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Your Resting Face

  • By Judith Bowman
  • |
  • January 5, 2016

Facial Expressions

Most of us aren’t aware of what our natural facial expression is saying about us – without us saying a word!  To anyone who isn’t sure, ask someone you trust to tell you the truth about your natural facial expression.

Today, social media has a name and an acronym for this called BRF, “Bitchy Resting Face.” (It’s clearly geared toward women.) That said; both men and women need to be aware of their natural facial expressions. Men, although, seem to be more adept at holding their “game face” which, interestingly, has nothing to do with being “bitchy.”

Our “natural facial expression” or the “resting face” conveys powerful information and sends signals ranging from disinterested, devilishness, or depression to viscous, vivacious, – even vacant!  Emoticon options already programmed on our i-devices readily list 40 random “faces” to attach to texts and emails to reflect and share our mood, reinforcing how we “feel” literally, as we post.

People who have experienced unrelenting life adversity acquire a sad face (mouth and eyes turned downward); their difficult lives evident.  We all experience life challenges.  However, remember people are naturally drawn to positive looking people and positive energy.  Therefore, it behooves us to put on our “game face” in public which only happens with practice in private.  People who look “happy” are perceived as happy and are generally deemed more likeable and trustworthy.  Smiling is a silent signal of affability and acceptance which also varies culturally in the world, in the U.S., and even here in dear old (conservative) Boston!

Cultural aspects aside, it is important to positively project; fake smiles are transparent.

  • It takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile… smile with your eyes too!
  • Frown lines are unattractive; happy smile lines are beautiful; both speak to the inside person.
  • Plastic surgeons today are being asked to surgically correct natural frowns which wouldn’t even be necessary if, like posture, we were more aware and would consciously practice every day.

Remember, gravity is already at work naturally pulling down your mouth, facial muscles, and eye lids; all controlled by muscles.  Like any muscle, they need to be exercised.  Practice exercising your eye muscles to lift and project a more alert and alluring natural facial expression.

BRFs aside, the fact is people judge us and make business decisions based on facial cues and body language. Use your natural facial expression to send the message you are a positive, disciplined, approachable person and advance your business relationships.

To work with Ironstone or our affiliates, contact us at 1.800.917.8020, email us, complete our “contact us” form, or join the Ironstone – Financial Industry Professionals Practice Management Group on LinkedIn and start a discussion.

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Author Bio

Judith Bowman founded Protocol Consultants International in 1993 and has prospered to become an established Business Protocol expert, educator, corporate speaker, and renowned authority in the field of Professional Presence, Dining Savvy, International Protocol Awareness, and personal and professional development. Ms. Bowman also provides Protocol Certification. She is a graduate of Boston College and has pursued studies in Effective Business Communication at Harvard University. Ms. Bowman speaks to critical interpersonal communication skills and shares specific nuances advantageous to exemplary conduct in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive global work environment. She showcases everyday business situations and shows professionals how to leverage these as opportunities to demonstrate respect while earning respect - while showing you know “the difference” while making a difference to stand apart and outclass the competition! Ms. Bowman has authored two business protocol books: “Don’t Take the Last Donut…” (Career Press) presently sold in 16 countries, translated in 14 languages, and her new book, “How to Stand Apart @ Work …” She has authored a weekly Everyday Etiquette column syndicated throughout New England for ten years by the Pulitzer Prize winning Eagle Tribune Publishing Company. Internationally, she authored a Business Protocol column for the prestigious Noblesse Magazine, China. She presently writes a weekly Business Protocol column for Boston Herald newspapers and has a coordinating weekly radio segment, “A Protocol Moment” on Herald Radio. She also writes a monthly Fabulous Woman series which features truly fabulous women who have shattered the glass ceiling and has been featured in Leader to Leader, March, 2015. Bowman has produced a series of support products which include: Executive Etiquette/First Impressions DVD, DINING 101 DVD and Protocol Training DVD – from her on-line How to Stand Apart series.