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" The long history of conversations that family members share contributes not only to how listeners interpret words but also to how speakers choose them. "
" Each underestimates her own power and overestimates the other's. "
" One of the first studies in the field of gender and language, by Don H. Zimmerman and Candace West in 1975, found that in casual conversations between women and men, women were interrupted far more often. "
" If women talk in ways expected of them or project a feminine demeanor, it's seen as weak. But if they talk in ways associated with men or bosses, then they're seen as too aggressive. Whatever they do violates one or the other expectation: either you're not talking as you should as a woman or as boss. "
" Women as mothers grapple with corresponding contradictions. The adoration they feel for their grown daughters, mixed with the sense of responsibility for their well-being, can be overwhelming, matched only by the hurt they feel when their attempts to help or just stay connected are rebuffed or even excoriated as criticism or devilish interference. "
" All of us aspire to be powerful, and we all want to connect with others. "
" The trickiest thing about the double bind is that it operates imperceptibly, like shots from a gun with a silencer. "
" We tend to assume that we have a baseline of speech that's going to be normal in all contexts, but the truth is, we all change our ways of speaking depending on who we're talking to. And so I think it's kind of a gesture of politeness to the people you're speaking to to try to say something in their own idiom. "
" I wouldn't say that it's hard for sisters to treat each other with respect. Many do. "
" American popular culture, like individuals in daily life, tends to either romanticize or demonize mothers. We ricochet between 'Everything I ever accomplished I owe to my mother' and 'Every problem I have in my life is my mother's fault.' "
" Many mothers or daughters assume that words only mean one thing. 'If I feel criticised, that has to be the whole story', and 'if I feel I am being helpful, that has to be the whole story'. "
" A sister is someone who owns part of what you own: a house, perhaps, or a less tangible legacy, like memories of your childhood and the experience of your family. "
" It is easy to understand why conflict is so often highlighted: Writers of headlines or promotional copy want to catch attention and attract an audience. They are usually under time pressure, which lures them to established, conventionalized ways of expressing ideas in the absence of leisure to think up entirely new ones. "
" Why don't men like to stop and ask directions? This question, which I first addressed in my 1990 book 'You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation', garnered perhaps the most attention of any issue or insight in that book. "
" Now I am married to a man who is a partner and friend. We come from similar backgrounds and share values and interests. It is a continual source of pleasure to talk to him. "
" I was one of those daughters who saw my mother as my enemy when I was a teen. "
" The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation - or a relationship. "
" Mothers subject their daughters to a level of scrutiny people usually reserve for themselves. A mother's gaze is like a magnifying glass held between the sun's rays and kindling. It concentrates the rays of imperfection on her daughter's yearning for approval. The result can be a conflagration - whoosh. "
" The double bind lowers its boom on women in positions of authority, so those who haven't yet risen to such positions have not yet felt its full weight. "
" The dynamic of fathers and sons seems to be more around competition regarding things such as knowledge, accomplishments, expertise. "
" I think of myself as a writer as much as I think of myself as a linguist and an academic. I really enjoy writing - playing with language and getting just the right metaphor. "
" Back when the powerful 19th-century senator Henry Clay was called 'the great compromiser,' achieving a compromise really was considered great. "
" We all know we are unique individuals, but we tend to see others as representatives of groups. "
" When evidence emerged that Clinton was a devoted mother, Margaret Carlson writing in 'TIME' found her guilty of 'yuppie overdoting on her daughter.' "
" The effect of dominance is not always the result of an intention to dominate. "
" In my own writing, I avoid 'female' and try to say 'woman' because I feel that the word 'female' has connotations of not just biology but also non-human mammals. The idea of 'female' to me is more appropriate for a female animal. "
" Conversations with sisters can spark extremes of anger or extremes of love. Everything said between sisters carries meaning not only from what was just said but from all the conversations that came before - and 'before' can span a lifetime. The layers of meaning combine profound connection with equally profound competition. "
" Conflict and opposition are as necessary as cooperation and agreement, but the scale is off balance, with conflict and opposition overweighted. "
" If you talk to your friends the way your parents talk, they will think you are stiff and odd. "
" Sisters, to me, are fascinating because it is a unique connection of the coming together of connection and competition. The fact that you have these age differences is a built-in power struggle, and the fact that you're all trying to get attention and resources from the same parents creates competition. "
" A sister is like yourself in a different movie, a movie that stars you in a different life. "