Deborah Tannen and Six Contrasts Between Men and Women

Task: Find any language data (youtube video clips may be helpful, film, television, or personal observations at home) that show men or women in conversation – look at each of Deborah Tannen’s six contrasts, and observe men and women’s style of communication.  If the contrast seems not to apply or to be relevant, then consider why this might be – is the sample untypical, is Professor Tannen’s view mistaken, is something else happening? Refer to the six contrasts mentioned in this Tannen outline, and write an analysis of your observations.

Prompt: to what extent do Tannen’s contrasts accurately describe the communication styles of men and women?

Responses: 250-500 words neatly written or typed.

Due: Wednesday, April 18


For additional resources related to Language, Gender, and Culture click this:

For a BBC psychology survey titled “What Sex is Your Brain?”


40 thoughts on “Deborah Tannen and Six Contrasts Between Men and Women

  1. Deborah Tannen describes the communication styles of men and women simply but in context in some viewpoints. Most of her researches are based on the studies of both sex human behavior of what really matters in daily life. Most of these researches are self-based thoughts from the individuals mind during that time of matter. She explains well enough with good details and gives excellent examples situations to make the whole idea seem true and good. But in some ideas, I have to rethink it again If it’s really the true statement to the human brain since everyone thinks differently.
    My first example is when I was talking to one of my girl-friends yesterday. We were exchanging info and base thought ideas to each other. But when it came to this one idea me and her were sort of arguing. Using my knowledge and little bit of my voice, I was able to overcome her idea and she gave in and had to agree with me(although she was right in some parts). When I look back to that conversation, I thought it was sort like conflict versus compromise because we both sort of argue in high voices in order to gain the advantage of becoming the more greater well knowledge person. Like Deobrah Tannen’s quote say, “learning the other’s way of talking is a leap across the communication gap between men and women, and a giant step towards genuine understanding.” that was what happen to me and her in our conversation, she learnt it I agree with her reaction. Besides, it was a fun converasation that made us both laugh.
    Another example was when I was helping one of my girl-friends on her homework since she didn’t get the whole thing. I was looking for a reaction or some sort of sign but she gave me looks like “I need help o this and that.” I wasn’t sure and instead kept on running my mouth over and over explaining how to do it. She still seems confused but she didn’t say anything. Instead, she acted uncomfortably and confused in a way where you’ll think “is she having a bad day?” when she is not really getting it and acts in a peculiar behavior for you to notice and figure out. To me, this I call it the orders vs proposals. I had preferred to hear a direct imperative since I was helping with the best of my ability. But, she didn’t give me any clue or sign to what her behavior meant. At the end, I was able to help her to success.
    Overall, I thought that these ideas to reflect on the real life to a daily human life that we all endure and have to understand and realize that the relationship between the opposite sex is surely a way to gain better communication. In order to respect each other and understand the components between a mutual, sexual, or any type of relationship, it takes the time to know each other well. Having a conversation in a normal way is most secure as to not feeling uncomfortable whenever encounter by these six contrast and that’s what is worth; a nice sparkle feeling.

  2. The world has their difference between the male language and the female language but in Deborah Tannen’s opinions and her books, she knew that there was criticism especially the female language. Deborah Tannen knew what’s happening with the male language and the female language .she was right about that problem and I agree about that problem because the problem shows in politics, leadership, in conflicts, couples, and other types that criticize the female language. I support Deborah’s statements for the next reasons. These reasons involved my experience of why I agree and why Deborah is right. The first reason why is because in politics men criticize women to try to do the male work. The next reason why is because there’s problems on a relationship. The last reason why is because of the difference between a man and a women that are still following a tradition.
    In politics in the past only male were allow in politics but that time went on when a women try to do politics and the male started to criticize the women because the men are the upper hand so they didn’t want to have the female to be in the upper hand so the female struggle . Why are we men still criticizing today? We men criticize because we think the female are not capable of having that position. The reason why I’m saying this is because in my experience I saw how many female had to hear criticism.
    The relationship will have problems. When there are problems both fight and sometimes they have the worst revenge and vengeance.
    The people have their own tradition on how they have to follow the tradition for instance the female have to be like a servant to her man but in other ways the male is abuse it in corrupt way. Back then in America they do that tradition of the women do domestic while the men work. So people be good to everybody & couples respect yourselves and try to be equal

