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What Is Your Face Saying?

In today’s BUSY world we are often running from one thing to the next and have a million things on our mind that we need to get done. We move so fast and furious that sometimes we forget that we are wearing what I like to call a ‘busy face’.

A busy face is one that can seem almost frustrated or angry, which might be the case if you are too busy to enjoy life at the moment! You eyebrows are typically furrowed downward, you probably don’t have a warm welcoming smile on your face and when you combine that with a flat or busy tone of voice you send the message that you would rather be getting your task list done rather than engaging in a conversation with someone.

I had an encounter with someone last week that left me feeling rather frustrated with the person and our quick meeting. I felt like he was disengaged and rude until I took a step back and analyzed the situation. I had stopped by his office, unannounced, to ask a few quick questions about a project we are working on. He was working on his computer and it took a minute for him to even realize that I was standing there. When he stopped what he was doing he looked at me and his face screamed ‘what do you want?’ before he even opened his mouth to say hello. Throughout our entire conversation he had his ‘busy’ face on and it felt like he couldn’t get rid of me fast enough. I only took a few minutes of his time and I was feeling frustrated that he seemed so inconvenienced when all I needed was a few minutes.


First and foremost being that I will not be showing up unannounced to this persons office again. As I look back at the situation I can’t help but think that it would have easily been avoided if I had just sent a quick email or text asking if it was okay for me to stop by quickly. I have known this man for a while and can tell that he is pretty structured, I will keep that top of mind in the future and be sure to communicate with him before I just show up.

Second lesson being that if we are not aware of our facial expressions we can easily leave negative impressions on people unintentionally. I received a phone call from this individual a few days after our interaction and he was incredibly friendly and even referenced our conversation in his office in a positive way. I was a bit baffled because his body language and facial expressions sent a much different message when we were together. It is now obvious to me that he was not aware of the messages he was sending during our meeting, he was stuck in busy mode and didn’t even realize it!

Serious businesswoman listening to businessman during meetingAs you are working through your busy day be aware of how you are showing up with those you interact with. Your body language and facial expressions are very important components to how someone perceives you and if you have busy stuck on your face it will not be a very positive perception.


1. If someone surprises you with an unannounced visit and you don’t have time to talk at the moment, politely let them know that you need a few minutes or need to schedule a time to talk later.

2. Before going into any meeting or even before a phone meeting, take minute to clear your mind. Set your task list aside so you can be present in the conversation you are about to have.

3. Take a second to relax your facial muscles and even move your eyebrows up and down to ensure that they are not stuck in the furrowed position.

4. Think about something that makes you smile.

All of these things will help ensure that when you show up, you are showing up in a positive way and leaving the impression that you want to leave on people!


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