Wednesday, April 26, 2017


“We all know we are unique individuals, but we tend to see others as representatives of groups.”
― Deborah Tannen

“A perfectly tuned conversation is a vision of sanity--a ratification of one's way of being human and one's way in the world.”
― Deborah Tannen

“The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation — or a relationship.”
― Deborah Tannen

“The more contact people have with each other, the more opportunities both have to do things in their own way and be misunderstood. The only way they know of to solve problems is to talk things out, but if different ways of talking are causing a problem, talking more isn’t likely to solve it. Instead, trying harder usually means doing more of whatever you’re doing—intensifying the style that is causing the other to react. So each unintentionally drives the other to do more and more of the opposing behavior, in a spiral that drives them both up the wall.”
― Deborah Tannen, That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships

“It is natural in interaction to assume that what you feel in reaction to others is what they wanted to make you feel. If you feel dominated, it’s because someone is dominating you. If you can’t find a way to get into a conversation, then someone is deliberately locking you out. Conversational style means that this may not be true. The most important lesson to be learned is not to jump to conclusions about others in terms of evaluations like “dominating” and “manipulative.”
― Deborah Tannen, That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships

“We all want, above all, to be heard. We want to be understood—heard for what we think we are saying, for what we know we meant.”
― Deborah Tannen, You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation

“The main difference between these alternatives is symmetry. Dependence is an asymmetrical involvement: One person needs the other, but not vice versa, so the needy person is one-down. Interdependence is symmetrical: Both parties rely on each other, so neither is one-up or one-down. Moreover,”
― Deborah Tannen, You Just Don't Understand

“When we think we are using language, language is using us.”
― Deborah Tannen, The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialogue