Essay on You Just Don't Understand

1308 Words Nov 4th, 2007 6 Pages
Deborah Tannen is the author of the book You Just Don't Understand where she analyzes the different meanings of communication between men and women. Her research shows that women and men use the same words and phrases and yet can interpret and react to those same words and phrases differently. Tannen compares the two sexes to find men use their conversation as a type of competition or to preserve their independence. For example, men talk about their knowledge regarding sports, cars, women, exc. Meanwhile, women try to foster intimacy through communication. For instance, women often talk and relate on a personal level. Throughout Tannen's book she uses "cross-cultural communication" to describe the differences between the language of …show more content…
Women are not always looking for a solution but rather speak to be heard. Men on the other hand feel they need to give solutions and find it more difficult to listen. Women place value in relationships by communicating their feelings, when she opens up to a person she is trying to connect with whom she is talking to. Men do not find the same value in communicating their feelings as often as women for that is placing the man a step closer to being a woman.
Tannen notes that men are confused by the various ways women use conversation to be intimate with others. One of these ways she calls "troubles talk." She says, "For women, talking about troubles is the essence of connection. I tell you my troubles, you tell me your troubles, and we're close. Men, however, hear troubles talk as a request for advice, so they respond with a solution" (Tannen 61). When a man offers this kind of information the woman often feels as if he is trying to diminish her problem or cut her off.
Because men are the stronger more dominate gender, women can be more submissive and look to the man for physical doings. Women may ask a man to help around the house, for example, taking out the trash. Women can then take it personal if the male does not do what was requested in that time frame. Meanwhile, men need to feel they are doing what was is requested for themselves, and during their own

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