Resting Bitch Face: It’s Real

(Disclaimer- I proofread this thing a dozen times and used an online site to help.  If you see any mistakes, I’m only human and not perfect.  Thanks for reading!)

According to Urban Dictionary.com, the formal definition for Resting Bitch Face is:  “A phenomenon in which the resting face lacks animation and appears to look bitchy at all times, thus leading people to believe a person must be upset, a snob or a bitch.”

I am a sufferer of this misunderstood facial phenomenon.  Thinking back on it for the majority of my life, I had absolutely no idea!  I would get the usual questions like, “What’s wrong with you?” or “Who pissed you off today?”  Or worse I would hear later that comments were made about me to others basically saying that I looked bitchy and “unapproachable.”  I wanted to say to them, “This is just my face.”  Who knows how many dates or hangouts I missed out on because someone was afraid to talk to me.  Who knows how many times someone may have looked at me and thought I was an angry person that would kick their ass in a minute.  Now to be completed honest and fair, back in the day I was not always the nicest person in the world.  I had what some would describe as a “bad attitude” and I was a bit of a “Debbie Downer.”  And I take full responsibility for that.  But I’m a totally different person from who I used to be.  I worked really hard to be a happier person for myself and toward others around me.  But do you know for all that work I did, I STILL have Resting Bitch Face?  Smh….

On a brighter note though, having Resting Bitch Face probably kept me from having a lot of unpleasant experiences.  So that’s good!  I feel like I shouldn’t be solely judged because I’m not walking around smiling 24/7.  Who the hell does that?  You know damn well if I did, people would think that I was either high or crazy.  Before when I saw someone sitting alone minding their own business smiling for seemingly no reason, I would have definitely been leery of them.  I would have more than likely thought to myself, “Is that person up to something?  They are smiling way too hard over there and they’re sitting alone.  I better get out of here.”  I know it isn’t right, but that’s what I would have been thinking.  Deep down in my mind, everyone is the potential killer/ rapist.  Weird thinking I know, but hey it has kept me alive and well so far.  I attribute this to watching and listening to far too many true crime shows and podcast.  But seriously though, it’s perfectly ok to be cautious.  But I was judging someone in the way that others judged me. And that isn’t right.

I currently work as a Teacher’s Assistant for a living until my successfully (and very profitable) writing career takes off.  I have to say children never think I have Resting Bitch Face.  Not that they would know exactly what that is, but they don’t judge me on my lack of a happy facial expression.  They usually just see another person that they can talk too about whatever is on their minds.  Children are extremely comfortable around me. I even have children in public places start talking to me without any motivation from me to do so.  I once had cute little girl start a conversation with me in a ladies line bathroom.  I’m sure to the adults around;  I may not have looked like I was interested in talking.  But she didn’t see that.  She saw a person that she wanted to talk to about her Little Mermaid shoes her mother bought her.  And that was the best.

Since I’ve discovered that I suffer from RBF, I do my best to be mindful of it.  Sometimes though, I can’t help it.  I get lost in my own thoughts of things I have to do or want to do. And my facial expressions (or lack thereof) get away from me.  That doesn’t make me not a nice person or unapproachable.  It just means I have a lot of things on my mind at that given time.  So next time you see someone who may suffer from Rest Bitch Face, don’t judge them too quickly.  There may be nothing at wrong with them at all.  For all you know, they could be thinking about how much they really want a taco.

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High-Functioning Depression: It’s Real

We all know (or should know by now) to never self-diagnose using the web.  What you initially think is just a common cold, will later have you thinking you’ve got Ebola in your left lung.  Despite this knowledge, I went ahead and hit up google anyway because I was sure I could figure out what my issues were.  Or at the very least get pointed in the right direction.  And it helped me figure out what I kind of already knew.  I was depressed.  Or more specifically, I have high functional depression.  According to Talkspace.com, “High-functioning depression is a form of the (depression) illness that is not intense enough to noticeably affect the ability to perform daily responsibilities such as work and home duties.  High functioning depression can carry some of the same symptoms as any other form of the disorder.”  Some of the symptoms the site listed were: Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood, Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism, irritability, feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities, restlessness, appetite and weight changes, thoughts of death or suicide, aches or pains, digestive problems with a clear physical cause, relentless self-criticism, doubt, worry over the past and future and getting upset by small issues.  After reading the article I had to face the fact that I currently have a few of these symptoms.

