Communication Between Men and Women
English Composition 101
November 5, 2013
The most powerful essay that I have read to date from Patterns of College Writing would be â€œSex, Lies, and Conversationâ€ by Deborah Tannen. In her essay, she talks about how men and women have very different communication styles and how this can adversely affect marriage if a common ground communication style is not reached. Political scientist, Andrew Hacker, says â€œGiven the current divorce rate of nearly 50 percent, that amounts to millions of case in the United States each year, a virtual epidemic of failed conversationâ€ (Tannen, 2012, p. 423-424). Tannen says â€œalthough ...view middle of the document...
This tendency of men to face away can give women the impression that they are not listening even when they are. Tannen also observed that while girls tended to talk at length about one specific topic, boys had a tendency to jump from one topic to another. This habit of boys and men also gives women the impression that he is not listening to her, especially when men switch to a topic about themselves. Tannen point out that when a men switches topics, he is merely expressing his feelings and when he is silent, he is allowing her to have her say without interruption. Knowing this will help to improve the quality of conversation between genders.
The second point made by Tannen in her essay is how body language is commonly misunderstood between genders. She found that often times when women tell men â€œYou arenâ€™t listeningâ€ and men respond with â€œI amâ€ usually they are listening. This impression that women get comes from misinterpretation of physical positions. Women often let their speaker know that they are paying attention by making what are known as â€œlistener-noisesâ€ such as â€œuh-huhâ€, â€œyeahâ€, and â€œmhmâ€. They will also acknowledge the speaker by nodding their head or by giving a verbal response. Men more often give silent attention which can cause women to want to end the conversation. Women sometimes perceive silent attention as belittling or unsupportive. When women talk to one another, they often overlap, finish each otherâ€™s sentences and anticipate what the other will say. This type of â€œparticipatory listenershipâ€ is often seen by men as interruption, intrusion, or lack of attention. Recognizing these differences in body language can begin to clarify why men...