Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Is Your Face Saying Behind Your Back

Whether it happened in your school, office, family, or group of friends most of you have probably had someone say something "behind your back". It hurts, because it's usually untrue. At best it's half the truth and half a mixture of idle gossip and conjecture. When someone is talking about you there is an opportunity to set them straight and make things all good again. You can vindicate yourself! Everyone loves a good vindication. If you're unfamiliar with the term, think just north of revenge.

But what happens when it's your face that's doing the talking? I'm not referring to the flapping of your gums, running your mouth, or the way you chew, though some of you should learn to chew with your mouths closed. Really. It's disgusting. Knock it off. What I'm getting at is your facial expressions. What sort of messages do your facial expressions send to the people you interact with?

I am a very expressive person. My face shows every emotion I experience during every interaction I have. So much for my dreams of winning the World Series of Poker. There won't be any offers for acting jobs coming my way. My only saving grace is that unless someone actually engages me, I am usually off in my own little world where all the voices know me and only say fun, nice, and inspiring things. Now you know why you sometimes hear me giggling when no one has said a word.

Do you know what butt-brow is? It's the crease between the brows that doesn't go away. Butt-brow happens to people who spend a lot of time squinting and to people who are constant malcontents. I can tell the difference between the two types of butt-brow owners in the space of a single conversation. The squinter smiles. The malcontent just looks irritated, like you interrupted their game of Angry Birds Rio. I'm a squinter. This is why my first reaction to a new interaction is a smile.

People who complain constantly are a drain on your energy. The sound of a whining person is so grating that even someone with a naturally whiny voice will find it difficult to make friends, regardless of their personality. The same can be said about the person who always has a scowl on their face. Yes, I realize that at times we all have important things on our minds. Everyone gets down once in awhile. Frustration abounds in the world, but does that really have anything to do with the majority of the people around you? Doubtful.

When people see you from across the room are you scowling? When you are talking to people do you project a positive impression or is your face telling everyone to f*ck right off?  When the checker at the grocery store speaks to you, do you smile or do you answer dully and and avoid eye contact? Your face is speaking for you, whether you like it or not. What do you want it to say?

How do you react to a new conversation? What is your face saying about you when you're not paying attention?

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