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Is Your Frowny Face Affecting Your Career? | Knoworthy

by Elysia McMahan

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These days, women have become concerned about their naturally serious expressions—and with good reason. Not only can they add permanent age lines and wrinkles to your face (think about those annoying “elevens” etched between a woman’s brows), they can also negatively impact your career.

Whether it be during a job interview, company meeting, or daily interactions with your boss or coworkers, showing signs of disinterest, annoyance, or disengagement can be particularly  destructive. Even if it’s not your intention, an accidental frown could send the wrong message—in effect, projecting an unhappy persona even if you’re completely content.

“Be aware of it,” says career coach Sarah Hathorn, who notes that even a blank face may come off as negative.

The truth is, most people who are perceived as having a negative expression aren’t actually feeling negative emotions; they’re simply reacting to their environment or thinking about something else entirely. Every single time you squint, glare or grimace, you are contracting the underlying muscles around your forehead and eyebrows. Doing this also causes your skin to become thinner and lose its elasticity. Over time these repeated facial expressions, coupled with the natural aging process, creates wrinkles commonly known as frown lines.

However, most people don’t even realize they look unhappy until a family member, friend, colleague, or complete stranger walks up and says, “What’s wrong?” or “Smile!”

“Are you looking down, frowning or scowling with the forehead?” asks Hathorn. If so, she suggests holding a very slight smile so that you look like you have energy and are paying attention, instead of coming off as distracted or indifferent. Facial expressions are a part of everyday living that send vital messages to those around us.

Since women are more likely to work in the service sector, where warmth is a professional requirement, maintaining a pleasant disposition is key to emanating generosity and charisma. Women who smile too little are often shunned as “bitchy.” People prefer working with someone who projects a positive attitude, which in turn facilitates solidarity and success.

If you’re trying to snag that promotion at work, but your routine facial expression is a frown, you may not be getting that promotion. According to Dr. Winifred D. Bragg, when striving for success, your face literally needs to say, “I am ready to work.”

Dr. Bragg also recommends looking in the mirror from time to time throughout your day to see what your face is saying. On a day that you happen to be getting bad vibes from everyone at work, take a quick peak. Despite the fact that you may think they are the ones having a bad day, your face may be exclaiming, “Don’t bother me!”

Here are some more useful tips that should help you stop frowning.

Start Inside

Dr. Richard Fried, a clinical psychologist and dermatologist, advises patients to take part in any activity that promotes relaxation.Try deep breathing, yoga, or guided imagery, which all “lead to a net response of decreased muscle tension, which can make meaningful differences” to a face that looks stressed, worried, angry, or tired. If the feelings prove hard to come by naturally, fake them, Dr. Fried said.

Arch Your Brows

Beauty therapist Damone Roberts recommends giving your brows a full, gently rounded arch. Arching your brows will not only give you the softest, friendliest look, it will also give better shape to your face. You can achieve this at home or by visiting a brow-centric salon. Be sure to pluck stray hairs, and use brow gel to keep hairs from hanging into your eyes.

Smooth Frown Lines

The corrugator muscle, also known as the frowning muscle, contain long, narrow fibers that run across the eyebrows and extend to the temples. M.J. Saffon, author of The 15 Minute a Day Natural Face Lift, suggests performing a forehead smoother exercise on a daily basis over several weeks for noticeable improvement.

Firmly press your fingertips on your corrugations and massage that area vertically for 30 seconds, then horizontally over the eyebrows and toward the temples. This will help alleviate some of the strain between your brows, as well as smooth out  those lines. If you suffer from sparse eyebrows, cosmetic companies offer products that can make eyebrows appear thicker and more natural.

Be Surprised

According to Annelise Hage, a New York City-based yoga instructor and author of The Yoga Face, practicing “surprise me” facial expressions have multiple benefits. Not only can they smooth out the brow area, these exercises also de-wrinkle the forehead. Open your eyes wide in surprise, but do not wrinkle your forehead. Then, look at a point in the horizon for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise five times.

Whether you update your brows, meditate to relax your facial muscles, or exercise daily to smooth your forehead lines, awareness of your expression is an important starting point. Your coworkers are watching you, and even though you may not feel angry or stressed, unknowingly your face may be sending a message you’re not aware of–one that may end up effecting your paycheck or job opportunities.

via Is Your Frowny Face Affecting Your Career? | Knoworthy.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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