  3. Women and men, is there a gap between how things are seen and done? Well according to Deborah Tannen, a professor, who written You Just Don’t Understand had summarized and categorized female and male behavior/language, agrees. Deborah Tannen has divided up into 6 contrasts; status vs. support, independence vs. intimacy, advice vs. understanding, information vs. feelings, orders vs. proposals, and conflict vs. compromise.

    So as I read Tannen’s contrast between men and women’s communication, I strongly disagree with the section, independence vs. intimacy because I find it quite sexist. “Women often think in terms of closeness and support, and struggle to preserve intimacy.” Those words “closeness” and “support” don’t run well with my vocabulary, only because it seems as if women are constantly seeking attention. Personally, in my household, my mother is the head person in charge and just because my stepfather makes a bit more money than my mother, doesn’t show him as the one wearing the pants in the relationship. My mother provides basically all the essentials in the house, takes care of the kids, and manages to work 10 hours a day without complaining. My mother also carries herself with strong pride and doesn’t tolerate any man or woman to get in her way. I’ve picked up a few things from her along the years and I’ve grown accustomed to her mindset on status and “independence”.

    Although I disagree with Tannen’s ideas on independence vs. intimacy, she makes an excellent point in orders versus proposals, because women are so secretive with themselves. “Women often suggest that people do things in indirect ways – “let’s”, “why don’t we?” or wouldn’t it be good, if we…?”. Why can’t women just be upfront? Why can’t they just open up and say what they want to say? It’s not like they’re going to get beaten if they’re direct. I can’t explain how annoying this is. I personally don’t do this but I encounter a bunch that does this. Women feel as if they have to add unnecessary words to get to the point. Beating behind the bush and constantly going about what you want to do/say isn’t going to give you the upper hand in the relationship or any position, regardless if it’s a woman talking to a woman or a woman talking to a man.

    In other words, women and men should not be categorized or judged in any way shape or form. Tannen’s book may become handy in some cases, but some of her ideas come off stereotypical. For whoever that’s reading this, whether if you’re a female or male, you’re no different’ from one another.

    • Jasmine,

      I appreciate you honest evaluation of Tannen’s ideas. I agree with you that many of these ideas are generalization, which don’t apply to every family or each individual.


  4. Communication between men an women are looked upon as they depict clearly, what different forms of communication exists. According to Deborah Tannen’s article based on her book, “You just don’t understand” she compares the differences of male and female communication using six contrasts. I believe that her description of these styles are generally accurate.

    When I observed my sister’s relationship with her boyfriend I find that when they communicate, it shows the contrast of advice versus understanding. One day my sister was complaining to her boyfriend about her broken camera and how she was angry about the situation. On the other hand her boyfriend suggest right away to take it an get it repaired for her.

    Another example is from personal experience. There were a few times when I needed some things and instead of directly telling my boyfriend “I want to get that.” I would say something like, “we should try looking at it.” Sometimes the way I communicate with him is by the orders versus proposals knowing that he prefers me to be honest and direct with my needs.

    There are slight inaccuracies in Tannen’s description such as the point she discusses about report talk and rapport talk. There she mentions that women overlap when they speak,but knowing that men are generally competitive, won’t they do more of the overlapping? If men want to dominate the argument an gain status it would make more sense that they overlap while speaking.

    Although there were inaccuracies I think that most of it do apply to a lot of people in terms of communicating. There is a barrier in knowing how people communicate but observing how people communicate will help understand them more.

