I have a resting bitch face. I always have, and obviously always will — I mean, you can only change your face so much, and I have no desire to try and look friendlier to make other people comfortable.
I got the RBF from my father. My whole life, people have said things to me like “You look mad,” “I thought you were a bitch before I got to know you,” and “I thought you’d be intimidating, but you aren’t.”
I think it’s a normal reaction to judge people by their expressions or how “friendly” they seem before we approach them. I did it for years — someone who is smiling and seems friendly feels safer and more likely to accept us, and we don’t worry as much about rejection.
Really though, when people peg others as being unfriendly or cold, especially before they get to know them, it’s their own insecurities shining through. If they want to put folks in a box, who am I to stop them?
I can be quiet at times. I’m not into oversharing unless I’m in the mood, or feeling like my voice has to be heard. There are many times I like to sit back and listen, and I don’t feel the need to chime in with my story or experience.
Sometimes it’s from pure, utter exhaustion. But most of the time, when someone confides in me, it doesn’t feel appropriate to talk about an experience I’ve had even if it relates to someone else’s, or offer unsolicited advice.
That’s not being unfriendly — it’s called having manners and truly listening.
There have been times people have mistaken my listening or silence for judgement, but that’s not who I am.
People have asked what my problem is if I don’t want to hang or I go home early.
I’ve been questioned about being in a bad mood when I feel utterly content to sit and just be without saying or smiling much.
I don’t always have to have a piece of the action during group conversations. Long pauses don’t bother me. Silence doesn’t hurt my ears, and there are many times my extroverted ways turn introverted really quickly, and I don’t feel the need to explain myself.
It’s taken me a long time to realize I don’t always have to smile. And the dudes who come up to me telling me to do so are the ones with the problem, not me.
I don’t have to give details about why I’m not talkative or I don’t want to stay late at the gathering. It’s not personal. It has nothing to do with anyone except for me.
I get tired. My energy runs low when I’m surrounded by people all the time. I don’t show up or smile or talk just to make others comfortable any longer.
I used to — for too long — but now I don’t anymore. When I’m tapped out, I’m tapped out, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m cold.
Not talking because I don’t feel like it doesn’t make me a bitch.
Not walking around with a happy look doesn’t mean I’m unapproachable.
Just because I don’t have a response to something doesn’t mean I’m unfriendly.
But if you take it that way and would like to put the blame on me for your own insecurity, that’s okay with me.
The freeing thing about getting older is you no longer take on the responsibility of other people’s opinions of you.
You also no longer feel the need to be “on” all the time just because you don’t want to be perceived in a certain way.
If you want to think I’m cold because it makes you feel better, that’s none of my business.
But, I think more people need to stop and think about what they consider unfriendly or cold and if they are just in their reasoning.
Because the men of the world who feel the need to preach about how women should “Smile and be happy” are only letting their insecurities show.
They need to think about the fact that they are annoying, obnoxious, and we aren’t here to make them comfortable.
And if we do act unapproachable to them, we are doing it on purpose to keep them away — and we aren’t going to suddenly morph into Princess Charming to suit their needs.
It’s okay to not smile and to go home early. It’s okay to say “no.” It’s okay to be in a bad mood. It’s okay to tell someone to back the fuck off at the risk of seeming cold. And really, it’s okay if people see you as unfriendly whether you actually are or not — you know your truth, and the last thing you need to carry around is trying to make everyone’s opinion of you a good one.