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Facial ExpressionsFacial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication.The saying : “A picture is worth a thousand words” well describes the meaning of facialexpressions. Facial appearance - including wrinkles, muscle tone, skin coloration, and eye color-offers enduring cues that reveal information about age, sex, race, ethnic origin, and status. Wehave eighty muscles in our face that can create more than seven thousand facial expressions.Some facial expressions are readily visible, while others are fleeting. Both types canpositively or negatively reinforce the spoken word and convey cues concerning emotions andattitude.The face is the most expressive area for nonverbal communications. We spend a greatamount of time looking at it during a discussion. 6
When people encounter people or things that they like, the rate of blinking increasesand pupils dilate. Looking at another person can indicate a range of emotions, includinghostility, interest, and attraction. The GazeGazing is learned so early, so deeply, that even when people have lived elsewhere formany years, their gaze patterns will usually be those of their birth culture.There are numerous messages that can be sent with the eyes, but the stare is the mostimportant technique a person has. In our culture one does not stare at another person—onestares at things. Therefore, a stare can have a devastating effect because it reduces a person tononhuman status.A hard stare indicates anger, aggression, or defensiveness. When a listener looks downat the floor while being accused of something during a negotiaion, it is often taken as anadmission of guilt. We also tend to look away when asking an embarrassing question or onethat makes us feel uncomfortable.Eye RollingRotating the eyes upward may have the following meanings:It may indicate condescension, contempt, boredom, or exasperation. Rolling eyes upwith head slightly risen up, as if pointing upwards, may be the reference to people in higherhierarchy.Rolling one's eyes can express exasperation or condescension. Negotiation ImplicationsPersuasive communicators exhibit more animated facial expressions, more gestures toemphasize their points, and nod their heads more. Similarly, a smile can be useful tool inreinforcing desired behaviors during a negotiation.The most dominant and reliable features of the face, the eyes, provide a constantchannel of communication. They can be shifty and evasive; convey hate, fear, and guilt; orexpress confidence, love, and support. When the eye say one thing, and the tongue another, we usually rely on eye. Eyes alsocan accurately indicate a positive or a negative relationship. People tend to look longer andmore often at those, whom they trust, respect and care about than at those whom they doubt ordislike.