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Face Negotiation Theory Essay

The Face Negotiation Theory is established by Stella Ting-Toomey, which discusses the way by which people with different cultures communicate and manage conflict. In 1985, Stella Ting Toomey explains in her theory that disagreements and conflicts are usually brought about by identity management on the individualistic and collectivistic levels. The different facets that characterizes the identity of an individual or group is referred to as “faces”.

Faces serves as the public image of an individual or group, which the society as a whole assessed depending upon the cultural norms and values of the people’s respective culture. According to Ting-Toomey, the distinction between individualistic and collectivists cultures is seen on how the former gives more importance to the face of the individual while the latter gives more attention to the welfare of the group (Gudykunst, 2005). The major tenets of the Face Negotiation Theory are greatly applicable with my life, especially since I interact with people that have different cultural background.

I have friends who do not share the same culture that I have and sometimes this is the cause of misunderstandings between us because cultural differences also affect the values and principles that we have in life. However, I realized that in order to get along with my friends I need to understand and accept our differences and in doing so, I need to properly communicate with them in a way that shows my respect to their values and beliefs, which is actually one of the important things that is explained in the theory.

In relation to this, I also learn that the theory can actually help me to enhance my communication process in the future wherein I could try having a more collectivistic face, which will allow me to give more importance to the welfare of the group rather than my individual interests. Moreover, I realized that the relevance of the Face Negotiation Theory has become more vital than ever because our society is becoming more interconnected with each other, especially with the greater interaction of different people all over the world. Reference Gudykunst, W. B. (2005). Theorizing about intercultural communication. California: SAGE.


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