  5. How do men and women communicate between one another? , And how do they talk male to male and female to female? Well if you’ve ever wondered you just may get your answer here in this response to professor tannen’s six contrasts between men and women from her book “you just don’t understand”.

    Professor tannen’s first contrast is status vs. support in which I agree with professor tannen. For males they grow up with competitive conversations and to seek the upper hand vs. women they a see the world as a connection to gain information to support their ideas. For example to show how this is true from my own observations and being a male I have had some pretty intense conversations especially when it comes to a sport or something important the conversation goes from guy talk to competitive guy talk. Opposed to females to show this is true they talk in gossip and gain knowledge of people they know.
    The second contrast that professor tannen makes is independent vs. intimacy I also agree with this contrast professor tannen makes because women think and like to be close and men often like to depend on status and be more independent. For example when i see my brother play basketball he doesn’t try and use the team he gains respect from scoring the ball all the time and for him to do that makes people want him on their team.
    The third contrast that professor tannen makes is advice vs. understanding. I agree with professor tannen on this contrast because men always try and give advice to younger kids or try and help people solve problems ,such as myself, and women want people to feel sympathy for them. For example when there is a problem my brother always tries and gives some input on what he can or she should do and can do to make the situation better.

    The fourth contrast that professor tannen makes is information vs. feelings. I have to say that I’m going with a neutral approach to this contrast because it can be either sex with the contrast information vs. feelings. For example some males are sensitive as females are. This proves to be true because from my own observations males do get sensitive to things they are really close with or truly have a passion for like my brother is with basketball.
    The fifth contrast that professor tannen makes is orders vs. proposals. I agree with professor tannen because over all males use direct language ,straight to the point their trying to make, and women are more indirect , hinting at the point they are trying to make. For example my mother always says “today is a nice day out I wish I would be out there” and my father would say like “let’s go out to the beach”.
    The sixth and final contrast professor tannen makes is conflict vs. compromise. I agree with because males often don’t talk out situations when there angry. Whereas females talk situations out and compromise what was done and view the problem from both stand points to get understanding and resolve the issue. For example I was walking down street and I seen two women talking about an issue and the two ladies came to a conclusion that they should respect each other’s property to avoid further issues with one another.
    Now that we’ve analyzed professor tannen’s six contrast do you agree or disagree with them? Are you different? The next time you talk to male or female think about how you are communicating with one another.

  6. Deborah Tannen , author of “You Just Don’t Understand,” shares her thoughts and perspective on male and female language barriers she’s been exposed to almost everywhere she went. Men are relentless in their actions and don’t really sympathize for the opposite sex, in most cases, when dealing with their wives.
    Tannen explains that usually men focus on independence during a relationship, while the women try to stay close and bond, suspecting that something went wrong in their marriage. Usually the men are inconsiderate towards these feelings and feel that they can do what they want, and the women are supposed to accept it and support it. The women subconsciously feel that it is their duty to be honest with their men, to make sure nothing goes wrong in their relationship.
    For example, a man would leave the house after dinner and go out to a bar with his friends, knowing he wouldn’t be back until early in the morning. He would intentionally leave without concerning his wife because informing her, which would be considered an indirect form of permission, would lower his status as a man. However, a women would let her man know whenever she had plans, to include him and maybe get his support and love too.
    I agree with this observation because I experience this in my house with my parents every day. Sometimes my Dad will invite a friend over from work, whom he and my mother are both associated with, unannounced. My Mom would still be upset because she would feel like it would have been appropriate to inform her first, but lets it go afterward. If it were my mother instead she would have definitely talked to my Dad about it first, because she would consider how he felt about the situation and his reaction.
    The man seems to be less sympathetic because he feels because he is the man, he shouldn’t have to explain himself and his situation, whereas the women years sympathy and acknowledgement, and would rather include the man in her actions than keep it a secret.

    Why do men feel the need to keep the themselves, and that the women shouldn’t be included? Aren’t they in a relationship? Do they just feel that more superior to their spouse?

