How to be as scary as hell in less than 5 seconds

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Every woman needs to learn this! How to be as scary as hell in less than 5 seconds! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comAs 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.

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

32 thoughts on “How to be as scary as hell in less than 5 seconds”

  1. I laughed so hard reading this, I fear I would totally crack up! At least with family, with a stranger I might, just might, be able to pull it off. Oh this is gonna take A LOT of practice.

  2. I’ve been doing this for years. My children tell all of their friends that I’m scary, and their friends don’t think so until they see me angry – with no expression! LOL!

  3. It works on adults too….. it works everytime im doing security and im approaching them to “escort” them out.

  4. I’ll be trying this on my middle school students on Monday. (OK, I’ll wait for them to deserve it…so it”ll be around, oh, 8:25 or so…LOL) On another note, my mom taught me to try to relax the muscles in my face during labor…turns out it’s very difficult to completely relax your entire face without also relaxing the rest of your body. It helps!

  5. Helps to also jut your chin out just slightly. That teeny bit adds something undefineable to that “I’m gonna rip your guts out & strangle you with them” look!

  6. Lisa in the Ozarks

    yes, and use the eyes to do your speaking. as if you might be capable of anything. I learned this in seventh grade in North Kansas City when a red head named Sheila bullied me the entire year, for the entertainment of her ‘ followers’.

    Two weeks before school ended she was putting on her last show. Before I knew it I could see my hand print rising up on her cheek. The PE teacher threatened me with the principal- but I said “Let’s go” then she tried to make me apologize. I said “all I am sorry for is I didn’t do it the first day of school.” I have a long fuse but once they are there It’s over- at that point I lose ALL FEAR and don’t care WHAT happens. I use the look too. Perfected that on my kids. Uh oh- Mom means business!

  7. OMG. This is something I did with my late father inlaw when he started up on a drunk. And it totally worked! I was the ONLY ONE that he was afraid of. Of course, he had reason to be afraid of, he learned early on that I was a came from a family of shooters and this was the look when I was aiming at my target!

  8. I’ve been doing this for years now. When my kids were little, they called it the Mother Look and I meant business. You don’t mess with that look. 🙂

  9. This is my ‘super power’. Never realized it until someone pointed it out to me. Is also effective in keeping men from hitting on you lol.

  10. This is the look I have used for years and it is extremely effective! Not sure how I picked it up, but it has been a tool of mine since childhood. My teenagers and husband say I am super scary. LOL. I love that you wrote about it, and that I am not the only mom that uses it!!

  11. Brittney Rogers

    You know my mother only had to give me that blank look with her eyes on me and I knew I had better move it. I now have three kids of my own and I have yet to get the look to work for me, but using your trick may just make the difference. Thanks!

  12. I learned ‘the look’ in a safety training class years ago. Working in a mental hospital, we were taught how to protect ourselves. Body language and facial expression went hand in hand.

    Please people, practice this skill. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I whole hearted agree with Brenda and Mandy. When my son was little (he’s 40 now), I started teaching wilderness survival using camping trips. Every year between Christmas and New Years we would spend 4 days and 3 nights in the woods. Park the truck, backpack it in and set up a base camp. My pack weighted in at about 70 lbs and his at about 12 lbs.

    When he was 9 I told him he could not sleep in the tent with me and had to build his own shelter with what was available. I think he actually slept warmer than I did. Now my 10-year-old granddaughter wants me to teach her how to cook on a campfire. You would find it hard to believe some of the ideas she comes up with.

    I remember when we had more imagination than toys and we didn’t turn out too bad.


  14. One time, my wife and I were returning to our hotel in downtown Atlanta when a car with 3 kids probably around 14 years old or so pulled up in the driveway in front of us stopping our return to the hotel. It helped that I was legally armed, and my hand immediately went to my pocket. I fixed the “stare” on the driver and none of them got out of the car. They pulled forward into an abandoned and locked parking garage and let us pass. I was fully ready to deploy the weapon, but I fiercely did not want to. Only days later did I realize that the “stare” probably saved us and them a lot of agony. I had enough rounds for 2 each and one left over. It would not have been good for them or us.

  15. WARNING: this is a Pro Tip intended only for those with a finely tuned sense of situational awareness – attempting this with the wrong sort of adversary at the wrong time could get you killed!

    One proven fight stopper when confronted by, say, a knife wielding punk kid, is to provide the opposite attitude of most potential victims; excitement rather than anxiety. There’s little more confounding to a strung out pill popper or a desperate teen runaway than your vocal denial of their threats and instant commanding of the situation.

    “Ho, ho! A knife fight? Excellent!” while you draw your own blade is USUALLY enough to make your would-be assailant soak their drawers. Understand that in 95% of these situations, the attacker is just as scared as they hope and expect you to be. Just don’t forget that a gun is always preferable…

  16. I guess I used this in middle and high school without realizing it. I was always so shy and nerdy, but I was never bullied. I figured that it was just because I looked too meek, like a kitten, and the bully would feel guilty if they tried anything, but I was pretty expressionless, too. Considering the nature of bullies, my meekness by itself would not have deterred them, I guess.

    1. Same I am currently and in middle school. Shy, nerdy and quiet but no one has ever tried to bully me. I do the face all the time

  17. the dreaded Marine Corp stare down– cool!!! works almsot every time– it also helps when your chanting KILL KILL KILL in your mind– at least if they call your bluff you are already preprogrammed to take em down

  18. This look didn’t bother my kids after a while. Oh boy did it work wonders for when I was a substitute teacher 🙂 !
    I was almost always at the middle school. I never used it on the elementary children, don’t want to send them home to have nightmares, and the HS kids didn’t care anymore about anything.

  19. I do this whenever my grandkids want to have stare contests. I can go on forever without blinking!!! It also works well when a someone won’t take “No” for an answer. Really creeps them out. And yes, it will scare the pants off of any other unruly human.

  20. Mike in a Truck

    This does work.In my younger days as a barfighter in biker establishments this can avoid some nasty outcomes before they start.But know that you better be able to back this up with violence.Remember:Theres always somebody crazier than you.

  21. Maybe this is what happened that night. My daughter was running around the fellowship hall of the small church we attended at the time (she was nearing 2 I think). I told her multiple times to slow down before she knocked someone over, but you know 2 year olds. I got on her level and was using the Mommy Voice on her and was going to put her in time out at one of the tables, when I noticed a male friend (at least 1/2 a foot taller than me and maybe 50+ lb) imitating me from behind. All I did was turn around and look up at him, still at my daughter’s level, when he threw up his hands backing away and said he’d never mess with Momma Bear again. LOL

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