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Another offends a sales associate with an expressionless "Thank you." Another inadvertently declines a wedding proposal.
It's true: Even when minding my own business, thinking pleasant thoughts—nice view, cute guy, good wine—my eyes do not crease. Instead of broadcasting positive feelings, I remain poker-faced.
He took my listening face for a total lack of interest, when, in fact, English was one of the only classes that I liked.
When comedian Taylor Orci's "Bitchy Resting Face" video went viral last year, my inbox filled—predictably—with e-mails subject-lined "This is you!
"If someone has a pouty look or a down mouth, then they should use that, but be nice. Plus, at 5'5" (in shoes), I often overcompensate to communicate authority.
That juxtaposition can be sort of sexy." And in public settings, a serious face has its advantages: Subway crazies keep their distance. A new doctor, upon learning my occupation, recently asked how I landed a "big-girl job." He had come recommended by a colleague, so I went out of my way to be friendly, but had my bitch guard been all the way up, he might have thought it—but wouldn't have said it.
"When I first started as an FBI agent, I was scared a lot, but you had to fake it and look like you're fearless," Navarro says.According to findings from the University of York, openness is most often associated with the expression of the mouth, and, unsurprisingly, a smile-shape mouth ranks as more inviting than a neutral or frown-shape pout. According to Navarro, another option, even if I don't crack a smile, is to start tilting my head slightly. If all goes as planned and Interesting Man comes over and strikes up a conversation, Navarro suggests adopting what sounds like a Ferris wheel of eye contact.Lips play a specific role in approachability as well. "At just four weeks old, babies will smile when their mother tilts her head at them," he says. When both people have their heads slightly popped to the side, this translates to 'I'm so comfortable with you, I'm exposing to you the weakest part of my body.'" This strikes me as the Valley Girl accent of body language—a ditzy affectation—but it's easy enough to incorporate into daily interactions. "When we look at people we are interested in, we shift between the eyes, mouth, and chin. It's New York Fashion Week, and hair and makeup artists are tired of reciting "the look." Everyone could use another coffee or a holiday, maybe some Prozac. I've waited a lifetime (or at least some very angsty teen years) for a backstage pass. From an early age, my sour expression has gotten me into trouble. " says makeup pro Lucia Pieroni, focusing her gaze on me from the center of a backstage reporter huddle. But in the United States, a friendly, easy smile is almost mandatory.