Posts Tagged ‘gen y’

RBF Gone Wild

October 9, 2015 Leave a comment

So there’s this huge internet phenomenon known as Resting Bitch Face, or, as it’s more commonly known, RBF.  (I apologize if the language offends.  I don’t make the news.)  I actually read an article about it the other day that referred to it as a Generation Y phenom.  Oh, no no no.  I’ve been dealing with this issue since grade school, my friends.  And I am of a generation that falls earlier in the alphabet than Y.  For years I just called it my default face.  For years I listened to well-meaning folks ordering me to smile.  I mean, come on.  Have you people never seen any old timey pictures?  And you think this is a new development?


Anyway, I had intended to speak on the many awkward moments and irritations of a person afflicted with RBF, but just the other day, an incident caused me to shift my focus.  You see, I had occasion to be filled with a fury unmatched.  A great and furious anger filled me to the extent that I’m pretty certain that my eyeballs bulged out enough to create a headache that has lasted for days.  The kind of anger that left me unable to sleep hours after the incident had been resolved.  The thing that caused this rage was truly one for the books, but that’s another story for another day.  The thing that you must know about it is that it happened in a public and professional place and I was required by good manners and a Christian heart to hold my temper and remain calm and civil.

I swallowed my true feelings and I kept all my words inside my head, so as to not be arrested, committed or tackled and pepper-sprayed on the spot.  I communicated in a tone that I felt was, if not nice, certainly acceptable.  I adopted an “agree to disagree” point of view and stormed out removed myself from the situation as quickly as societal norms would allow.  By that point I was really just trying to get out of there before words and incomprehensible noises started spilling out of my face.  In the distant part of my brain that was fighting to make me behave, I realized that I was not being quite polite, I was being okay.  I figured I had some displeasure showing, but I thought I had hidden the surge of crazy rage pretty well.

Well, as it happened, my daughter was present for the show.  Even if I had not let loose a furious tirade the moment the door closed behind me, she knew the deal.  I assumed that it was just a case of a child being sensitive to her mother’s moods, but in recounting the scene, she told me different.  “As soon as she said blahblahblah, something happened with your face.”

Ah, my face.  That face of mine, which, on the best of times may look mildly content.  At rest, I look pretty pissed.  And apparently, when I am quite angry, my face hulks out, completely without my knowledge.  So while I was doing my level best to maintain my composure, my face was doing its own thing.  Friends, my resting bitch face morphed into active bitch face, and if my daughter can be believed, it is quite a sight to behold.


Here’s the thing about RBF sufferers.  Not only do we have to work very, very hard at not looking mad all the time, but when we are actually mad, we must develop a truly spectacular angry face.  So, you know, people understand the difference.  Sadly, a side effect of RBF is that we can’t always control our expressions that well.  If we could, we wouldn’t look so angry all the time, follow?  So when the occasion calls for a striking expression, that expression tends to appear, as if by magic.  And then that chick you always thought look kind of bitchy?  She just got downright scary.  This explains a great many things, not the least of which is my consistent failure to win friends and influence people.