Am I grumpy? I might be. But I think
We've all seen it, the grumpy face, the face that says STAY AWAY! The face that makes you wish you could be anywhere else at this moment. The popularity of that expression even has cats being made into celebrities online these days. When it's a cat that has a grumpy face it can be cute, when it is a baby, again rather cute. But when it is anyone who is older it is not a bit cute.
Some people get a grumpy look on their face intentionally, in order to get attention (which is a form of manipulation). While some who have a grumpy look don't even know they have it, it is just their normal everyday face, yet it appears grumpy. Still others get a grumpy look when they are concentrating, they squish up their forehead and it looks like they are angry. Do any of those happen for you? it is something that you should become more aware of so that you are not chasing people away when you aren't even aware of what's being communicated. Our faces are usually the first thing people judge to see what you are saying. If your face says one thing and your voice and words say another most people will go by what the face says.
I had a relative, who has past on now, who had a grumpy look all the time (not the person pictured). He was the sweetest man on the planet, but looked grumpy 100% of the time, unless he was laughing. By growing up with him around me I learned that the face is not a reliable resource to judge someone by. Most young babies learn that the face is what you use to tell if you can trust a person, which can lead to problems as they get older, it certainly is not the most reliable resource. Whenever there was a new baby born into my family it would start to cry the moment it looked into the face of my grumpy looking family member. But as those babies grew up they also grew to love that sweet old man and they would run to him for love and attention after they learned that the grumpy face was just his normal face.
I was lucky to have that person in my young life to help me learn that faces can't be trusted. But for all the rest of you here's something to think about.
When you were a baby you trusted by looking at a face, if it was familiar to you, you trusted it. Some researchers say that babies look for familiar attributes in the face to know if they are safe. It doesn't even have to be their mom's exact face. If it has similar attributes to their mom a baby will usually feel safe. Which is why a baby will go easily to it's aunt or grandmother, but not so easily to a friend who doesn't look similar to it's mother.
Are you still doing that? Are you still using facial features that used to make you feel comfortable as indicators that you are safe?
The answer is probably, the majority of people never outgrow that first learned behaviors. This is the same type of thought process that comes up when looking at a line up of people to pick out the criminal, if they all look like regular everyday people your mind automatically says that there can't be a "bad guy" in the bunch. Bad guys are supposed to look like monsters, but they don't. If only it were that easy, but it isn't.
A person's face leads to the first impression of them and often people who abuse use their good looks and charm to pull in their victims because they know that their "pretty face" is going to put trust where trust is not warranted.
Spend some time thinking about how you look at and judge people around you. You may be surprised by what you reveal to yourself.
Another big question that needs to be answered is what does your face look like to others. You may think you know what your face looks like, but I bet you don't. Everyone has a certain way they hold their face when they look in the mirror. It is as automatic as your telephone voice that happens as soon as the phone rings. You can't keep from striking the pose when you go to look in the mirror. Especially if you were a teenager who primped in front of the mirror, you probably still have some of those images that you create without even thinking about it.
It is important to be able to see yourself as you present yourself for others to see. If you don't, you will never know exactly what you are communicating with you face. There are a lot of expressions we make with our face and not our words: happy, bored, frustration etc. If you are using those faces at times that you don't know it you may be communicating a much different point of view.
I used to be very confused when my late husband would say certain things, yet his face would be saying something completely different. One day I asked him to stop talking and freeze his face as it was, then get up and go into the bathroom to look at what I was seeing. The first few times it didn't work, his "normal" face was back before he reached the mirror. But after a few requests he learned to actually freeze his face and he was shocked when he reached the mirror and saw what was displayed on his face. He said that he had no idea that was what I was seeing and that he would work hard to make sure his facial "voice" changed. It took a while, but he was able to change it. I kept reminding him to freeze his expression and go take a look, and it really helped. He started asking me to do the same thing and we each helped each other to be more authentic in how we facially expressed ourselves.
When a person becomes consciously aware of what they are expressing with their face and how what they express is read by others it will change their communication style. It is important that you know what expression you portray to the world because it may be giving off the wrong opinion. Try the freeze face exercise next time you feel angry, frustrated, happy, bored, confused etc. Go look in the mirror and see what others see on your face.
Are you proud of the expression you have? If you wish to change it, and I've never had anyone say they liked their angry face, all you need to do is stay conscious of what you are thinking and how what you are thinking is being portrayed on your face. Yes, it may involve many trips to the mirror in freeze face mode. But the lessons learned from it are extremely valuable.
How good are you at reading other people's faces? That is the next challenge. When you see that you are not the most efficient at communicating your truth through your face, you will also learn that what you are reading in others may not be accurate. There are many face reading tests online. Google Face Reading Test and go explore what you view in expressions and if that agrees with the rest of the population that have taken the online quizzes.
How you see yourself is vitally important to how the rest of the world will see you. When you see yourself through your facial expression, you will be much closer to seeing yourself through the eyes of others. Others know nothing of your journey, they know you only for what you bring with you in this moment. It is a new beginning, and that new beginning can open up many opportunities of peace and love. Allow yourself to be free of your own self-judgment, see yourself as free to express your truth, free to love yourself for who you are in this very moment. That should bring an expression of love and peace to any face.
by: Wendy Mae, Ph.D.
Academy of Spirit
The author of all blog posts on this page is Wendy Mae, Ph.D.
Academy of Spirit
PO Box 82854
Kenmore, WA 98028 USA
AcademyofSpirit (at) gmail.com
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