James Tobin, Ph.D.             

Parent Guidance 
Organizational Consulting

The Men's Group  

Deborah Tannen's Work on Communication Rituals, Signals, and Conversational Styles

Author of the best-selling work "That's Not What I Meant: How Conversational Styles Make or Break Relationships," Deborah Tannen is perhaps the nation's leading expert on the role of gender, culture, and ritual in communication patterns.  Her work is especially useful for men, as men often struggle with the divergent conversational styles of women and tend to misperceive what is actually being communicated due to an exaggerated focus on content as opposed to other characteristics of the dialogue.  Tannen describes numerous dialectics ("status vs. support," "independence vs. intimacy," "advice vs. understanding," "information vs. feelings," "orders vs. proposals," and "conflict vs. compromise") which often play a role in men's capacity to understand and be understood by others, especially women with whom they are romantically involved.  In the next meeting of the Men's Group (10:45 AM to 12:00 PM noon) on Saturday, January 17, 2015, I will present Tannen's work.  To gain exposure to her thinking, please review a brief excerpt of Tannen's writing as well as the following youtube videos: video 1, video 2, and video 3.  A detailed review of her book is also compelling. 


The Dating and Relationship Group

Attribution Tendencies in Romantic Relationships

The human mind seeks to explain and find meaning in all events and circumstances, especially those occurring in the context of romantic relationships.  Because our partners consistently act in ways that are surprising and difficult to understand, we construct and attribute a narrative to their behavior in order to comprehend and, ultimately, accept it psychologically and emotionally.  Yet these attribution narratives are often biased, exaggerated, and oversimplified, which means that in most romantic relationships we gradually but inevitably misperceive, and are misperceived by, our partners.  These misperceptions frequently become quite rigid and ultimately lead to the demise of many relationships.  In the next meeting of the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, January 17, 2015 (12:00 to 1:15 PM), I will describe how these attributions become organized and emerge as a troublesome dynamic in relationships.  I will also offer recommendations as to how to perceive your partner more accurately and combat erroneous attributions when you partner uses them to perceive you. 


To Register to Attend: 

If you would like to attend either or both groups on Saturday, January 17, 2015, please RSVP ASAP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or jt@jamestobinphd.com. There is a limit of 14 attendees for each group and registrants will be accommodated on a first-come/first-serve basis.  The fee is $25.00 and the location is The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  
James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 | jt@jamestobinphd.com 
Website: jamestobinphd.com
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