Women with "RBF" may be the latest internet craze, but it turns out there's a bright side to the supposed curse

By Refinery29
September 27, 2015

Suffer from resting bitch face (RBF)? Perhaps it's time to stop thinking about it as suffering and start looking at the bright side. In an essay on Quartz, Rene Paulson discusses what she's learned about communication and RBF.

RBF often puts the onus on women with it to police their own relaxed expression in order to make those around them more comfortable. Paulson argues that the misunderstanding is "as much a blessing as a curse."

She posits that women with RBF have a higher empathy factor, since they are so often misunderstood. "Women used to being constantly misunderstood focus more on the words someone says, rather than their tone, body cues, or facial expressions, ensuring a more effective flow of information between both parties," Paulson writes.

She goes on to suggest that the constant self-monitoring that goes with RBF for women in professional settings leads to a high sense of self-awareness, which makes a woman more adaptable in unfamiliar situations. In short, it's easier to read the room because you're scanning it all the time to see how people are reacting to you. Instead of it being something you force yourself to do, it's like a program that's always running in the back of your mind.

Paulson's points are all salient, but we still look forward to the day when RBF isn't a liability that requires constant tweaks to a woman's behavior-and we can just accept the fact that some people's faces just look a certain way when they're relaxed.

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