Monday, August 13, 2012

Ceasing the Scowl?

I think I'm outrageously handsome and am extremely vain -- in private, thankfully not displayed for public annoyance -- but I still don't like my face to an extent. It disappoints me every time someone treats me like I'm upset or something, or tells me to smile because my face settles into a scowl as its natural relaxed state.

When I look in the mirror with the tension from my face, I can perceive what they perceive: A mean face glances back. Could there be a partial truth to the old wives' tale that if you make a face long enough that it'll freeze that way? To be precise, that the primary facial expressions you hold will ultimately mold how your face will look in its relaxed state?

Without details, anger was definitely a large part of my childhood. Looking at old photos I certainly see a lot of sincere scowling. Has it made my face "freeze" consequently into the scowl? 

I muse upon this in consideration of my self-improvement goals. I've definitely been fighting with loneliness as of late, and can't help but think how many people I drive away by making them believe I walk around in perpetual anger. I definitely notice a contrast in behaviors at work, where the evenings where my facial muscles are at its tightest people talk to me the least, and even leave without saying goodbye.

Disappointing, but if a face can freeze, it can unfreeze. Looking at the concentration exercises on AoM again (exercise number 8), I see that the exercise in which you try to hold a pleasant face while looking in the mirror could be a potential solution to this dilemma, and would hit another bird with one stone by strengthening concentration. It wouldn't be any burden to me, in the perspective of pursuing values, to dedicate a scant few minutes a day looking pleasantly in the mirror not out of vanity, but to increase my aesthetics to others.

I don't want to go through life looking mean and being off-putting. It's time to wipe the bitterness off and be befriendable.

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