That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships

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9780062062994: That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships

“Tannen combines a novelist’s ear for the way people speak with a rare power of original analysis....Fascinating.”
—Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and The Mind’s Eye

In That’s Not What I Meant!, Deborah Tannen, renowned communication expert and author of the New York Times bestsellers You’re Wearing THAT? and You Just Don’t Understand, explores how conversational styles can make or break interpersonal relationships at home, at work, or at play. Fans of her books and the healthily curious reader interested in popular psychology, feminism, linguistics, or social sciences will be fascinated by Tannen’s remarkable insights into unintentional conversational confusion.  That’s Not What I Meant! is an essential guide to recognizing and adjusting what we say and how we are saying it in order to strengthen or save a relationship.

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From the Back Cover:

At home, on the job, in a personal relationship, it's often not what you say but how you say it that counts.

Deborah Tannen revolutionized our thinking about relationships between women and men in her #1 bestseller You Just Don't Understand. In That's Not What I Meant!, the internationally renowned sociolinguist and expert on communication demonstrates how our conversational signals—voice level, pitch and intonation, rhythm and timing, even the simple turns of phrase we choose—are powerful factors in the success or failure of any relationship. Regional speech characteristics, ethnic and class backgrounds, age, and individual personality all contribute to diverse conversational styles that can lead to frustration and misplaced blame if ignored—but provide tools to improve relationships if they are understood.

At once eye-opening, astute, and vastly entertaining, Tannen's classic work on interpersonal communication will help you to hear what isn't said and to recognize how your personal conversational style meshes or clashes with others. It will give you a new understanding of communication that will enable you to make the adjustments that can save a conversation . . . or a relationship.

From the Inside Flap:

"We are, all of us, foreigners to each other: editor and writer, man and woman, Californian and New Yorker, friend and friend. Dr. Tannen shows us how different we are, and how to speak the same language."
Jack Rosenthal
Pultizer Prize winner and editor
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Deborah Tannen, who revolutionaized our thinking about relationships between women and men in her bestsller YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND, shows that conversational confusion between the sexes is only part of the picture. In THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT!, Dr. Tannen shows that growing up in different parts of the country, having different ethnic and class backgrounds, even age and indvidual personality, all contribute to different conversational styles. Entertaining and informative, this is an essential complement to psychological theories of human behavior. No one who has read Deborah Tannen's fascinating look at women and men will want to miss a word of it!

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