Keeping a straight face is being able to maintain oneâ€™s composure when a joke is directed oneâ€™s way or a leg is being pulled. These, if taken seriously, can cause embarrassment or discomfiture and they are usually laughed off with little or no hurt/hard feelings.
Trying not to show emotion is the hallmark of one who has much to gain and nothing to lose. The person may be full of thoughts and emotions yet manages to keep his cool and calmness as if nothing had happened. Yet he is no spoilsport to ward off a witticism or a
fun being poked at his expense. Because he does not evince any enthusiasm in the face of these minor provocations.
Keeping a poker face is for one who knows how to keep his mouth shut and does not enter the fray. For all that only a slight smile may cross his face. Even though this indicates a giving in, there is no further encouragement and nothing to give the game away. No evidence of emotion or a flicker of recognition that he has been made the butt of a joke.
Nothing diverts the attention of one who does not display feelings and manages to keep his control. His features are carved out of stone and the moment does not have any effect. Inwardly, he could be seething and agitated but there is no way of knowing whatâ€™s going on in his mind. No nervous tics or fluttering of the eyebrows or for that matter no revealing body language.
Because he is so straight-faced that others may shy away from dealing with him and avoid his presence altogether. For his is only a vaunted self to make him stand out from the rest of the crowd. Since he does not indulge in the mood of the moment preferring to wait and watch. And so he is not in the least bothered by what is transpiring around him and shows no concern. He is not moved to tears nor does he care for any outward manifestation of sympathy. Even though a moving scene may evoke the tender side of his nature.
Yet it is evident that he has a soft side which responds on certain given occasions. But this is asking too much from the one who sets a straight face in spite of finding himself in a bit of a spot. So much so that there is nothing faint-hearted about him even as he observes social niceties with a glint in the eye.