“When I first met you, I thought you were a b****, but then I got to know you and now I really like you.”
The first time I heard those words, it shook me, and hurt my feelings. But it also cleared a lot of things up. And believe it or not, I’ve heard variations of that sentiment multiple times throughout the years. (Friends can be kind of mean when they’re comfortable telling you things…)
My entire life up to that point, I had never understood why people wouldn’t approach me. From my perspective, I have several issues:
- I’m a hardcore introvert
- I can be shy. Sometimes painfully so
- I’m confident
- I have a very loud mind, so tend not to talk very often
- I tend to stick with people I’m already comfortable with
Apparently, THAT translates to THIS:
I suffer from a condition known as RBF. If you don’t know what that is, Google will be happy to inform you. It’s a silent terror that has afflicted many of us since long before Hollywood made it cool.
It’s not well-understood.
And there’s no cure.
It can lead well-meaning friends to say kind of ugly things in the spirit of awareness.
- “I really didn’t like you at first”
- “You can seem kind of snobby sometimes”
- “I nearly quit because of you”
- “You should just try smiling more”
Anyone else tired of being told to smile more??
First of all, smiling all the time is creepy.
There’s nothing genuine about perma-grin, people! It’s weird and unnatural. I smile when I mean it. Then you know it’s for real.
Well-meaning people have tried to motivate me to change. And yes, there’s a lot of shaming (whether intentional or not) involved. I had really gotten to the point that I felt like something was wrong with me. The “perfect storm” of thoroughly unapproachable, if you will.
But you know what?
I’m not going to change. I’m not going to alter who I inherently am just because people judge others on first sight.
Smile at me.
If I glare at you in response, THEN you can label me a b****.
Unless of course you did something worth me glaring at you, in which case, you’re still not allowed to judge me.
People should know by now that you CAN’T judge a book by its cover. You can’t judge a stranger by the expression on their face. You’re just being ignorant if you think you can label ANYONE at first sight.
Because underneath the RBF, to those who have come to know and love me, I’ve been called
And I’m okay with all of that.
Next time you see a face that you’re determined to judge, push the pause button and pay attention. There’s an 87.3% chance that you’ll be surprised by what you discover.
Have you ever been judged unfairly? Or have you ever judged someone else unfairly? How did it play out?