    • I agree with your observation with your parents. Although my parents don’t have that sort of issue I have also seen it around with other couples. I don’t think men feel that they are superior in the relationship but rather their competitiveness plays a key role in making them feel the need to win all the time.

  7. Nowadays we see many abstract ways men and women communicate. Frequently we as men are more possessive and aggressive then women.
    We have all seen that men are more viral and competitive when having a conversation, for example, when my uncle is having a conversation with my aunt he’s always the one to start an dispute . He always wants to be correct or right in everything he says or does. It’s a natural instinct that men wants to be the better and controllable person when it comes to an argument.
    Tannen states that women are the ones who mostly seek intimacy and that men are way more independent. She gives several examples of how women always ask their Spouse before inviting a friend over, but on the other hand the husband always invites a friend without their wife’s consent, that is mainly true, but not all the time my aunt always invites her friends without telling my uncle.
    Women like to be sympathize by men but they really don’t see that the women want to be sympathize so they just find an different way to get over of what the women is saying. For another example when a women tells her husband that she doesn’t feel well she wants him to feel sad and care for her, but instead the husband tells her that he will take her to a hospital. She doesn’t want that she wants him to tell her things that he has never said before and to care for her like she’s his everything.
    Tannen says that women don’t like to be direct with what they say while men are always direct . I disagree with her because some always use direct context when talking to someone. My mom likes to tell people as it is, I don’t see her sugar coat it. She speak her mind to everyone no matter who they are.
    They say that women are more complainers than men. The things she gives is when women don’t like something they often complain and that when men don’t like something they would talk it out instead. I see that women do complain more than men. It’s a part of life.

  8. Men vs. women
    The ways people perceive the world are very different. People are as a whole categorized into two main groups, which are Men and Women. Deborah Tannen, author of the article “Deborah Tannen and difference” and book “”you Just Don’t Understand”, believes that the two can be divided into 6 contrasting subcategories based upon personality traits. For the ma it would be status, independent, advice, information, orders, and conflict. For the women, they are support, intimacy, understanding, feelings, proposals, and compromise. These subcategories that Deborah Tannen have create are accurate, but I believe these subcategories can apply to both men and women depending on the development of their own personalities.
    Men can also have those traits that are in women. For example, compromise. Generally speaking men are more on the conflict side, but we can also come to understand others, and compromise with one another. For example, I knew a person who never liked breakdancing, and I never like playing chess. We came into an agreement to teach each other what we knew about it to each other. Now he likes breakdancing, and although I don’t play chess frequently, I wouldn’t refuse to play whenever I have spare time. We compromised and taught each other. It doesn’t matter what gender but it matters how they view the world and the people around it.
    Women are no different; they can also have the traits that men are supposed to have. Women would give advice to others without understanding the situation. For example, a woman would tell another woman that she needs to change the way she dresses because it is not “cool”. She did not know that, that person she was talking to like to dress that way because she feels comfortable, and her telling that she does not look cool affects her emotion, and the way she felt about the way she looks. Just like how a man gives advice without thinking, a woman does it too.
    In conclusion, traits within a person can differ depending on the person and how their personality develops. A woman could have men traits, and a man could have women traits.

  9. Men and women seem to interact differently from each other. Why is it that they interact different? Well men focus on just gaining status and independence while women just try to talk to someone and not feel with high status. I think that Tannen accurately describes to us how men and women communicate. Men think different than women and men don’t often seem to know what’s wrong with women because they don’t get to the point or don’t speak up, as where a guy speaks up and says what he has to say directly.
    From my point of view I have seen many men and women communicate way differently and they don’t seem to understand one another. For example; 3 weeks ago I was at cold stone eating an ice cream and there was a couple arguing for no reason, the women started arguing with the man because he didn’t tell her that she looked pretty! The man replied, “do I need to tell you that you look pretty since you are already pretty?” She calmed down and gave him a hug. Women want way more than what men already give them but I guess it’s the little details you say to women that make them happy and appreciate you being in their life’s.

