I Only Say This Because I Love You by Deborah Tannen
How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives

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Synopsis

Why does talk in families so often go in circles, leaving us tied up in knots? In this illuminating book, Deborah Tannen, the linguist and and bestselling author of You Just Don't Understand and many other books, reveals why talking to family members is so often painful and problematic even when we're all adults. Searching for signs of acceptance and belonging, we find signs of disapproval and rejection. Why do the seeds of family love so often yield a harvest of criticism and judgment? In I Only Say This Because I Love You, Tannen shows how important it is, in family talk, to learn to separate word meanings, or messages, from heart meanings, or metamessages — unstated but powerful meanings that come from the history of our relationships and the way things are said. Presenting real conversations from people's lives, Tannen reveals what is actually going on in family talk, including how family conversations must balance the longing for connection with the desire for control, as we struggle to be close without giving up our freedom.

This eye-opening book explains why grown women so often feel criticized by their mothers; and why mothers feel they can't open their mouths around their grown daughters; why growing up male or female, or as an older or younger sibling, results in different experiences of family that persist throughout our lives; and much, much more. By helping us to understand and redefine family talk, Tannen provides the tools to improve relationships with family members of every age.
 

About Deborah Tannen

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Deborah Tannen is university professor and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of many books on discourse analysis.Anna Marie Trester is a professorial lecturer and director of the master's program in language and communication in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University.
 
Published July 31, 2001 by Random House. 368 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Tannen's You Just Don't Understand set tongues wagging across the country in the early 1990s with its analysis of gender differences in speaking styles.

Apr 09 2001 | Read Full Review of I Only Say This Because I Lov...

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