“The ‘metamessages’–implications behind the spoken words–she decodes in You’re Wearing THAT? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation are so familiar, it hurts when you laugh.” –Cathleen Medwick, O Magazine
Deborah Tannen’s groundbreaking book You Just Don’t Understand improved male-female relationships about, oh, 100 percent. Now she’s poised to do the same for moms and daughters in You’re Wearing THAT? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. Listen, and get ready to make peace! –Kimberly Tranell, Glamour
“The illuminating extracts from mother-daughter colloquies that she cites bring to life both the soothing ointment and the ripped-open scars possible in interchanges on … age-old sources of conflict for this extraordinarily intense kind of relationship.” –Whitney Scott
“Tannen analyzes and decodes scores of conversations between moms and daughters. These exchanges are so real they can make you squirm as you relive the last fraught conversation you had with your own mother or daughter. But Tannen doesn’t just point out the pitfalls of the mother-daughter relationship, she also provides guidance for changing the conversations (or the way that we feel about the conversations) before they degenerate into what Tannen calls a mutually aggravating spiral, a “self-perpetuating cycle of escalating responses that become provocations.” – The San Francisco Chronicle—
Deborah Tannen’s #1 New York Times bestseller You Just Don’t Understand revolutionized communication between women and men. Now, in her most provocative and engaging book to date, she takes on what is potentially the most fraught and passionate connection of women’s lives: the mother-daughter relationship.
It was Tannen who first showed us that men and women speak different languages. Mothers and daughters speak the same language–but still often misunderstand each other, as they struggle to find the right balance between closeness and independence. Both mothers and daughters want to be seen for who they are but tend to see the other as falling short of who she should be. Each overestimates the other’s power and underestimates her own.
Why do daughters complain that their mothers always criticize, while mothers feel hurt that their daughters shut them out? Why do mothers and daughters critique each other on the Big Three–hair, clothes, and weight–while longing for approval and understanding? And why do they scrutinize each other for reflections of themselves?
Deborah Tannen answers these and many other questions as she explains why a remark that would be harmless coming from anyone else can cause an explosion when it comes from your mother or your daughter. She examines every aspect of this complex dynamic, from the dark side that can shadow a woman throughout her life to the new technologies like e-mail and instant messaging that are transforming mother-daughter communication. Most important, she helps mothers and daughters understand each other, the key to improving their relationship.