This warm, wise exploration of female friendship from the #1 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.
Advance praise for You’re the Only One I Can Tell
“[Deborah] Tannen addresses women’s tendency to seek and make bonds, the way secrets and talk of personal troubles can act as currency in this process, the subtle balance between connection and competition between female friends, and much more. . . . [Her] extensive research and writing, full of thought-provoking questions along with facts, are sure to hook readers enticed by her rich topic.”—Booklist
Praise for Deborah Tannen
You’re Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation
“Tannen doesn’t just point out the pitfalls of the mother-daughter relationship, she also provides guidance for changing the conversations.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Tannen has a gifted ear for the meaning behind the words. She helps us hear what we are really saying.”—The Baltimore Sun
“The effect of [Tannen’s] anecdotes and analysis is to reassure her readers that they are not alone.”—The Wall Street Journal
You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation
“Utterly fascinating . . . a classic in the field.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Refreshing . . . vivid examples and lively prose.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Tannen has a marvelous ear for the way real people express themselves, and a scientist’s command of the inner structures of speech and human relationships.”—Los Angeles Times