Deborah Tannen: Ajudando as Mulheres a Usar a Fala a seu Favor

Deborah Tannen é uma autora americana que emplacou inúmeros best sellers desde meados da década de 1980, quando fez seu primeiro sucesso e eu comprei o primeiro livro dela (That’s Not What I Meant! / Não Foi Isso que Eu Quis Dizer!, de 1986). Na verdade, quase tudo que ela escreveu desde então virou um best seller. Entre os livros dela há alguns que são favoritos meus, porque, além de serem de leitura muito agradável, divertida mesmo, foram muito úteis para me fazer entender (ou entender melhor) o estilo conversacional das mulheres em diferentes contextos (questão que é o principal foco dos livros dela):

  • conversa de mulher com o marido ou companheiro;
  • conversa de mulher com a família (marido, filhos & filhas);
  • conversa de mulher com as irmãs em família;
  • conversa de mulher com as grandes amigas;
  • conversa de mulher com homens e outras mulheres, colegas e subordinados, no trabalho;
  • conversa de mulher em espaços públicos de discussão (redes sociais, encontros sociais, etc.);
  • conversa de mulher em geral: gênero e discurso, o estilo conversacional feminino;

Vivendo, como sempre vivi, predominantemente entre mulheres (uma mulher e, felizmente, nenhum marido, duas irmãs e apenas um irmão, quatro filhas e nenhum filho, cinco netas e apenas três netos), a desigualdade numérica é evidente: doze a quatro, proporção de três para um),  ou eu consigo entendê-las um pouco, ou estou perdido… 🙂

Deborah Tannen é professora de Linguística na Georgetown, em Washington, DC, e seu foco, na Linguística, é em Sociolinguística e Psicolinguística.

Seus livros, como salientei, ocupam nichos comunicacionais, e Tannen é especialmente feliz na escolha dos seus títulos, que traduzirei (já o fiz com um) à minha moda. Para a conversa e as discussões intermináveis entre marido e mulher, ela tem dois livros, com títulos sugestivos: Não Foi Isso que Eu Quis Dizer! e Você Simplesmente Não Entende; para discussões em família, com o marido e os filhos: Eu Só lhe Digo isso porque Amo Você; para conversas particulares entre irmãs: Você Sabe que Você Sempre Foi a Filha mais Querida; para conversas com a Best Friend Forever (BFF): Você é a Única para quem Eu Posso Contar Isso; para o ambiente de trabalho: Conversando das 9 às 5; para discussões nas redes sociais: A Cultura do Argumento: Pondo Fim à Guerra com Palavras na América.

No que segue, até o fim do artigo, vou apenas transcrever resumos e comentários, retirados do site da Amazon, de alguns dos livros que tornaram Deborah Tannen famosa, acrescentando uma foto da capa. Esses resumos e comentários infelizmente estão em Inglês: estou sem tempo para traduzi-los. (Quando você tem 76 anos e várias pessoas mais novas começam a morrer ao seu redor, a sensação de que começa a lhe faltar tempo e que, por isso, o seu tempo precisa ser muito bem administrado não é muito confortável.)

Clique no título dos livros para ser levado para o site da Amazon, na página que apresenta o livro.

DT-You Just Dont Understand

You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by HarperCollins Publishers

From the author of New York Times bestseller You’re Wearing That? this bestselling classic work draws upon groundbreaking research by an acclaimed sociolinguist to show that women and men live in different worlds, made of different words.

Women and men live in different worlds… made of different words.

Spending nearly four years on the New York Times bestseller list, including eight months at number one, You Just Don’t Understand is a true cultural and intellectual phenomenon. This is the book that brought gender differences in ways of speaking to the forefront of public awareness. With a rare combination of scientific insight and delightful, humorous writing, Tannen shows why women and men can walk away from the same conversation with completely different impressions of what was said.

Studded with lively and entertaining examples of real conversations, this book gives you the tools to understand what went wrong — and to find a common language in which to strengthen relationships at work and at home. A classic in the field of interpersonal relations, this book will change forever the way you approach conversations.

DT-Thats not what I meant

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

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by HarperCollins Publishers

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.

