An interesting dinner table conversation and a chat with a great friend on a half day hike encouraged me to think more about this topic.
What does it mean if someone's glaring at you? Are they glaring at you? What does glaring look like? What are you going to do about it?
My (close enough) teenage daughter's point of view
My only daughter struggles with getting wrapped up in school girl drama. She is a kind soul who is always wanting to include people in her 'circle' of friends. She reaches out to the lonely, the fun and the energetic. She always seems to attract wonderful friends. When she was in fourth grade, that was the worst year for her.
She made some "friends" whom she enjoyed spending most of her time with while she was at school. These friends were kind to her but very unkind to others that didn't "fit in" their group. My daughter, without knowing it, started being portrayed as a "mean girl" because she associated with this group. While she stands up for herself when she's alone, being around others and telling them what they were doing wasn't nice was WAY past her comfort zone, so she stayed silent. She knew all along that their behavior was against her beliefs of kindness towards others.
One of her close friends outside of this group told her that people thought she was a "mean girl" too that she felt the need to speak up. She talked to the rest of her group and they refused to change their behavior and actions towards others. She felt like she needed to leave this group and portray more of her kind feelings instead of stay silent. Unfortunately, rejection and bullying began for her, all because she wasn't willing to be unkind to others. What she did gain was the ability to see more clearly how her silence impacted people she cared deeply about, and that mattered to her way more than the bullying.
Long story short....this is when I first started hearing about the GLARE from her. These girls were glaring at her in irritation that she was no longer interested in spending time with them, so she glared back. Oh girl drama, if only it stayed in high school. This example is definitely intentional disgust with one another that is portrayed in the form of a look like something smells bad.
Others point of view of MY GLARE
I have frequently been told that I have a RBF. I recently learned what this stood for and I was mortified that I was portrayed in such a way. (Resting Brat Face, let's just say that's all I'm willing to type/say but the B stands for way worse...yep you know). For years I have been viewed as having a face of disgust when in the presence of others. I am deeply grateful for the brave souls who told me this, friends I respect knowing me and that's not who I am or what I wanted to portray.
In all honesty, I am rarely upset enough to sport such a face!
This knowledge of others perceptions and my desire to debunk those beliefs has led me in constantly wondering how my face looks to other people when I'm in their presence. I have found myself opening my eyes more, thinking or daydreaming of happy memories to produce a smile and being more willing to sit next to or go up and meet someone in a crowded room.
What I've noticed is that the harder I try, the more people expect me to have the GLARE face. No matter what I seem to do, I am who I am and nothing can change that in the view of others. My best advice regarding me is if you want to know if I'm glaring at you, thus portraying an irritation, have the courage and ask me. 99% of the time, I will be surprised that I have the face. It's just what my face looks like I guess.
MY point of view of the GLARE
While we were talking at the dinner table last night about this topic, we were all trying to do our best irritation glare face for each other. What became immediately hysterical was watching my boys and husband try and imitate what they portrayed as the glare. For me as a mom, when I purposely try to give off the glare, it's more of the stink eye mom face, which is definitely an intentional look. Gracie definitely had it down pat. The boys and Jeremy looked like diva girls, which made me wonder, are girls the only ones that can give off the glare?
Of course not!
Here's what I concluded after our family counsel about glaring:
Most people probably have no idea they are glaring, that's just what their face looks like
Ask someone if you're concerned about their feelings towards you that would produce the glare
YOUR insecurities are portraying the glare to start with
Some people do have that face intentionally because they have struggles in their own lives and it has nothing to do with you
A perceived glare could be someone in deep contemplation, or they know you and can't figure out how or what your name is so they stare with the glare
Smiling and talking with your eyes open is important, BUT not if you're going to be FAKE about it, that doesn't do anyone any good and it's exhausting!
It doesn't matter what other people think. Accept the feedback and decide what to do with it. If your heart is angry enough to give off the glare vibe, then change. If all is well and that's what your face just naturally looks like, the heck with everyone else for not getting to know the REAL you!