    • i agree with you adolfo but besides that i like how you added in your perspective of how men and women communicate between one another

  10. After observing and reading Tannen’s contrasts about men and women in his article, “Deborah Tannen and Difference,” I think that the contrasts are generally accurate due to my personal observations. I say this because after observing my family, I compared my results to one of Tannen’s contrasts, Orders versus Proposals, when he described women as always being a hint giver and the man just wanting a straight answer. Well, this statement is correct in my family but the hint giver is my dad instead. For example, my dad isn’t allowed to eat many sweets or he may want to eat a food dish that my mom can make. So, in order to receive what he wants, my dad would hint to my mom that he wants to eat a type of food that can give him taste and flavor, not the same taste as usual. When my mom doesn’t understand, she would buy any food that my dad might want to eat and eventually becomes frustrated. This shows that Tannen’s contrast is not as accurate when it refers to my family. Another example is Tannen’s contrast of Independence versus Intimacy, when Tannen described men to want space while women wants closeness. Well, my dad does want space from my mom but he always take my mom out to spend time with her and usually tell us kids that he and her are just going “grocery shopping,” but eventually they are eating out. Whenever they talk to eachother, they both always talk quietly and my dad is always with my mom no matter where she goes. So, Tannen’s contrast about men and women’s relationship can be right sometimes and wrong at times just like my dad wanting space but closeness as well. Even though Tannen’s contrast about men and women may not be as correct in my family, his contrast of Information versus Feelings can be identified. Between my parents, my mom is the person who can talk all day with my aunts about how she feels her wellness, her complaints, and her thinking. She doesn’t talk to my dad as often because she knows he’ll give suggestions or reason on her talkativeness and eventually become annoyed. On the other hand, my dad usually greet, chat for a couple of seconds, then leave. If my mom was to drop off a gift at a friend’s house, she would likely tour the whole house before leaving home. So, men seem to be simpler while women tend to want to share and talk more about how they are, as described by Tannen.

  11. I don’t think that Tannen’s contrasts accurately describe the communication styles of men and women. First of all, in the article, Tannen talk about the average typical men and women. From my observation at school, I think that most students and teachers are not that typical nor average. When I read Tannen’s article, I was offended by some of the examples that she had written about. For example the list under “Report talk and rapport talk”, it states men “get more air time…”. Yeah those qualities offended me because it was as if Tannen was trying to make the men look like uncivilized. Also because I have qualities of mostly of the females side but a fragment of the males side. Due to this fact, I believe that these contrasts in the article are from random encounters not from personal experience. These communication styles of me and women seem to be a bit of old fashion because now men and women want to be themselves and not what they are expected of being(religion wise or by your parents). My parents are an example of what Tannen said. My dad doesn’t talk much, he talks in public, and speaks in an asymmetrical way. My mother is a different story. When she talks, she goes on and on forever. And yes , she speaks in private context and with detail. So with evidence I think that Debra Tannen’s points of contrast do not accurately describe the communication styles of men and women.

  12. Man and women communicate very differently. in todays society men are usualy the dominate one who commands and women on the other hand asks. I agree with Deborah Tannens article on the difference between men and women for many reason. One reason is becuase i see this behavior in everyday life , in my family woman are seen and treated as worker as on the other hand the man as seen as the shot caller.My gradfather is a perfect example, his wife (my grandmother) is completely at his need and wants. Being at my grandparents house ive seen my grandmother break her back to make sure my grandfather is satisfied, like cooking cleaning and keeping everything in order in the house. I some what agree that men should be in charge but they should meet in the middle. Men are seen as the bread winner the person who goes out and works and provides for his family, and the women should be at home doing house hold things like cooking, cleaning,and whatching the kids. Deborah i fell is very accurate on her studies, what i mostly find to be true is her example she uses in her article, Orders vs proposals.From my own experences when i see my sister i feel when i tell her to do something she must do it not knowing that isnt right. while the world still stands i dont feel there will be a change in how women are viewed and treated, it been that way since the begining and it will be that way intill the end.

