I know some people with amazing Resting Bitch Face: Good friends, people I work with, even my own sister. Sure, it may be a bit of a hinderance when you want to make friends on your first day of university or impress at a job interview, but the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. As someone with Resting Nice Face, I have tried to learn this particular brand of magic and it has not worked out for me. Yesterday no less than six strangers in two separate groups stopped me on the street (one to say they liked my hair colour, the other a more general, ‘Hey girl! Where are you going? What’s your background?’ as I walked by a restaurant patio). Because my face.
To make things more interesting, I also work at a big tech company (when I’m not ruining marriages during the week) where being friendly is pretty much my only job. Sure, it helps to know some stuff about computers and gadgets, but being nice to people is way more important. The problem with being nice is some
people men (sorry bros, but it’s my experience) think nice is an open invitation. While chatting with people about all the fun technology yesterday, a guy came up to me and said hello. I told him I liked his shirt. Unfortunately, no one told me that translated to, ‘Please put your hands on me and make me uncomfortable in my place of business.’ He wrapped an arm around me, pressed up against me, and told me I was beautiful. He did not let go until I extracted myself from his grasp. Now before the compliment police get all pissy, no it is not flattering for a stranger to embrace a woman at her job. I mentioned this to a couple of coworkers, and another afflicted with RNF discussed being propositioned by someone she didn’t even have a conversation with. Dudes. I know you think this is a rom-com and talking to someone on the subway, at her job, when she’s getting pizza, wherever will make the best meet cute, but if you could all kindly fuck off, that would be great (my face is nice, my words don’t have to be).
My example is relatively tame compared to other recent stories I’ve heard. One of my closest friends (and GNG) had to deal with this bullshit in her home simply because she committed the crime of being nice. She went home after a few adult beverages during Pride. Her adorable puppy was in need of a walk, and her building’s night concierge joined her briefly. During that moment, he felt it appropriate to try to kiss her. It was most definitely fucking not. The following night when she returned home he said they needed to talk about what happened. When she expressed, again, just how inappropriate it was, he defended himself by saying he loved her. She informed him that was impossible since he didn’t really know her, to which he responded, ‘But you’re always nice to me.’
OH WELL THAT MAKES IT OKAY THAT YOU MADE HER UNCOMFORTABLE WHERE SHE LIVES.
There are so many things wrong with this that it hurts my brain to think about. Know what’s not nice? Attempting to take advantage of someone where they live (and cannot escape) when they’re intoxicated (that negates consent right there, in case anyone needs a refresher).
So, to summarize: an exchange of pleasantries or even someone going above and beyond and truly being nice because they care is not an invitation. A friendly face (or a lack of scowl) does not denote interest. In the meantime, any RFB’s want to swap skills?