I didn’t want to claim depression.  I mean who does?  But seeing as though I’ve had depression before, I know what it feels like.  This time though it felt different for me.  I was able to get out of bed and handle necessary daily activities.  But once the work day was done, I would shut down.  I didn’t feel like doing anything.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone or go anywhere.  I just wanted to be left alone, lay around and watch television. My sleep habits were all over the place.  Some days all I wanted to do was sleep (basically taking naps) and on other days I couldn’t sleep at all.  I begin to know something was different when I stopped doing the things that made me feel more positive and good.  I stopped reading self-help books (and books in general), meditating, working out, interacting with people and watching positive YouTube channels I’m subscribed too.  This change wasn’t overnight, it was a gradual change.  Maybe that’s why it took me so long to identify.  I had a temporary job during the summer that was physically and mentally draining on me.  So when I wasn’t there, I had no energy to do anything.  Since I had less energy that meant that I didn’t want to go anywhere on my days off.  Since I didn’t want to claim depression (let alone even say it) I just thought I was tired from the job I didn’t like.  I blamed outside things instead of looking inside at what the issue could be.  And the issue was me.

Once I really gave how I was feeling some serious thought, I had to realize that I was depressed.  Saying that I was depressed goes against everything you learn when studying the law of attraction.  According to the law of attraction, you should only think and speak positivity into your life.  Because if you think and speak negative, the universe will give you more things to be negative about.  My thinking was, “If I actually say I’m depressed, then I’ll bring more things into my life that will make me depressed.”  And that could very well be true.  I came to understand that the way I was feeling didn’t go against the law of attraction.  Just like the law of attraction has become a part of who I am, unfortunately, feelings of sadness from time to time are too.  At some point, the way I feel has to hold just as much weight as my efforts to live my life according to the law of attraction.  So how do I work through this to get back to a more positive, happier me?

The first thing I did was to accept that I was depressed.  Step one completed, check.  I had to leave all the stigma I felt about having to admit to depression behind.  My next step was to find a professional to sit and talk with.  That may take more time seeing as though health insurances are usually full of shit when you actually need to use it.  But that’s a post for another day.  But I’m hopeful that they will help me financially.  Until I’m able to see a professional, I decided to work on the following:

1.) Start reading again.  Even if it’s only 15 minutes a day to start.  I do enjoy reading and the type of books I read usually do help me to be more positive and hopeful.
2.) Do some physical activity. I actually enjoy lifting weights, so I’ll start again with three days a week.  Over time, hopefully, I can build from there.
3.) Journal more.  In the past, journaling has seemed to help me work through problems. And it also helps to clear my mind of worries I may have.  That, in turn, helps me fall asleep easier and sleep better.
4.) Mediating. You would think this one would be a no-brainer for me, but it isn’t.  I’ll start with just 10 minutes and build up from there.  Again I do this before bed so that I can relax and fall asleep.  I’m going to try to implement mediation into different parts of my day as well.

As I continue the healing process, I will work to not beat myself up for how or even why I may have feelings of sadness from time to time.  I know that I’m not a lost cause.  I am human with emotions that go up and down.  But as long as I don’t stay down for long, I’ll be ok.  Deep down I know that too shall pass.

RBF (Resting Bitch Face): Oh yeah honey, it is real.

According to Urban Dictionary.com the formal definition for Resting Bitch Face is:  “A phenomenon in which the resting face lacks animation and appears to look bitchy at all times, thus leading people to believe a person must be upset, a snob or a bitch.”

I, myself, do suffer from this misunderstood facial expression.  And thinking back on it for the majority of my life, the sad part is, I had absolutely no idea!  I would get the usual questions like, “What’s wrong with you?” or “Who pissed you off today?”  Or worse I would hear later that comments were made about me to others around basically saying that I looked bitchy and “unapproachable.”  I wanted to say to them, “This is just my face.”  Who knows how many dates or hangouts I missed out on because someone was afraid to talk to me.  Who knows how many opportunities were missed because someone may have looked at me and thought I was a shady bitch that would kick your ass in a minute.  Sad.  Now to be completed honest and fair, back in the day I was not the nicest person in the world.  I had what some would describe as a “bad attitude” and I was a bit of a “Debbie Downer.”  And I take full responsibility for that….Now I do anyway.  But I’m a totally different person from who I used to be.  I worked real hard to be a happier person for myself and others around me.  But do you know for all that work I did, I STILL have Resting Bitch Face?  Smh….

