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.
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|Title of eBook: I Only Say This Because I Love You|
|Release Date: 07-31-2001|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||I Only Say This...|
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I Only Say This Because I Love You
"I Can't Even Open My Mouth"
Separating Messages from Metamessages in Family Talk
Do you really need another piece of cake?" Donna asks George.
"You bet I do," he replies, with that edge to his voice that implies, "If I wasn't sure I needed it before, I am darned sure now."
Donna feels hamstrung. She knows that George is going to say later that he wished he hadn't had that second piece of cake.
"Why are you always watching what I eat?" George asks.
"I was just watching out for you," Donna replies. "I only say it because I love you."
Elizabeth, in her late twenties, is happy to be making Thanksgiving dinner for her extended family in her own home. Her mother, who is visiting, is helping out in the kitchen. As Elizabeth pre- pares the stuffing for the turkey, her mother remarks, "Oh, you put onions in the stuffing?"
Feeling suddenly as if she were sixteen years old again, Elizabeth turns on her mother and says, "I'm making the stuffing, Mom. Why do you have to criticize everything I do?"
"I didn't criticize," her mother replies. "I just asked a question. What's got into you? I can't even open my mouth."
The allure of family which is, at heart, the allure of love is to have someone who knows you so well that you don't have to explain yourself. It is the promise of someone who cares enough about you to protect you against the world of strangers who do not wish you well. Yet, by an odd and cruel twist, it is the family itself that often causes pain. Those we love are lo...