first impressions and the terrible case of RBF

Sitting around with a few of my classmates yesterday, we went around the room and were asking what our first impressions of each other were. Only knowing each other since the first week of September, we all were laughing at each other’s responses to one another:

“I didn’t know you were so loud!”

“I thought you were sweet and quiet because of your outfit, but by week 2 I saw a completely different side to you”

The responses I got were quite funny to me, because it is the same reoccurring themes I’ve heard every single time someone becomes comfortable enough around me. I am often told I’m intimidating looking, I’m straight to the point, and I’m confident. While these answers aren’t surprising to me, I ask myself if I should alter my attitude a bit when I first meet someone to see if this answer changes. Is it what I’m wearing? My make up? My tone? Should I not talk as much? Or maybe I should talk more quietly? I’m 22 years old, and the answer, my friends, is no.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If this is your normal behaviour, you’re being genuine to yourself and to new people, why feel the need to act differently? Eventually, your old and usual self will come out and will those new friends be around to know and love the real you?

Do first impressions scare you? Do you get nervous meeting new people out of fear of how you will be judged or how they’ll talk about you to their friends once you leave?

Finally, the burning question of the day: What is RBF? Resting Bitch Face. I’ve been crowned queen of RBF by multiple friends, cousins, and even strangers in bars in multiple cities. It’s something that I believe I suffer with, mainly because people think I’m less approachable. This is genuinely not on purpose, but I do not know how to fix it. Yes, I do kind of look pissed off…but I’m not! And yes my left eyebrow is more arched than the other…but they’re nice brows!! And yessssss I tend to zone in on other people’s convos thinking they don’t notice, but damn girl they do. I also tend to get super loud in a conversation and maybe even interrupt people to get my point across. But all with a good heart, I promise. RBF is something that can’t be cured, but usually has a fun twist when people start to realize not to judge a book by it’s cover.

Here is my favourite RBF story:

Before I went on exchange, my wise older cousin told me to fix my RBF so I’ll make foreign friends. Yea, right, I thought. No one will ever call me out on this. Low and behold, my very first bar night out in Austria, I was waiting for my drink at the bar while my friends were dancing and another exchange student came up to me and stares at me, and wagged his finger in my face and said “Why is your face like that? What are you so pissed about?” I immediately snapped out of whatever I was doing and said I was fine, it’s just my face? I’m happy to be here! I texted my cousin the next day, laughing and crying to her that someone had called me out on my RBF within 24 hours. Funny enough, whenever this friend and I think back to our first few interactions, this is the first story we share and laugh about.

Being your true, authentic self to everyone you meet is so much more rewarding than putting on a new face with every different person you interact with. If this is your personality from the start, you clearly like something about it because it is something you’ve nurtured and have become accustomed to. So, why change it to impress someone who is different than you?

I’ve come to the point with first impressions that my mood is: Go ahead and roast me in your group chat, my RBF is here to stay.

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