Face-negotiation refers to the process of managing and maintaining one's image, reputation, and self-esteem in social interactions. It is the process of balancing the need to maintain one's own face, or self-image, with the need to respect and maintain the face, or self-image, of others.

Examples of face-negotiation in psychology include:

  • A person may choose to apologize or take responsibility for a mistake in order to preserve the face of a colleague or friend.
  • A manager may choose to give credit for a project to a team member in order to preserve the face of the team member and also to promote team cohesion.
  • A person may choose to avoid a confrontation or criticism in order to preserve the face of a family member or friend.
  • A student may choose to accept a lower grade in order to preserve the face of the teacher or the class.

Face-negotiation is a crucial aspect of interpersonal communication and relationships, and is particularly relevant in cross-cultural interactions where different cultural norms and expectations may apply. This concept is related to the idea of "face-saving" or "face-work" and is a central aspect of the study of intercultural and cross-cultural communication.

In psychology, face-negotiation is studied as part of social psychology and intercultural psychology, with a focus on understanding the ways in which people navigate social interactions in order to maintain their own face and the face of others. Understanding how people negotiate face can help individuals navigate social interactions more effectively and avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.