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What your meticulous mustache says about you

Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the third section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, we discuss and analyse the many different nonverbal, “body language” signals others give us during a negotiation, as well as how our bodies are communicating with the other party.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

Upper body


A tongue pushing against a cheek or prodding the inside of the upper closed lips generally indicates pensive thought.

Licking the lips can indicate nervousness, anticipation, or a desire for what is seen or foreseen. Sticking a tongue out can be a sign of great displeasure reminiscent of childlike behaviour.

Teethteeth resize

People who grind their teeth could be suppressing anger, fear, or frustration. Tapping or rubbing one’s teeth with a finger or chewing a fingernail, pen, or pencil, may indicate pensiveness, annoyance, or boredom.


The chin’s nonverbal messages flow from such actions as sticking your chin out in defiance or risk-taking, holding your chin (and head) up with confidence and self-esteem, or tucking your chin in a gesture of caution, submission, self-protection, or nonparticipation.

Beards and mustaches are nonverbal communicators as well. An immaculately trimmed mustache and beard show an egotistic, proud, or meticulous person who is very image conscious. An unkempt beard and mustache shows a person who is a nonconformist, or who is perhaps unconcerned with appearances and who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. At least that is what he is trying to communicate but deep down he may very well be hyper concerned about criticism and uses the so-called nonconformist approach as a protective measure and deflector against such criticism.


The jaw muscle is the strongest muscle in the body. The jaw is the physical gatekeeper to your inner body, and figurative gatekeeper to what you accept from other people’s minds.

Jaw clenching generally indicates unexpressed frustration, resentment, disagreement, or dissatisfaction. A tensed jaw muscle in a negotiation indicates non-acceptance of what is being said or of what is happening. (If you see the other party’s jaw tensed or clenching, ask if there’s something they’re not happy with. If their issue isn’t resolved, the negotiation is unlikely to succeed.)


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