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Extended Audio Sample You’re Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation, by Deborah Tannen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (634 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Tannen Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jess | 2/18/2014

    " So I was 2/3 of the way through this book when I went to my sister's house in Colorado. Four generations of women (Grandmother, Mother, two sisters, and three nieces) were staying under the same roof for a three day weekend. I could not believe how spot on Deborah Tannen was with her insights into "metamessages" and the pitfalls we all have with the women we love. She at least gets the daughter end right. I've yet to have personal experience on the mother end. The first few chapters were tough to get through, but persevere. It's worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rynell | 2/12/2014

    " A good book, some parts felt redundant though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alex Baker | 2/11/2014

    " I have to, first and foremost, admit that some of the reason I rated this book as only three stars had to do with the fact that it probably wasn't written for someone like me. Although I have a very close relationship with my mother, and many of the things in the book did, in fact, apply to my relationship with her, the focal point was the relationship between mothers and daughters, not mothers and sons. With that said, I still thought there were some really good things in the book. I particularly liked the chapter about mothers and daughters being worst enemies, as it exposed some of the things I thought had been lacking up to that point: namely, the assumption that perhaps not all argument-initiating comments were meant harmlessly, and that some were perhaps meant maliciously, as ways to control. I also like the final chapter, which (ironically) I liked because it stated just the opposite: that often times comments that seem like criticism may just need a reframe, or clarification with questions and metaconversation. My biggest criticism with this book is simply that I think Tannen consistently takes too much of the perspective of the daughter, failing to account for the emotional and psychological struggles of the mother. It would seem that this could be a result of a few different things. For one, Tannen seams to glean many of her examples from account by her students, which would probably be predominantly daughters, or at least not mothers with adult daughters themselves (since mother/adult daughter interactions are the focal point of the book). Another aspect might be because Tannen never had a daughter of her own. I don't know this, but having so commonly mentioned her mother and not her daughter, one might assume this to be true. In any case, I found myself wanting to advocate for the mothers as I read the book, despite the fact that Tannen even mentions that she tries extra-hard to be even-handed in this respect. She still falls a bit short in my opinion. With that said, I very much recommend this to daughters struggling with their mothers for reasons they might not fully understand, as it may shed some light on a) reasons their troubles are forming, and b) things they might do to fix it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marisa | 2/10/2014

    " an interesting take on mother-daughter relationships that i think any mom or daughter can probably relate to. "

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