Mother Daughter

Topics: The Reader, Family, Daughter Pages: 2 (478 words) Published: March 1, 2015
The relationship between a mother and a daughter is one that will never be understood by outsiders. Mothers and daughters can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies and you never know which of those two options will be prevalent on any given day. Deborah Tannen recognizes this difficult relationship cannot exist without all of its complexities, for better or for worse. Communication is the largest part of a mother-daughter relationship. “For girls and women, talk is the glue that holds a relationship together—and the explosive that can blow it apart” (Tannen 1) Women are thinkers. Analytical by nature, they read into everything that is said and this can easily lead to a misunderstanding, especially when what is said comes from a mother. Whether a daughter wishes to admit it or not, there will always be a part of them that looks up to their mother, or at least views them as a role-model in some way, be it “I want to be like my mother when I grow up” or “I do not want to be like my mother when I grow up.” A daughter will always be looking to their mother for silent guidance on how to think and act. It is because of this that a mother’s opinion matters so much to a daughter—daughters never want their mothers to be disappointed in them. It is this relationship that makes mothers and daughters both powerful and powerless. Tannen comments that mothers and daughters both overestimate each-others’ power and underestimate their own. By this, she means that a mother does not always realize the power her words can have over her daughter and vice versa. But at the same time, there is a stubbornness in mothers and daughters that leaves the other feeling completely powerless when it comes to influence. It all comes back to communication. Tannen gives examples that all point to one problem—one woman makes a comment that wounds the other, thus causing the wounded to shut the “antagonist” off. In short, there is a flaw in the communication. What Tannen is trying to help...
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