The curse of the bitchy resting face

So today dear readers I am going to rant a bit.

I am going to rant about something that I don’t think I am alone in – my face.

Or to be more specific, the fact that I do not have a “naturally cheerful” face. In fact, with my face in it’s natural state, I probably come across as pretty grumpy. It also what is known on youtube as Bitchy resting face syndrome.

So yesterday I was standing in the elevator at work, minding my own business on my way down to the coffee shop. I was neither, angry, concerned, stressed or anything. Ok, perhaps a little tired but it was early in the morning and I hadn’t had my morning cuppa yet. I might have even been thinking about kittens in my head or something.

And THEN – random colleague in the elevator whom I do not know, just turns to me and says “cheer up, you should be smiling – it’s MONDAY!!!”

Ok, without even going into the details of how all sorts of wrong it is to smile because it’s MONDAY (who does that) there is seriously nothing that is more likely to make me grumpy, than some random person telling me I look grumpy because I am not smiling.

I am happy on the inside! I just look this way! How rude is it even to say that to someone you don’t know?? All those things I wanted to say to him, however I did the usual and just smiled and said “oh I will be smiling once I get my coffee” and just made it the hell out of that lift as soon as I could. I do realise he meant nothing by it, and I just didn’t want to spend my time on a Monday morning to educate people on whether it is acceptable or not to tell other people to cheer up.

Another time after a pretty tiring weekend with the extended family (in-laws) I had a 90-ish year old lady wanting to leave me and Pete some life advise before she said goodbye. Her advice to Pete – “grab life by the balls yadiyadi etc etc.”

Her advice to me? “I have only one thing to say to you – you need to smile more, because it makes such a difference to your face, and NOBODY likes a grumpy face!”

… uhm.. ok did you just tell me I look ugly for not smiling at you? Well now I am definitely angry – go away annoying old woman!

The thing is that this happens fairly regularly. I just don’t have a very happy face.

I may be happy or laughing on the inside, but my face is not necessarily equipped to naturally adapt to this emotion. For example, in the below picture I have stolen from Sarah’s Instagram, I have just devoured 3 pieces of chocolate, and was on my way back home from an great weekend in Bruges. Do I look happy? Not necessarily. Was I as unhappy that I look in the picture? Definitely not!


So that was my rant for the day. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into how uncomfortable I am with public displays of affection, crying in the cinema, hugging strangers, or hugging close friends for that matter. And that whole kissing of the cheek when saying hello. Basically all those little social codes that are accepted as the norm these days.

Hello my name is Cecilia and I come across as a grumpy, switched off, unhappy bugger to people who do not know me. BUT INSIDE I AM LAUGHING!!

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32 Responses to The curse of the bitchy resting face

  1. bevchen says:

    I feel your pain.. my sister is always telling me to smile! Also, people will randomly ask me what’s wrong when I’m just siting there minding my own business. Uhhh, nothing’s wrong. I just don’t have a naturally smiley face! This is also why I hate people taking photos of me without my knowledge… I always look miserable or just plain awful on them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha, me too! and if I make a conscious effort to smile in photos it looks so fake!

      Yeah it took my husband a while to learn to read my expressions as to whether I was quiet and just doing nothing, or if I was quiet and angy at him! lol


  2. Haha this made me laugh! We both have naturally grumpy resting faces so it is all good! I get told to cheer up my strangers all of the time. Like do they want me to walk around smiling to myself all the time? I think I would look a little crazy if i did!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. adales8 says:

    I have the curse of the resting bitch face. At least once a week someone (stranger) on the street or on the bus says “cheer up love” or “smile, it’s not so bad.” And I’m like, but….I’m not sad?! x


    • Honestly, some times I am tempted to come with a comeback like, well my pet budgie just died or I would smile but I have reeeally bad menstrual cramps at the moment? Just to make them think again about saying it and see how they react!


  4. Mimmi says:

    Oh, I’m the same. I always look grumpy and/or sad when my face is relaxed, which numerous times has resulted in being asked what’s wrong and so on. Once I was even literally told that I have a bitchy resting face. I have no idea what I was supposed to say to that. Oh the struggle, haha.

