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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive guide to avoiding misunderstandings with the opposite sex
This is one of the most usuful books ever written, and far and away the most helpful I have seen on the topic of how men and woman can understand each other better.

Dr Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics; her first book on the subject of communications was called "That's not what I meant." That book had ten chapters about alternative aspects of...
Published on 22 April 2007 by Marshall Lord

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reveiw
Not my cup of tea. Too anecdotal. I found it difficult to find a particular point i wanted to check.
Published 20 months ago by Beryl


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive guide to avoiding misunderstandings with the opposite sex, 22 April 2007
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Paperback)
This is one of the most usuful books ever written, and far and away the most helpful I have seen on the topic of how men and woman can understand each other better.

Dr Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics; her first book on the subject of communications was called "That's not what I meant." That book had ten chapters about alternative aspects of differing conversationsal styles and the misunderstandings they can cause: one of those ten chapters dealt with gender differences. But as Dr Tannen explains in the preface to this book, 90% of the feedback and requests for interviews or follow-up articles concerning that first book concentrated on 10% of it - the chapter on male-female differences.

The reason is not hard to seek. Differences in geographical origin, profession, race, class or ethnic background can easily be associated with differing communication styles which can lead to misunderstandings. However, we are not forced to build our most important and intimate relationships with people from whom we have such differences, though some choose to. But none of us can avoid having relationships central to our lives with people of the opposite sex. All of us have one parent of the other gender, the 90% of us who are heterosexuals have to look for our life-partners among the other gender, anyone who has a child has a 50% chance of having to raise someone of the other gender.

So Dr Tannen set out to explore communications and misunderstandings between men and women, and this book was the result.

I had been married less than two weeks when my wife and I managed to almost exactly act out one of the first examples of a male-female misunderstanding given in this book. Dr Tannen had presented in a Washington Post article a real-life conversation between a couple in their car.

The wife had asked "Would you like to stop for a drink?" The husband, taking the question literally and precisely at its face value, answered "No". The woman, who had expected her husband to realise that she did want to stop for a drink, was upset because it appeared to her that he ignored her wishes. The man, when it came out later that his wife was upset by this, was equally frustrated, wondering "Why didn't she just say what she wanted?"

Luckily when my wife and I enacted an almost identical conversation, (substituting a chinese takeaway for a drink) she added the comment "I really fancied a chinese" before it was too late to get one. If I had not read this book I might well have been hurt or confused and asked something like "Why didn't you say so in the first place?" As I had, I recognised at that we had fallen into the same pattern as the example in the book and that the problem was easily rectified; we stopped the car to get the takeaway, and avoided what could have developed into a completely unnecessary row. This was the first of a number of occasions when the book has helped us communicate better.

Dr Tannen is at pains to emphasise that she is not suggesting that men's or women's ways of speaking are necessarily better, just different, and that both sexes will be able to communicate more effectively if they have an understanding of those differences.

This book helped me for one to do that, and I strongly recommend it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone hoping to understand the opposite sex., 20 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Paperback)
"You just don't understand" is a very well written book explaining the differences displayed by men and women in conversation. Some of it is common sense but a lot of what Tannen writes about is very eye-opening and explained a lot to me about how my comments would come across to a man and what his comments might mean. Helped me to believe that men are not simply evil, as one may suspect, they just have different styles of conversation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Well Researched and Written!, 24 Aug 2008
I read this book several years ago and found it well researched, written and easy to understand.

Deborah Tannen is a linguist who clearly addresses how and why women and men communicate differently. She explains that women communicate primarily to establish connections and negotiate relationships while men talk as a primary means to preserve independence and to negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical social order. Tannen explains that although women also talk to preserve independence and achieve status, and men communicate to establish connections, it isn't the primary concern or focus of the majority of their conversations.

You Just Don't Understand helps a person to gain a better understanding of his or her own individual communication techniques. A well written, researched, insightful and informative book, You Just Don't Understand, presents the gender difference material in a clear, non-subjective and positive manner. This low-bias approach enhances the quality of the material significantly. The author addresses a number of other issues besides gender differences that govern communication techniques. For example, boys and girls grow up in different worlds and this has a significant effect on how they communicate. Consequently, other issues besides gender differences need to be explored and understood to create an effective dialog between the sexes.

Understanding of linguistic differences promotes better relationships. I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about how men and women communicate.

The Re-Discovery of Common Sense: A Guide To: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God ... It Is Excellent!, 11 Aug 2009
By 
Hassans (New Malden, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
After reading this book, I watched a TV drama and placed a bet with my fellow viewers that the drama was written by a male. We waited for the credits at the end AND BOOM ... I WAS RIGHT! The male writer made the mistake many people do. He didn't empathise with women while writing the dialogue so I caught him red-handed. Some readers may disagree with a portion of the given arguments, but this book is an excellent eye-opener to understand how genders differ in conversation - in a book that remained the No.1 book in New York Times Best-Seller list for several weeks. Greatly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revelation, 6 July 2009
By 
June Flowers (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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"You just don't understand", was a source of real satisfaction to me. I was surprised, amused - indeed shocked by some of its revelations. It helped me to understand my family and friends much better and gave me insight and considerable comfort as I began to comprehend.
I was impressed by the thorough research and strongly recommend it if there are times when your partner's behaviour seems incomprehensible!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be part of the National Curriculum, 28 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Paperback)
A fantatstic book which we should all read. Most of the subject matter is so relevent in daily converstation its a must read.
The discussions and examples of the points is extremely interesting and there are 'so' many issues that can be seen in almost every conversation you have ever had.
My only criticism is that its quite heavy going and 'feels' more like a text book - but then again it probably is!
Well worth reading - some if not all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Paperback)
Brilliant book, I am a psychotherapist and I have purchased many copies for my clients. Such an easy read, she is not a psychologist but a linguist but she has really understood the communication problems between men and woman. I would say that I learned more from this book than any couple training I attended. I am not joking when I say it should be required reading for everyone before we leave school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable insight, 1 April 2011
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Lee Coppack (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Paperback)
I have found the insight on communication Deborah Tannen reveals in this book valuable in work and personal relationships. She makes the important point that if two people communicate in different ways, continuing with the same approach - only trying even harder - won't solve problems when they are at cross purposes.

Tannen has the foundations of research, but uses an easy anecdotal style, which is the book's strength and eventually also its weakness. For me, at least, the bits sized bits do grate eventually and the themes become repetitious, but it's easy enough to stop reading at that point!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Language and Gender, 12 Feb 2011
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As a teacher of English Language - and particularly Language and Gender, I have found Tannen's insights and ideas extremely helpful when attempting to teach A-level students about the way in which gender influences aspects of spoken and written language. A great book to dip into regularly, this text is invaluable for anyone studying this topic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars content out of date, 27 Aug 2014
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A. Tetere (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (Paperback)
Quick delivery; the book in good state; content a bit out-dated in the sense of gender stereotypes.
Still it is good to know the way things were back then, but the 80's logic of male-female relations and gender roles can get on nerves at times.
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You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation
You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen (Paperback - 26 Mar 1992)
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