Do you possess RBF? (Resting Bitch Face?)

Why no one should normalize a “Resting Bitch Face” as acceptable, especially at work.

Resting bitch face, also known as RBF or bitchy resting face, is a term for a facial expression (or lack thereof) which unintentionally appears angry, annoyed, irritated, or contemptuous, particularly when the individual is relaxed or not particularly expressing an emotion.[1][2]

The concept has been studied by psychologists and may have psychological implications related to facial biases, gender stereotypes, human judgment, and decision making.[3][4][5] The concept has also been studied by computer experts, utilizing a type of facial recognition system; they found that the condition is as common in males as in females, despite the gendered word “bitch” that is used to name this concept.[6]
— From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

While your discontented face may seem valid to you,  allow me to illustrate the many ways it can hold you back:

At work, in the place where you may spend the most amount time to earn money, your fate largely depends on how others perceive you. 

Imagine key stakeholders all sitting at the table to decide how they will recognize your individual performance.  These are the conversations where your hard work, contributions and specialized knowledge are clouded when people are reminded of your RBF.  

You may then have to work twice as hard to prove your credibility and your livelihood may depend on not showing your "perceived anger".  

It's almost as if you are leaving money on the table, if your RBF goes unaddressed, because no one wants to manage, promote or mentor you.

So if you have received feedback about your RBF, ask yourself, "Who do I have to be to command the respect of my peers and those with influence over my career trajectory"? 

The same goes for your relationships (especially romantic ones).  Imagine the life partner of your dreams.  Who do you have to be to attract a loving partner that exudes warmth, kindness and positivity?  Would you in turn want to have a partner with the same RBF that you possess?

Trust me I will almost never disagree with the concept of not being our most authentic self, if RBF is who you are.

A recent For Harriet article, reminded us that we should operate in a way that allows us to be free to have or not have an attitude. And more importantly we should be free to be ourselves.   Even if that means having a “Resting Bitch Face”.  

However, if RBF is who you are, have you gone deeper to understand the source of your disposition? Once you accept RBF and normalize it, be prepared to deal with its’ repercussions.  People have an affinity to work along side those that are liked and admired—and not those that are perceived as difficult to work alongside or are feared.

And if your current  work environment does not serve your individual needs and therefore warrants RBF from you, then perhaps its time to re-evaluate your career and enter a space where you are not judged and stereotyped.  Time to execute your dream!

Tweet: “I want to work alongside someone with Resting Bitch Face: someone angry, bitter and unapproachable.” Said no one ever! #executethedream “I want to work alongside someone with Resting Bitch Face: someone angry, bitter and unapproachable.” Said no one ever! #executethedream