The Difference Approach

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  • Created on: 16-01-14 19:01

The Difference Approach, Deborah Tannen

3. Advice versus understanding

Deborah Tannen claims that, to many men a complaint is a challenge to find a solution:

‘When my mother tells my father she doesn't feel well, he invariably offers to take her to the doctor. Invariably, she is disappointed with his reaction. Like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy.’

4. Information versus feelings

Historically, men's concerns were seen as more important than those of women, but today this situation may be reversed so that the giving of information is considered of less value than sharing of emotions and elaboration.

5. Orders versus proposals

Women often suggest that people do things in indirect ways – ‘let's’, ‘why don't we?’ or ‘wouldn't it be good, if we...?’ Men may use, and prefer to hear, a direct imperative.

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