    • i think your statement is true about women because in my family, no matter what happens, the women would always tend to do more work in the house like chores, compared to guys in which the women does it for them.

  13. Tannen’s contrasts are somewhat accurate to my knowledge of communication styles between men and women. I beileve that her ideas comparing men and women were enlightning, but i still stand with it being somewhat accurate.
    I say its somewhat accurate because there are women that act like men, an there are some men that act like women. Deborah states that women talk too much. I think men are the ones that talk to much because men wants to be known so there going to speak, but girls can be louder than boys. In paragraph 4 of Deborah’s article it talks about a young man making a brief phone call and the mom assume he going to go play sports. But when the sister gets a phone call that last up to an hour the mom assumes she having a talk about sex and stuff. The communication of women and men are diffrent, if theres a boy that talks to alot of girls both men and women are going to refer to him as a pimp or a player. But if a girl is in the same boat , and talks to alot of boys both males and females are goin to refer her as a hoe.
    Both women and men’s communicatio style are the same but just in a diffrent way. When girls around there friends the talk about how cute boys is, talk about other people, when they go get there hair done or they talk about sex. When boys are around there friends they talk about how cute girls is, talk about people, then we get competitve and talk about sports, are we talk about what girls e had sex with. The communication style is the same its just a diffrent menor we use towards each other.

    • I agree with you said about guys being called a “pimp” or a “player” when talking to a lot of girls, but when a girl talk to a bunch of guys although they may speak as friends they are referred as “hoes”.

  14. “To many men a complaint is a challenge to find a solution,” says Deborah Tannen author of You Just Don’t Understand. In this situation, most men will react to a women’s needs because us a as men must make a women happy. Tannen also says “like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy.” This is also true because a lot of men go straight into conclusion where they believe they have to do something to solve the problem, but in the end some women just want to talk about it or be left alone.
    In reality, some experiences I have were with my girlfriend. She would say “I’m hungry” so my first intention is to get her food to eat even though she doesn’t have to as for food. Also with my dad, he would tell my mom that the food doesn’t taste right or that it is nasty, then she would take the food and make a different meal for him to eat. These are examples of advice versus understanding because sometimes you don’t have to tell someone to do something for you, but hint them, or get them an advice and they would most likely take care or your needs.
    In conclusion, I believe that Deborah Tannen is highly accurate at describing the relationship between a man and a woman. “To many men a complaint is a challenge to find a solution.” This can be proven in so many ways that even when the situation of hinting one to do something for you, you won’t realize that you just told them to do something for you without directly telling them to do it, but indirectly.

    • I agree with what you have said about women being indirect. Also, I like how you used examples to back up your information. It shows me that you know what you are talking about.

  15. In contrast of the communication style between men and women is that, when men talk to women they tend to sometimes talk sweeter and nicer to women, but when it comes to guys they would talk like they’re all cool and cursing at each other like nothing. As to women when they talk to guy they do the same thing they talk all nice and sweet, but when they’re talking to their home girls and all its all gossip or cursing like guys. So if you really were to compare both women and men they both talk the same, but when comparing parent’s relationship with the young one it’s kind of the same too. When I compare relationship of my parents they get into argument like other relationship or mines, and the argument is just an little dumb argument only. This here is my comparison of my parents and other relationship, not just that I also think that even the most perfect relationship will have a little argument that will make everything bad then good because guys and women’s don’t think alike and they both have different views so the most perfect relationship will always have a little argument in it. But yes Professor Tannens view isn’t mistaken, because from viewing from my parents relationship when they argue one would always have to win because of status of how professor Tannen said it. Besides status is a very big part of a man too, it’s a big part of a man because most men don’t like losing or if it’s not losing then man don’t like to be embarrass because most men would think that they are always right. As towards women status doesn’t really matter to them because winning isn’t always everything to women except for getting the knowledge to learn, so next time when a men and women argue women would know what to use to win the argument. To conclude this, the communication styles of men and women are different from what professor Tannen said about men and women.

