We found ourselves being stalked by a rival gang on a subway and were attempting to overcome several challenges and booby-traps they created so we could escape. It was a neat experience where we could get on a subway car and move between several stations. As we moved into the “final scene” of the experience, there were several challenging booby traps to overcome that required intense collaboration. As one partner considered tackling the current challenge, the other seemingly got defensive. Thankfully we’ve learned to be open and share what’s going on in these experiences (which has translated well outside of escape rooms), so the “defensive” partner shared that they thought the other was angry.

After a short laugh, the “angry” partner shared that they were just in deep problem-solving thought, which evidently resulted in an “RBF” or pissed-off thinking face. Let’s translate this into the non-escape room world. Think about how many times we’ve each interpreted someone’s face to communicate a specific emotion without checking with them to see if we were correct in our assumption. Conversely, how often have we failed to share what was happening in our heads (and showing up on our faces) with those we communicated with? Thinking faces aside, we were able to work through all the challenges and escape the subway.

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