Added: Tamarah Escalera - Date: 30.11.2021 17:51 - Views: 18021 - Clicks: 9060
When Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University, was in grade school, one of her best friends abruptly stopped talking to her. Tannen and the friend, Susan, had done everything together: They had lunch together, made trips to the library together, did afterschool activities in their New York City neighborhood of Greenwich Village together.
Then, one day, Susan cut her off. Tannen recounted this story as part of a talk Tuesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which the Aspen Institute co-hosts with The Atlantic, about the sociology of friendships. Specifically, her lecture was about the gender differences that inform how people relate to and engage with others close to them, as based on her new book You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships.
Women, Tannen has found in her research, are far less inclined than men to explain their reason for breaking up with a friend. If the woman were to vent to a female friend instead, though, that friend would likely request more context and ask how the issue makes her feel before jumping into her feedback.
So whatever happened with Susan?
Tannen decided to track her down as she was finishing up You're the Only One I Can Tell —doing so was necessary for the sake of research, Tannen reasoned half-jokingly. So, worried that her parents would punish her by forcing her into an arranged marriage right after high school, Susan cut Tannen out; Susan wanted to go to college instead, and to choose her own husband after that.
Today, Susan and Tannen are friends again. And the new friendship is likely just as gratifying as it was when they were in grade school. Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword.
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