On a brighter note though, having Resting Bitch Face probably kept a lot of annoying people away from me.  So that’s good!  Ha!  Ha!  I feel like I shouldn’t be solely judged because I’m not walking away smiling 24/7.  Who the f*ck does that?  You know damn well if I did, people would think that I was either high or crazy.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m black, read the blog post about black people and scary movies to know exactly what I’m talking about.  Or the fact that I watch way too much Investigation Discovery Channel, where someone is always killing someone else for various reasons.  If I saw someone sitting alone minding their own business smiling for seemingly no reason, I would definitely be leery of them.  I would more than likely think to myself, “Is this motherf*cker up to something?  They are smiling way too hard over there and they’re sitting alone.  I better get out of here.”  I know it isn’t right, but that’s what I would be thinking.  Deep down in my mind, everyone is the potential killer/ rapist.  Weird thinking I know, but hey it has kept me alive and well so far.  Ha!  Ha! So next time you see someone who may suffer from resting bitch face, don’t judge them right away.  There may be nothing at wrong at all.  For all you know, they could be thinking about how much they really want a taco.

Why do black people die in scary movies when in reality we don’t investigate shit?

In the majority of scary movies where there is a black actor in it, rest assured they are dying at some point.  And sometimes before the credits even roll!  To me it makes absolutely no sense what so ever.  I’m not saying this because I am black, I’m saying this because it is a fact.  Not for nothing but when have you ever been around a black person, heard a strange noise and had them say, “What was that? I’m going to go check it out.” Never. At best you might get a,”What the hell was that?”  We know that whatever the hell that noise was, it’s a good indication that we need to go in the opposite direction.  I remember one time when I was a teenager hearing a loud bang in the middle of the night coming from the kitchen.  It woke me up out of my sleep and I wasn’t sure what to do.  Do I check and see what it is or pray for the best and take my black behind back to sleep?  Seeing as though it was only my mother, my little brother and I in the house at the time, I chose to do what people do in movies….. I went to investigate. Now mind you, I only did this because my little brother was in the house and I felt it was my job to protect him.  If he weren’t home and it was just my mother and I, she would have been shit out of luck cause I would have run off and left her to fend for herself if someone was in the house.  Ha! Ha!  Just kidding, but I digress.  I get up and grab this super huge wooden post I kept near my bed.  I quietly opened my bedroom door and peaked out.  I looked in on my brother whose room was just to the left of mine, and then I headed down the hall to the kitchen.  I had that bed post perched on my right shoulder like a baseball player ready to hit the home run to win the World Series.  I get to the end of the hall which is the entrance of the kitchen and turn the light switch on.  I was fully prepared to do some serious damage to someone.  I discovered that the dishes that were left in the rack had somehow fallen into the sink.  I never felt so relieved in all my days.  I say all this to say, for the most part we (black people) don’t investigate anything unless a loved one maybe in danger.  And how many times have you come across a scary movie where the black person in it goes to investigate a noise to protect a loved one?  Hardly ever!

Comedian Cedric the Entertainer has a joke where he says that if there are a group of black people standing together and one of them takes off running, we all running.  He said we don’t have to know why we are running, we are just running.  Then he ends the joke by saying, “Man, why was you running?”  And the other guy answered, “I thought somebody was coming.”  Ha! Ha!  Obviously whatever is going on over there is none of our business and we are out of here.  Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  I’m not saying black people are a bunch of punks who can’t defend themselves.  We will kick ass if that’s what needs to happen.  I gave an example of me willing to do just that.  But in the movies where they are boogie men, human killers, ghosts and supernatural things, we are running.  We are getting as far away from that situation as the legs God gave us will carry us.  So Hollywood, if you’re going to cast black people in your scary movies please take note.  Black people sense danger, recognize the danger and we leave the area immediately.  We are not noisy enough to die like the characters you cast us in scary movies to be.  We don’t investigate sh*t.