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings


  5. Hehe! This really made me laugh! I think I’d want to scowl at / hit over the head anyone who told me to smile because it was Monday – I mean, seriously, who says that?! You are not alone though. I was once waiting for a friend to arrive at a gallery, as I’d got there a bit early (so wasn’t even stressed they were late or anything), completely minding my own business and daydreaming happy thoughts no doubt, when one of the guards came up to me and said “Are you ok? You look so sad!” I awkwardly sidled away and waited for my friend in the gift shop instead….xxxx


    • haha, yeah that was almost the weirdest thing.. ok I can smile, but why should I smile because its Monday??

      I honestly dont understand people who think it’s ok to comment on how strangers look. I mean obviously if you are sitting in a corner crying or whatever. Maybe it’s just a way for people to break the ice and start talking?


  6. Haha I am totally the same. It was really a pain when I was a waitress, everyone was like stop looking so depressed in front of customers, but it was just my face! And impossible to paste a smile on there for 9 hours straight. I’m totally the same with hugging and any kind of physical gesture when saying hello or goodbye. Just a fail really!! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog


  7. Holly says:

    I HATE it when people tell me to cheer up. Although I do not have resting bitch face. My Mum, on the other hand, definitely does. People often think she hates them. So now every few minutes she will just suddenly smile – it is almost like a twitch. She isn’t smiling consciously, but more over years of having had to deal with the consequences of her own face. As a child I was always asking what was so funny when she would suddenly laugh. I love my Mommy’s resting bitch face!


  8. Pottsy says:

    I hear you. I too have a resting bitch face but because I’m conscious of this I try to actively compensate so make efforts to be extra smiley when around people. This actually just exacerbates things, as people now think of me as being naturally smiley, because I’m trying to counteract my grumpy image, so when they see my resting normal/bitch face, assume I must be really miserable. Colleagues are always asking me what’s wrong and the more they ask the more I turn into a real bitch annoyed at the question!


  9. danniellek says:

    If people say snarky comments to me I’m a classic “YOU blah blah” like if someone were to say “you should smile more” or “cheer up” I’m all “YOU should smile more”, “YOU cheer up” with the emphasis on the you. People probably think I’m crazy, but that’s what they get for being rude haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. facetfully says:

    My husband asks me all the time…what’s wrong? No one knows me better and I rarely have anything wrong…I just think a lot. If you know you are happy, all is well!


  11. Kerri says:

    Damn those social weirdness acts. Don’t ever be kissing me on no cheek. I quite like it when people just say hello… for once, the words speak loud enough. I could go on and on about how much I hate any form of physical interaction with people.

    I think I have a resting bitch face too. Kris likes to ask me what’s up every so often. I’m surprised he hasn’t asked me right now, because I’m pretty sure I’m pulling a similar face to you as I’m typing. I need to concentrate, I ain’t got time to fix my facial emotions!

    Also, “smile, it’s Monday”… bitches be crazy.


    • Put it this way, the first wrinkles I ever got was the frown wrinkles! I think I have had them since I was 18 or something, as I am constantly frowning when concentrating.

      There are a mixture of nationalities where I work and so I can never figure out what the deal is. Some people are like trying to hug me and kiss my cheek three times whenever they see me and I just freeze into this stiff person with a confused look on my face.. awkward!

      And yes who smiles because it’s monday? Had it been Friday I would have understood…


  12. I am with you! I get told all the time to smile, it drives me insane!! I have bitch resting face, without a doubt. I remember finding this video a few months back and thinking finally a way to explain my face…wait….that doesn’t right. Anyway! Yes. Bitch resting face is real and yes it is super annoying when someone says smile. Also…smile it’s Monday?! Don’t get me wrong, I love my Monday’s but the general norm is Monday is a no smile day. 😉 xx


  13. duckinadress says:

    Yes, yes, yes to all of this! If I had a pound for every time my other half asked me “what’s the matter now?” (when everything’s fine) just because I look annoyed to him, I’d be very rich! xx


  14. I have the opposite problem – I always smile and get told off for smiling too much.

    Lizzie Dripping


  15. Katie says:

    Ah Cecilia! I’ve just found your blog and I love your style! This post really made me laugh, I am nicknamed miserable cow and moody at work for the same reason.
    I am fine people! It’s just my face! 😂


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