volume 11, cheer anyone in a #11 jersey.

In a move that sticks with me today, I decided that the 11th of each month, I’d do something new and different – that no matter how many times my family would move, how many new schools full of strangers, I’d have one thing for me. Maybe a new shirt to wear that day, or sampling a new food (still hate you, mushrooms!) Bigger attempts have been made, like horseback riding, trying peanut butter beer at the Great American Beer Festival, flying first class, and getting tossed from a mechanical bull.

mechanical bull ride

The point is, it’s a built-in way to challenge myself.

Sometimes it’s still a small act – I’ll use all my Birchbox products for the first time on an 11th, or I’ll see a movie at a theater in a part of town I’ve never been to on an 11th. And sometimes it’s a big act – I adopted a cat on a November 11th and named her Ellie. I tried like mad to get married on 11/11/2011, but so did every bride in Arizona, so my anniversary is 11/5/2011. On 11/11/2011, though, I nailed a $300 PaiGow Poker hand and ziplined across the old Las Vegas strip, so it’s not all bad.

I thought I may get engaged on an 11th, but Kit knew that and he waited until the 12th. When he brings home flowers just because, there’s always 11 stems. The extra ends up with a coworker or a stranger outside the store. (Oooh that MAN.)

I listen more than speak and tend to be an introvert, and I think all the moving, with the finite time to meet people and grow friends, made me a people-pleaser more than I care to admit. So I cling like crazy to 11ths. Just ooone day a month, I can nerd out, do what I want, find or add meaning to whatever I want. There’s always a buzz in the air those days.

Sometimes it drifts to others. Every so often, someone will mention making a wish at 11:11 or forward me a news link that “11/11 is the equivalent of ‘Black Friday’ in China.” Warms my dumb old heart. As it turns out, I have traditions that are freeing and all me no matter where I am.