I have never been good at the “poker face.”
Ever since I was little, I have been wearing my heart on my sleeve. What can I say? Some days it serves me well and other days it betrays all the hurt in my heart. Most days, it’s the latter of the two. Here are a few times when “poker face” could come in handy.
He always knows. I know it is my body language. I know it is my tone of voice. He (the husband) usually never misses the signs that I am mad, sad, confused, hurt or just in that “whatever” mood. It really is hard to hide your feelings from the ones you truly love. Sometimes I wish I could be better at hiding my feelings, because sometimes (not often) I know I am wrong. I know that I am being selfish and unreasonable deep down inside, but my face still says I am mad at the world and I deserve to be that way.
I like to think this is not a problem that I alone have, but maybe it really is just a ME thing! Anyway, the point is that no matter if I am wrong or right, I can’t hide how I feel. And sometimes that just sucks!
I have a hard time with polite conversation to begin with because it always seems so awkward. I am completely aware that it seems awkward because I can be awkward. I also know that many people avoid the polite conversation because they think it does not serve a purpose.
My real problem is when “polite” small talk really isn’t polite at all. My face shows no mercy in these horrible exchanges. For example, at church, many people talk to each other after service. I’m just going to be honest. I am never there early enough to talk to people BEFORE service begins. In between rounding up my kids and their 15 quiet toys they snuck into church under their clothes, I find people love to chit-chat.
Most of the time, I don’t mind the conversation. I figure if they can deal with me not being able to give them my undivided attention while I am trying to wrangle my kids, then they must really want to talk to me. It just so happens that sometimes, the things they decide to talk about are a little surprising. Once, a lovely lady said to me, “You must have wasted a lot of money on those pants you have on.” The pants I had on were in fact distressed, white jeans. I could feel the surprise and the uneasiness come over my face. I wasn’t even the one who was rude, but I had to make my exit quick because if she read my face, I know she read my thoughts.
My 9 to 5 (more accurately, my 7:30 to 3:30)
Being a teacher is a profession where hiding your emotions is almost a job requirement. You can’t let a student know they have gotten under your skin. You can’t let a parent know that you are doubting your abilities. At the same time, the students need to be able to trust you. If you are hiding your true feelings from them all the time, they can’t connect with you at all. This may be the only time that wearing my heart on my sleeve hasn’t hurt me. If a child knows you care about them, really care about them, they will trust you with their future. Of all the times I have regretted not being able to hide my emotions, inside the classroom has never been one of them.
Are you good at hiding your emotions?
Has it served you well?
I would love to know how some people are able to master the “poker face.”