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I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Sibs, and Kids When You're All Adults Paperback – May 28, 2002
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"Tannen has a marvelous ear for the way real people express themselves and a scientist's command of the inner structure of speech and human relationships."
—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times
"Goes a long way toward explaining why perfectly wonderful men and women behave in ways that baffle their partners."
— Judy Mann, The Washington Post
"This book, written by a linguistics expert so you have to believe she knows what she's talking about could be the Rosetta Stone that deciphers the miscommunication between the sexes."
— Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
"This book will help many put their problems of communication with the opposite sex in manageable perspective."
— Ruth Rose, The New York Times Book Review
"Deborah Tannen combines a novelist's ear for the way people speak with a rare power of original analysis. It is this that makes her an extraordinary sociolinguist, and... her book such a fascinating look at that crucial social cement, conversation."
— Oliver Sacks
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
This eye-opening book explains why grown women so often feel criticized by their mothers; and why mothers feel they can't open their mouths around their grown daughters; why growing up male or female, or as an older or younger sibling, results in different experiences of family that persist throughout our lives; and much, much more. By helping us to understand and redefine family talk, Tannen provides the tools to improve relationships with family members of every age.
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Top Customer Reviews
This really is an enlightening book. What it does do, is explain what goes on in a particular aspect of any family - she explains how family arguments and conversations work, why some things are said but other left unsaid, and provides some suggestions and advice for going back and fixing some of those misunderstandings. She provides a really comprehensive overview of whole family setups, organizations, and tons of possible situations.
She doesn't say "here's how to fix your problems - they shall all be solved". She can't - she's not your own psychologist. But there is so much information to work with, that for a majority of families this will definitely provide a really good and solid basis for reconciling, and even allowing family members to start talking to each other civily again.
Tannen has done tons of research, and provides many examples from all types of families throughout the whole book - grandparents, partners, families with children, families without children, cross-culture families, etc.. I do have to completely agree with another reader that the examples Tannen gives could have been plucked straight from my life. I found one line in particular that could actually explain away years of misunderstanding between two whole branches of my family, myself included. It's also a very fast read - I read it through in just a few days, and I'm a slow reader.
If anyone in your family is even remotely having difficulties talking to others in your family, you should buy this book. I can't tell you how much it's helped me already. Had to buy two more copies of the book for other family members to "borrow".
Deborah Tannen explains so logically how linguistics can cause all types of mixed messages during an interaction with someone. Even when our intentions are good, it's now easy to see how we could be misinterpreted and how fights and long held grudges could be avoided or amended.
Because of this book, I now have an objective, aerial view of situations before they get out of hand with flying accusations. Deborah Tannen has given me insight into "enemy camp" and I realize now that someone I perceive as my enemy, may not be after all. That's a huge relief and a sure recipe for less painful drama in my life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a very happy girl that I finally got this book before class startedPublished 5 months ago by RAE
I found Tannen early and she convinced me that genderlects existed. I read this book just to see what new information I could glean. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Larry G. Brandt
I can't comment on the book itself as I ordered it for a gift for someone else. But I will say that it arrived fast and was exactly what was advertised.Published on January 10, 2011 by Jazierae
Very good! Helps you to see the complicated dynamics in family matters.
It was recommended to me by a counselor at my church. She uses it in