The other day the WSJ has an interesting article on the differences in how the friendships between men and women are different. The gist of the article is that male friendships are “side by side” – doing things together – whereas friendships between women are “face to face” – sharing feeling with each other. As is always the case with this type of research, there are some choice insights that we can all relate to… “Two female strangers in a public restroom would share more personal information in five minutes than you guys talked about in a week!”
This is right in line with the work Deborah Tannen has done on the relationships and interpersonal communication of men and women. A great example of this work can be found in her book “You Just Don’t Understand: Conversations between Men and Women.” She’s often knocked for being on the side of easily accessible, pop psychology, but her insights are relevant nevertheless and she does a great job of illustrating her concepts with a plethora of real life anecdotes. Some of her more recent work which I haven;’t had the opportunity to read is focused on the relationships between mothers, daughters and sisters. Her books also make great summer beach reading if you are looking for something funny, accessible, light and informative this summer.