  16. Deborah Tannen is an author who explains the differences between men and woman. Tannen, gives examples on how the men tradition is being inherited into society and how the woman do as the men say. In this essay I would be explaining the communication styles between both men and women.
    I agree with Deborah Tannen when she says that men and women have a different way of speaking. I say this because when I talk to one of my female friends they talk differently than my male friends. For example, if I were to speak about how bad the weather was my female friend would politely agree where in the other hand, if I were to tell one of my male friends how the weather was they would exaggerate but yet agree with me. Also, females tend to speak with a sweet tone and in a polite way. Males do the opposite as they have a loud voice when they are being spoken to. In my perspective I believe that men are ruder then some women because when you speak to a man in a disrespectful way they tend to snap back because they want to show that they aren’t afraid of speaking their mind. While a male argues a woman wouldn’t do the same as the men. When someone speaks wrong to a woman they don’t argue back they stay quiet and act as if they were being attacked physically when they were just verbally attacked.
    Also, Deborah Tannen has chart of how a women and men have different characteristics when they speak. Deborah Tannen states, “Women: Talk too much, speak in private contexts, build relations, overlap, speak symmetrically. Male: Get more air time, speak in public, negotiate status/avoid failure, speak one at a time, speak asymmetrically.” I agree when Tannen states that women talk too much because girls can go on and on talking about a certain thing. In the other hand, a male would make it short and get to the point. I also agree with something else Tannen had stated which was that men speak in public more than woman, negotiate, avoid failure, and speak one at a time. A perfect example is when the president of the United States speaks. He’s a male, speaks in public without hesitation, negotiates for the country, he avoids failure, and he waits his turn for only one can speak at a time.
    In conclusion, everyone has a different way of speaking but the most unique one is the differences between a female and male. The reason to my statement is that not a lot of men can understand the way a female talks and not a lot of women can understand how a male talks. I agree to all the things Deborah Tannen has stated.

    • I agree with you all the way Jorge! Men and women do speak differently to one another. Therefore as if it was a female and female conversation. it would be so much different then a male and female conversation.

      • I agree as well but there are some people that communicate the same no matter if the conversating with a male or female

    MR. COEY

    Deborah Tannen, the writer of You Just Don’t Understand, correctly describes the communication styles of men and women to a great extent. She fully understands the points not just from the women’s perspective but also from the men’s perspective. She gives specific examples from her observations and from others observations as well. In the article she gives ten specific different styles of how men and women communicate and trough our own observations we are able to see and believe her.
    A woman usually tells their man something and expects them to understand her and comfort her in a way that she will feel loved or cared. Because women want to feel loved and cared for they will make an excuse for their man to feel bad and ask them what’s wrong. My mother would say to my father “I feel ill” but then my dad will give her some Advil and a glass of water and ask her what’s wrong. She gets mad because it seems as if he doesn’t care but the thing is that it’s because men are different than women and doesn’t always do things that they want them to do.
    When speaking with the other sex men tend to interrupt more often to be heard. When they are being heard it makes them feel more superior and above the others. When my parents talk to each other my father would usually interrupt in a high pitch voice to cut my mother off even if it’s just the two of them speaking. When he does this it makes him feel comforting because he feels as if he was heard but really it makes the other feel annoyed and frustrated. As for my mother she would wait her turn to speak and wouldn’t interrupt at all.
    For these reasons I agree with Deborah Tannen and how she describes the different styles of communication between men and women. Through my observations I can accurately agree with her because by comparing my observations with her styles I can see the styles and differences between men and women. This is why I can agree with her and her styles of communications.

