I've been this way my whole life.
I mean, look at this cat: he's prolly pretty content in his cat world, but he has the face of grumpy:
My whole life I have heard "Smile, it aint that bad!" or "What's wrong?" or blah blah blah. My whole entire life.
I would find out later in life my Mom received similar comments from people her whole life also. Guess our unnatural smile is hereditary.
When I play pool, people think I'm concentrating because I don't smile and keep a "stoic" face. In reality, I can look like that every day of the year, lol.
People tell me, "You looked so focused!" Really? I was just being my normal self; my normal unsmiled self.
Here I am in a very unflattering pic of me, but it shows my everyday face (click it to enlarge and really understand why people think I'm always upset):
And here's what I look like when I smile:
When I ran the OB Cues Ladies Tour for nine years, I had to act happy, smile, be friendly, etc. I'm really an introvert, but I had to put on my extrovert hat and be happy for two full days. I would go to the hotel exhausted at night. As most introverts will tell you, when we have to be an extrovert, it exhausts us. I needed my down time; I liked it, too. I can be an extrovert and talk more, smile more, be more interactive with people, etc., but it really does take quite a bit out of me. But, I didn't mind! I never minded being an extrovert (just takes a little work sometimes). :)
Since I stopped running the OB Cues Tour for about 3-4 years, a funny thing happened. Since I didn't have to act happy or make myself smile for the players, I was more myself; an introvert. And I therefore didn't try to smile because I had no one to impress or ensure they were having a good time.
So, now people see me as upset, depressed, etc. I was told the other day that I was very standoff-ish. Huh? Me? Now, granted I was also dealing with a very sick Mom and then she passed so I wasn't myself for two years, but I notice now when I go to tourneys that I don't really exist.
In a way, that's good because I need to focus on playing good pool instead of having too good a time (as my friend Jennifer does ) but it's pretty disconcerting to feel like no one likes me anymore. It's been a really rough couple of years for me in this regard. I feel shunned and out of place. I don't have a clique to hang around and I don't go to all the tourneys anymore.
I admit part of it was me not wanting to be around people because I was so depressed, and I admit I don't really hang around people because I am an introvert. But, as a board member I was included more, talked to more, liked more, because I had my extrovert hat on all the time and I needed to be happy, so the players would have a good time at the tourney - that's what Tourney Directors also need to do and be responsible for.
I notice I am more talkative at the Omega Tour because I run it and want to be nice to the players so they have a good time. I can't just be my normal quiet self - I need to step up my smile and be actively involved in smiling and be more friendly. This is NOT the time to be an introvert.
On the ladies league I am on, I feel more at home there than anywhere! I used to hear it was full of drama, but I instead see a great group of women who love the game of pool. I feel welcomed and respected and liked in this league (and also on my Monday mixed league). But, the women's tour I no longer feel welcomed or even happy being there.
I suppose that's the price for stepping away from TD duties to do the proper thing to take care of my ill Mom. I became out of touch with the players and other board members.
But, if you don't see me smiling, it doesn't mean I am in a bad mood! TRUST me when I tell you there is a difference on my face between not smiling to being upset. Just ask my boyfriend, lol.
Here's another pic - I'm playing pool and very happy! My face just doesn't reflect it.
Because I am an introvert, I would ask for your help. Please come up to me when you see me. I'm actually very shy but I open up like a flower when people talk to me.
Much love and happiness to my true friends in 2013!