You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives

You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives

Deborah Tannen

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0345496973

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Conversations between sisters reveal a deep and constant tug between two dynamics—an impulse toward closeness and an impulse toward competition. It takes just a word from your sister to start you laughing, or to summon up a past you both share. But it also takes just a word to send you into an emotional tailspin. For many women, a sister is both a devoted friend and a fierce rival.

Wise and witty, You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! will leave you with a profound new understanding of the unique and precious sister bond, as well as provide practical advice that will open up communication, dispel tensions, and make a vital connection even stronger, deeper, and more resilient.

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conversations by saying “I love you.” But whether or not those words are spoken, we gauge how much others care not through messages but through metamessages. Messages are meanings of the words spoken; anyone with a dictionary and grammar book can decipher them. Metamessages are meanings we glean from the way things are said, the fact that they’re said, or what is not said. Every word spoken has meaning on both levels. Whenever we talk to someone we’re close to, we’re listening for and sending

and then pass it on, in a continual cycle. The sisters agreed this was a fine solution, and one of them took possession of the bracelet for the first year. Happy as this ending was, it wasn’t the ending. When the sisters next gathered, the one who had gotten the bracelet first brought out three jewelry boxes. “I didn’t feel comfortable having the bracelet while you two didn’t,” she said. “So I found the jeweler who made it for Mom and had him make two more.” Each box contained an identical

excepts. Cindy’s children would have been happy to share a room with their cousins, but not a bed! And the only room with twin beds had been commandeered by the third sister, Betty, because she and her husband couldn’t sleep in a double bed. So Cindy felt that it wasn’t her children’s needs that had required the extra room. Furthermore, she’d had the highest travel expenses, because she and her family had had to fly and rent a car, whereas her sisters had been able to drive. Then there was the

her mother and older sister, her sister always sat in the front while she rode in the back. This seating arrangement positioned the older sister beside their mother, so of course they’d be talking to each other. Anyone sitting in the backseat would feel excluded in this situation, but the woman who told me this is Deaf, so her exclusion was even more profound. From the perspective of a younger sister in the backseat, sitting in front is one more way that the oldest has a special relationship with

spouses than it is when spouses aren’t there. They did not grow up with you and may not share your sense of humor or conversational habits such as rhythm, timing, directness, and so on. They certainly don’t share your memories. And if your spouse or partner is with you, you might worry about him or her. For these reasons, many sisters told me that they take time together without partners or spouses. Some plan trips together at regular intervals. If that’s not possible, they take a day to go

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