  18. Today we see plenty of different ways men and women communicate. Often men are more aggressive than women, but honestly, are they really?
    We see that men are more competitive when having a conversation, for example, when my brother is having a conversation with my mom he’s always the one to start an argument. He always wants to be right in everything he says or does. It’s a natural instinct that men want to be the bigger person when it comes to an argument.
    Professor Tannen states that women are the ones who mostly seek intimacy, and that men are more independent. She gives an example of how women always ask their husbands before inviting a friend over, but on the other hand the husband always invites a friend without the wife’s consent, that is mainly true, but not all the time, my mom always invites her friends without telling my step-dad.
    Women love to be comforted by men, but they often don’t realize that the women want to be comforted so they just find an easy way to get over of what the women is saying. For example when a women tells her husband that she doesn’t feel well she wants him to feel sympathy for her, but instead the husband tells her that he will take her to a doctor. She doesn’t want that, she wants him to tell her words that he’s never said before and to take care of her like she’s the queen of the house.
    Ms. Tannen says that women often use indirect context while men use direct. I disagree with her because I always use direct context when talking to someone. I like to tell people as it is, I don’t sugar coat it. I speak my mind to everyone no matter who they are.
    They say that women are more complainers than men. The example she gives is that when women don’t like something they often complain, and that when men don’t like something they would talk it out instead. I see that women do complain more than men. It’s a part of life.

    • This is true because alot of women do invite their friends over unexpectedly, therefore having to change plans last minute and men will take it the wrong way and get mad.

  19. Tannens contrasts accurately describe how the style of communication is between men and women. The style of communication sometimes has to do or focuses on a person’s religion or beliefs. I personally believe that every example that tannen gave was right because they fit to what I’ve seen and experienced.
    For example I strongly agree with the independence versus intimacy. In that example it talks about how men don’t have to ask for permission to have someone over because that shows that the men are independent and take charge in any situation. It also talks about how women do ask for permission to their significant other because the women actually like saying that they have to ask for permission to their husbands. For example, when my mom invites her friends over she actually asks for permission from my dad and when my dad has friends over he doesn’t really let my mom know that his friends are going to come over. That’s why I believe that tannens examples are right because they actually happen in real life.
    Another example that I really like is the orders versus proposals. Even though I really like this example I still have mixed thoughts about this idea. This example from tannen talks about how men like being talked to in a direct way. But they also say that when Women talk to men in a direct way they come off as being rude. So what I don’t understand is why do men like being talked to in a direct way from the women if they’re going to think that were being rude. So that question is how do we really talk to the guys?
    Therefore, Tannes examples were very accurate on how women and men communicate with each other daily.

  20. Given that I can see all of Tannen’s contrasts in the ways that men and women generally communicate, I believe that Tannen’s description is extremely accurate and the terms she used to describe the differences are enlightening.

    The other day, I was involved in a conversation with our Vice Principal, Mrs. Lee, who I respect very much. At the time I felt like I was very involved in the discussion (and I was), but after reading Tannen’s six contrast, I know that she and I demonstrated the difference of Status vs. Support. Mrs. Lee kept saying things like “let’s meet with the student’s parent and come up with another solution,” and I would always finish with another idea like “I want this resolved now.” She was looking for ways to find a solution through support and consensus, and I was looking to gain the upper hand in the conversation. Am I always competitive like that when I communicate? Well, I think I am more like this when I am talking to a woman.

    In another example of Tannen’s six contrasts, yesterday we were on our way to San Francisco and without telling my wife, Christie, I had made plans to visit my uncle while we were in the Bay Area. It seemed like no big deal because we were going to be there anyway. A woman generally does not do this; rather she checks with her husband as a means of intimacy. Men, however, as Tannen suggests are more independent and make these decisions without the spouse because they do not want to “lose status.” Why do I need to check with my wife? Sorry. This is just the way my brain works. I don’t really think about it. Should I?

    Talking about how we communicate is a “leap across the communication gap between men and women” and a giant step toward understanding. Professor Tannen has provided us with several ways to think about how we communicate and why we communicate. So, is it okay that men and women communicate differently?

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