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You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships

Deborah Tannen

2 Reviews

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linguistics, Prose: non-fiction, Family & relationships, Self-help & personal development, Popular psychology

Through research into the unique ways women talk to one another, this warm and wise exploration of female friendship will help women lean into the comfort these powerful relationships offer and avoid the hurt feelings that come from common miscommunications.

A Washington Post Notable Book of 2017.

Deborah Tannen's bestselling YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND: CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN made us aware of the deep and subtle meanings behind the words we say. She has since explored the way we talk at work, in arguments, to our mothers and our daughters.

Now she turns to that most intense, precious and potential minefield: women's friendships.

Best friend, old friend, good friend, new friend, neighbour, fellow mother at the school gate, workplace confidante: women's friendships are crucial. A friend can be like a sister, daughter, mother, mentor, therapist or confessor. She can also be the source of pain and betrayal.

From casual chatting to intimate confiding, from talking about problems to sharing funny stories, there are patterns of communication and miscommunication that affect friendships. Tannen shows how even the best of friends - with the best intentions - can say the wrong thing, how the ways women friends talk can bring friends closer or pull them apart, but also how words can repair the damage done by words. She explains the power of women friends who show empathy and can just listen; how women use talk to connect - and to subtly compete; how fears of rejection can haunt friendships; how social media is reshaping relationships.

Exploring what it means to be friends, helping us hear what we are really saying, understanding how we connect to other people; this illuminating and validating book gets inside the language of one of most women's life essentials - female friendships.

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Praise for You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships

  • Tannen has a marvelous ear for the way real people express themselves, and a scientist's command of the inner structures of speech and human relationships

  • SEE LESS - Los Angeles Times on You Just Don't Understand

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Deborah Tannen

Best-selling author Deborah Tannen is University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She has also been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princetown University.

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