Science: “Resting Bitch Face”

If you’re a fan of Friends, the famously syndicated TV show that chronicles the lives of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross, you’ve seen what I’m talking about. In scenarios where a character is upset, his/her face will match with anger. If Ross is happy, his face will most definitely express happiness. You know those moments when Phoebe is confused? Yea, it’s also written all over her face. 

Do you ever smile and say hello in a cheery voice to an acquaintance at the grocery store when internally you’re feeling dejected and fatigued? Of course, you do! We do it all the time. The concept of having a “resting bitch face” where you look upset but aren’t (which I’m a culprit) is also a form of incongruency that is normal in real life, but wouldn’t fly on the set of Friends. 

This concept comes from best-selling author, Malcom Galdwell. His newest work, Talking to Strangers, looks a troubling human tendencies through the lens of tragic historical misjudgments and altercations from the Amanda Knox trial to the arrest and death of Sandra Bland. He calls the phenomenon I mentioned above the “Friends fallacy”, which uses insights from psychologist Jennifer Fugate. Fugate uses the Facial Action Coding System to link what on our faces to what we’re really feeling. This work ultimately separates how we interpret people’s facial expressions from the true nature of the situation to enroll us in the responsibility of better understanding the people and situations around us. 

If the face you put on doesn’t always match the nature of your situation, consider how often you’re having potentially misguided interpersonal encounters. If we truly want to interact and move about the world with less conflict and more happiness, we may need to rise above the obviousness we’ve seen on Friends and engage with each other better with more room for complexity. 

See you out there. 


Logan Gelbrich  


12/13/19 WOD

Complete 3 rounds for quality: 

8 Wide Grip Strict Pull Ups

10 3-way Med Ball Series (6/4)

12 DB Bench Presses 


Then, EMOM 12

E: 1 Hang Clean + 3 Front Squats

O: 60′ Shuttle Sprint

**Athletes record slowest shuttle effort