DT-I Say This Because I Love You

I Only Say This Because I Love You: How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by Random House LLC

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 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.

DT-You Were Alays Mom's Favorite

You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by Random House LLC

Conversations between sisters reveal a deep and constant tug between two dynamics—an impulse toward closeness and an impulse toward competition. It takes just a word from your sister to start you laughing, or to summon up a past you both share. But it also takes just a word to send you into an emotional tailspin. For many women, a sister is both a devoted friend and a fierce rival.

Wise and witty, You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! will leave you with a profound new understanding of the unique and precious sister bond, as well as provide practical advice that will open up communication, dispel tensions, and make a vital connection even stronger, deeper, and more resilient.

DT-You Wearing That?

You’re Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by Random House LLC

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.

With groundbreaking insights, pitch-perfect dialogues, and deeply moving memories of her own mother, Tannen untangles the knots daughters and mothers can get tied up in. Readers will appreciate Tannen’s humor as they see themselves on every page and come away with real hope for breaking down barriers and opening new lines of communication. Eye-opening and heartfelt, You’re Wearing That? illuminates and enriches one of the most important relationships in our lives.

“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.


DT-Youre the Only One I Can Tell

You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by Random House LLC

This warm, wise exploration of female friendship from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of You Just Don’t Understand will help women lean into these powerful relationships.


Best friend, old friend, good friend, bff, college roommate, neighbor, workplace confidante: Women’s friendships are a lifeline in times of trouble and a support system for daily life. A friend can be like a sister, daughter, mother, mentor, therapist, or confessor—or she can be all of these at once. She’s seen you at your worst and celebrates you at your best. Figuring out what it means to be friends is, in the end, no less than figuring out how we connect to other people.

In this illuminating and validating new book, #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Tannen deconstructs the ways women friends talk and how those ways can bring friends closer or pull them apart. From casual chatting to intimate confiding, from talking about problems to telling what you had for dinner, Tannen uncovers the patterns of communication and miscommunication that affect friendships at different points in our lives. She shows how even the best of friends—with the best intentions—can say the wrong thing, and how words can repair the damage done by words. Through Tannen’s signature insight, humor, and ability to present pitch-perfect real-life dialogue, readers will see themselves and their friendships on every page. The book explains

  • the power of women friends who show empathy, give advice—or just listen
  • how women use talk to connect to friends—and to subtly compete
  • how “Fear of Being Left Out” and “Fear of Getting Kicked Out” can haunt women’s friendships
  • how social media is reshaping communication and relationships

Drawing on interviews with eighty women of diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from nine to ninety-seven, You’re the Only One I Can Tell gets to the heart of women’s friendships—how they work or fail, how they help or hurt, and how we can make them better.

“Celebrates friendship in its frustrations and its rewards and, above all, its wonderful complexity.”—The Atlantic

“At a time when the messages we give and get have so many more ways to be misconstrued and potentially damaging, a book that takes apart our language becomes almost vital to our survival as friends.”—The Washington Post.


DT-Gender and DIscourse

Gender and Discourse 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC

Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand spent nearly four years (in cloth and paper) on The New York Times Best Seller list and has sold over a million and a half copies. Clearly, Tannen’s insights into how and why women and men so often misunderstand each other when they talk has touched a nerve. For years a highly respected scholar in the field of linguistics, she has now become widely known for her work on how conversational style differences associated with gender affect relationships. Her life work has demonstrated how close and intelligent analysis of conversation can reveal the extraordinary complexities of social relationships–including relationships between men and women.

Now, in Gender and Discourse, Tannen has gathered together six of her scholarly essays, including her newest and previously unpublished work in which language and gender are examined through the lens of “sex-class-linked” patterns, rather than “sex-linked” patterns. These essays provide a theoretical backdrop to her best-selling books–and an informative introduction which discusses her field of linguistics, describes the research methods she typically uses, and addresses the controversies surrounding her field as well as some misunderstandings of her work. (She argues, for instance, that her cultural approach to gender differences does not deny that men dominate women in society, nor does it ascribe gender differences to women’s “essential nature.”) The essays themselves cover a wide range of topics. In one, she analyzes a number of conversational strategies–such as interruption, topic raising, indirection, and silence–and shows that, contrary to much work on language and gender, no strategy exclusively expresses dominance or submissiveness in conversation–interruption (or overlap) can be supportive, silence and indirection can be used to control. It is the interactional context, the participants’ individual styles, and the interaction of their styles, Tannen shows, that result in the balance of power. She also provides a fascinating analysis of four groups of males and females (second-, sixth-, and tenth-grade students, and twenty-five year olds) conversing with their best friends, and she includes an early article co-authored with Robin Lakoff that presents a theory of conversational strategy, illustrated by analysis of dialogue in Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage.

