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Gender Differences

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Essay title: Gender Differences

Men and women’s roles in relationships are different from one another. The differences between men and women affect the way they communicate with each other. By having gender differences Deborah Tannen reveals the affect on the communication patterns in an essay called “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers”. The author demonstrates how the misunderstanding between men and women affects the patterns in relationships. While many patterns and roles played a role in the essay, childhood lifestyle, the misunderstanding between the two, the misinterpretation, the strong silent type of men and the arguments that lead to understanding played more of a significant role.

Due to the early ages of childhood, men and women often have different lifestyles growing up. They learn how to make conversations by peers and hanging with their own sexes. Tannen points out how both boys and girls socialize differently, “Little girls tend to play in small groups or, even more common, pairs. Little boys tend to play in larger groups, often out doors, and they spend more time doing things than talking” (361). While growing up, girls becoming women often want a boy becoming a man to be a someone to tell secrets to, talk to and be a new best friend,. Men, when growing up often want someone who will do things together and won’t be hurt when not having a heart-to-heart conversation. Tannen believes by having different lifestyles as children create why men and women are different in communicating.

The in-congruency expectations from both men and women are causing misunderstanding, misunderstanding between the two, which causes them differences in relationships. When men and women communicate, women often tune into metamessages more than men. Tannen states in relationships “Women feel, “After all this time, you show know what I want without my telling you.” Men feel, “After all this time, we should be able to tell each other what we want” (355). Due to women wanting to be understood without saying what they mean gives them more involvement while men want more independence. Thus this states why women are attuned to metamessages because their involvement towards circumstances. Tannen believes by engaging into a conversation without verbalizing what the meaning is, has the usage of metamessages. This gets more people involved in relationships. By tuning into metamessages, Tannen believes men and women will play a significant role in relationships.

Due to men and women’s differences in communication, Tannen expresses her idea of gender differences and the affect on the communication patterns. When interpreting meaning, men and women often pick up signals, signals that were not intentionally sent out. Due to women and men seeing different assumptions: “It is difficult to straighten out such misunderstandings because each one feels convinced of the logic of his or her position and the illogic-or irresponsibly- of the other’s” (357). Tannen considers relationships between two people should know one another well enough to having to interpret communication when needed. The misinterpretation of two people talking puts blame, accusation, and allegation on the other, which builds up their own strength, strong point and assumptions. Tannen makes precise statements about men and women’s approaches on communication styles of different matters. The misunderstanding which leads two people to argue makes them interpret communication styles differently.

Another reason why Tannen believes gender differences affect the communication between the two is due to men not talking in relationships. Women are more dissatisfied, displeased and unhappy because of men’s lack of communication. Tannen deliberates: “Many women find the strong silent type to be a lure as a lover but a lug as a husband” (360). Meaning women’s expectations are higher for a man rather than just being a lover. Men’s communication styles as the “Silent type” is devastating to women. The significance of talk itself plays a role why gender differences affect the patterns.


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