Analysis of You Just Don't Understand, Men and Women in Conversation by Deborah Tannen

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Analysis of You Just Don't Understand, Men and Women in Conversation by Deborah Tannen

In the first chapter of her book, You Just Don't Understand, Men and Women in Conversation, Deborah Tannen quotes, "...studies have shown that married couples that live together spend less than half an hour a week talking to each other...". (24) This book is a wonderful tool for couples to use for help in understanding each other. The two things it stresses most is to listen, and to make yourself heard. This book opened my eyes to the relationship I am in now, with a wonderful person, for about four years. It made me realize that most of our little squabble-like fights could have been avoided, if one or the other of us could sit down and
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Josh got a call at work from an old high school friend that would be in town that month, and Josh invited him to stay at his house for the weekend, without first checking with Linda. Linda was upset when she heard this news because she was away on business the week before and that Friday was to be her first night home. Linda was less upset by that fact, and more upset that Josh had made plans without checking with her first, she would never make plans with anyone without checking with Josh, and didn't understand why he couldn't show her the same courtesy. This conflict affected Linda and Josh perhaps more so than another couple because it hit their primary concerns. Linda was hurt because she felt Josh didn't care as much about her as she did for him. And Josh was hurt because he felt that Linda was trying to control him, and limit his freedom. Many women feel that it is expected for them to consult with their partners at every turn, while men automatically make more decisions without asking their partners. Women may try to initiate a relaxed conversation by asking "What do you think?" while men may feel that they are being forced to decide. Tannen states that communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence. To survive we need to act with concern for others but also survive for ourselves. There has always been a common stereotype that women talk too
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