I remember the first time someone told me I had RBF — which I’d love to reframe as “resting judgment face.”

That day I was working as a “mic runner” at an event: getting a handheld mic to audience members so they could ask questions, This put me standing at the front of the room. When not moving around the audience, I was concentrating on what the speaker was saying.

A man came to relieve me and said, “They sent me to take your place because we just couldn’t look at your resting bitch face one more minute.”

Do you have a story like this that makes you feel squishy inside?

I was shocked! This was my expression when concentrating on what was happening.

Then I felt ashamed — and angry about the sexism of being called a bitch. I spent the rest of the night calling him a jerk in my head. It wasn’t until I got home and looked in the bathroom mirror that I could see what was clear to everyone else.


This short video talks about why resting judgment face makes it harder to build rapport with people. (Want more on the research and neuroscience? See this quick article.)

Tired of hearing these:

  • “Are you OK?”
  • “Is something wrong?”
  • “Tell your face you’re happy!”

Then check out my three tips for altering this look. It’s much less expensive than the online advice about changing your makeup or having Botox injections — and less annoying than forcing yourself to think happy thoughts.

Remember: moods are contagious. Does your face say, “I’d rather be anywhere else than talking with you”? That’s not a reality you want others to reflect back!