The following story is told of Gandhi, but it could have happened to any luminary of his kind of elevation.
A mother brought her little boy to Gandhi and begged him to tell the child to stop eating sugar. She explained that her child would respect him more. Gandhi looked at the boy and told the mother to come back in a month.
A month later, the mother was at his door again with the same request. Gandhi turned to the boy and said, “You must stop eating sugar. It’s bad for you.” The little boy nodded, impressed.
The mother challenged Gandhi: “That was easy! Why did I have to wait for a month?”
“Ah,” replied Gandhi with a smile. “A month ago, I was still eating sugar myself.”
… and the one thing we are usually not aware of when nobody points it out, is our “resting bitch face”.
Quick, take a selfie. But with your face relaxed, without making any effort to make it a “profile pic”. Then take a good look.
That is what you look like most of the time! (Scary, right?)
When I was writing the Solar Wind series, at one point my 8-year-old son came to me and asked, “Mommy, why are you so angry?” I looked up in surprise. Angry? I wasn’t angry at all! I had only been concentrating. Turns out I have a terrible resting bitch face. I’m sorry for all the people who thought I’m angry, or a superbitch, or basically just a scary, nasty woman. Maybe one ought to exercise one’s face. Because after a year and a half of dreadful mourning, my face looks even worse than before… older, more lined, more intimidating. With a face like this, I could become the most hated world dictator.
Actually, what an opportunity!
But I suppose, the best antidote to this is to smile instantly whenever someone enters the room. Do this consciously until it becomes a subconscious habit. Maybe I can recover my friendly face before I die.