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Summary[ edit ] Frriends chapters, which are broken up into short titled sections of two or three s, start by distinguishing what men and women seek from conversations: independence and intimacy respectively.
For most women, the language of conversation is primarily a language of rapport : feiends way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships For most men, talk is primarily a means to preserve independence and negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical social order. Men and women both perceive the other gender as the more talkative, and they are both accurate, since studies show men speak more in public settings about public topics while women dominate mzle conversation within and about relationships.
The latter is frequently derided as gossip by both genders, and Tannen devotes an entire chapter to exploring its social functions as a way of connecting speaker and listener to a larger group. Men often dominate conversations in public, even where they know less about a subject than a female interlocutor, because they use conversation to establish status. Women, on the other hand, often listen more because they have been socialized to be accommodating.
These patterns, which begin in childhood, mean, for instance, that men are far more likely to interrupt another speaker, and not to take it personally when they are themselves interrupted, while women are more likely to finish each other's sentences. These patterns have paradoxical effects.
Men use the language of conflict to create connections, and conversely women can use the language mald connection to create conflict. Reception[ edit ] The book was well received by major media outlets. The New York Times called it "a refreshing and readable of the complexities of communication between men and women.
Many readers thanked her for saving their marriages. Her readable anecdotes support unjustified generalizations that fail to take ethnic differences into.
In one she uses in both a scholarly article and her book, a man interrupts a joke his wife has begun telling to finish it for her. The article explains the man's behavior as a display of dominance, while the book simply suggests the two have different understandings.