Men and Women as Communicators

A review of the book “You Just Don’t Understand by Deborah Tannen, on communication.

This paper analyzes Deborah Tannen’s theory that men and women communicate differently based on the different ways men and women perceive things, from her book You Just Don’t Understand`. For men, communication is a way of maintaining status, developing a hierarchy and giving orders. In contrast, women communicate for interpersonal connections, to achieve a sense of community and to maintain equal status. This paper evaluates the possibility that such a complex subject like communication can be separated into two distinct categories so easily and whether this approach shows a stereotype that can be applied to all people.
`There may be an overall trend towards women preferring to communicate for a certain reason, but this does not mean that every woman is the same. Accepting this view and believing that men and women can be understood so easily is a major error in judgment. It is also worth noting that in most communications it is not one person communicating with the other gender as a whole. It is one person communicating with one individual. For this communication to be most effective, the people need to make an effort to understand the perspective of each other. Attaching generalized meanings to the communication does not help with this. Another area overlooked is other characteristics that impact on a person’s perspective.”