Deborah Tannen Quotes
23 Sourced Quotes
The one who decides who goes ahead has the upper hand, regardless of who gets to go. This is why many women do not feel empowered by such privileges as having doors held open for them. The advantage of going first through the door is less salient to them than the disadvantage of being granted the right to walk through a door by someone who is framed, by his magnanimous gesture, as the arbiter of the right-of-way.
The argument culture urges us to approach the world-and the people in it-in an adversarial frame of mind. It rests on the assumption that opposition is the best way to get anything done: Conflict and opposition are as necessary as cooperation and agreement, but the scale is off balance, with conflict and opposition over-weighted.
When those closest to us respond to events differently than we do, when they seem to see the same scene as part of a different play, when they say things that we could not imagine saying in the same circumstances, the ground on which we stand seems to tremble and our footing is suddenly unsure.