Final. Book Review

Final. Book Review - Erin Moss 12/5/11, Interpersonal...

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Erin Moss 12/5/11, Interpersonal Communication Earl-Johnson Book Review Ever have those conversations with someone you just met but it feels like you’ve known them your whole life? Conflictingly, ever have those conversations with another where it seems like no matter what you do, the conversation just doesn’t work? These are precisely the topics discussed in Deborah Tannen’s book That’s Not What I Meant! How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Your Relations with Others . For as long as humanity has existed, there have been people that do not get along with each other. On some occasions there is a blatant, specific reason for conflict or dislike, but often there is misguided blame on personalities rather than communication styles. Anyone who has contact with another human being can benefit from this book. The intended audience, not necessarily highly educated, possibly the average Joe, can be anybody who feels like taking a step back and learning how to more efficiently communicate with others. Typically this may be more women than men, but it is not exclusively aimed so. Communication styles differ between people because of culture, language, childhood, gender, etc. The significance of style differences comes from what is meant to be said by the sender as compared to what is interpreted by the receiver. In That’s Not What I Meant , Tannen successfully pinpoints different characteristics and styles that cause a conversation to go swimmingly or disastrous. The book is broken up into 4 sections main sections, with more specific chapters within. Section I, Linguistics and Conversational Style, directly discusses the basic building blocks of conversation and problems that arise. The reason people strive for social situations at times and reject is at others can be explained by Tannen herself, “We are individual
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and social creatures. We need people to survive, but we want to survive as individuals.” We want that social attachment to feel like someone understands us, but we also need our independence. She talks about the “metamessage”; the message behind the words. This can be inferred by the
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course COMMRC 0530 taught by Professor C.earl-johnson during the Fall '11 term at Pittsburgh.

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Final. Book Review - Erin Moss 12/5/11, Interpersonal...

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