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Deborah Tannen

Each person's life is lived as a series of conversations.

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Each underestimates her own power and overestimates the other's.

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Relationships are made of talk - and talk is for girls and women.

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We tend to look through language and not realize how much power language has.

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We all know we are unique individuals, but we tend to see others as representatives of groups.

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The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation - or a relationship.

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For most women, the language of conversation is primarily a language of rapport: a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships.

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Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence. To survive in the world, we have to act in concert with others, but to survive as ourselves, rather than simply as cogs in a wheel, we have to act alone.

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