Readers interested in the theoretical framework behind Tannen’s work will find this volume fascinating. It will be sure to interest anyone curious about the crucial yet often unnoticed role that language and gender play in our daily lives.

DT-Talking from 9 to 5

Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work 

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by HarperCollins Publishers

Your project went off without a hitch–but somebody else got the credit…You averted a crisis brilliantly–but no one noticed…You came to the meeting with a sensational idea–but it was ignored until someone else said the same thing…


In her extraordinary international bestseller, You Just Don’t Understand, Deborah Tannen transformed forever the way we look at intimate relationships between women and men. Now she turns her keen ear and observant eye toward the workplace–where the ways in which men and women communicate can determine who gets heard, who gets ahead, and what gets done.

An instant classic, Talking From 9 to 5 brilliantly explains women’s and men’s conversational rituals–and the language barriers we unintentionally erect in the business world. It is a unique and invaluable guide to recognizing the verbal power games and miscommunications that cause good work to be underappreciated or go unnoticed–an essential tool for promoting more positive and productive professional relationships among men and women.

DT-The Argument Culture

The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War of Words

by Deborah Tannen 

Sold by Random House LLC

In her number one bestseller, You Just Don’t Understand, Deborah Tannen showed why talking to someone of the other sex can be like talking to someone from another world. Her bestseller Talking from 9 to 5 did for workplace communication what You Just Don’t Understand did for personal relationships. Now Tannen is back with another groundbreaking book, this time widening her lens to examine the way we communicate in public–in the media, in politics, in our courtrooms and classrooms–once again letting us see in a new way forces that have been powerfully shaping our lives.

The Argument Culture is about a pervasive warlike atmosphere that makes us approach anything we need to accomplish as a fight between two opposing sides. The argument culture urges us to regard the world–and the people in it–in an adversarial frame of mind. It rests on the assumption that opposition is the best way to get anything done: The best way to explore an idea is to set up a debate; the best way to cover the news is to find spokespeople who express the most extreme, polarized views and present them as “both sides”; the best way to settle disputes is litigation that pits one party against the other; the best way to begin an essay is to oppose someone; and the best way to show you’re really thinking is to criticize and attack.

Sometimes these approaches work well, but often they create more problems than they solve. Our public encounters have become more and more like having an argument with a spouse: You’re not trying to understand what the other person is saying; you’re just trying to win the argument. But just as spouses have to learn ways of settling differences without inflicting real damage on each other, so we, as a society, have to find constructive and creative ways of resolving disputes and differences. Public discussions require making an argument for a point of view, not having an argument–as in having a fight.

The war on drugs, the war on cancer, the battle of the sexes, politicians’ turf battles–in the argument culture, war metaphors pervade our talk and shape our thinking. Tannen shows how deeply entrenched this cultural tendency is, the forms it takes, and how it affects us every day–sometimes in useful ways, but often causing, rather than avoiding, damage. In the argument culture, the quality of information we receive is compromised, and our spirits are corroded by living in an atmosphere of unrelenting contention.

Tannen explores the roots of the argument culture, the role played by gender, and how other cultures suggest alternative ways to negotiate disagreement and mediate conflicts–and make things better, in public and in private, wherever people are trying to resolve differences and get things done. The Argument Culture is a remarkable book that will change forever the way you perceive the world. You will listen to our public voices in a whole new way.

É isto. Se ainda não conhece Deborah Tannen, descubra-a. Você vai gostar e aprender muito!

Em Salto, 21 de Novembro de 2019

Categories: Conversation, Discourse, Talk, Women

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