As a new college graduate, I toiled for five long years in the underbelly of public education: the middle school. Although I loved my job and students, I was a mere 7 or 8 years older than some of my students and more than a few inches shorter.
I had to quickly learn how to take control of a situation and let every student know that this short little teacher, fresh out of college, could handle anything. I learned how to give The Stare.
Now, you may think that giving someone, “the stink eye”, or, “the evil eye”, is a matter of scrunching up your face, squinting your eyes, and curling your lip. In fact, to truly scare the hell out of someone with just a look, it’s a matter of doing none of that.
Instead, learn to relax every facial muscle.
You do this naturally when you’re laying down resting or sleeping. Every muscle in your face is completely relaxed. Now, just learn to relax those same muscles quickly while you’re standing up.
Practice in front of a mirror. You’ll know you’ve got it right when you have “dead eyes.” Lower your chin just a tad for an even more threatening, maniacal look.
I’ve done this with my kids on a number of occasions and it completely freaks them out. My daughter tells me I look like a zombie.
It’s a lot easier to maintain this expression for a long period of time than it is to maintain a sneer, squint, or face scrunch for those times when you need a prolonged stare to get your message across.
If you ever have to confront someone because you feel threatened, this is the look you want to have on your face: devoid of expression, scary as hell.
Remember, every muscle has to be relaxed. This takes practice but after a while, you’ll be able to switch from your normal facial expression to this one in a matter of a second or two.
When you think you’ve perfected this new skill, try it out on someone you love and report back to us their reaction.