It can be the best of relationships and the worst of relationships — often at the same time. The bond between a mother and daughter is one of the strongest, but it’s also among the most complicated.
Best-selling author and relationship guru Deborah Tannen spent five years listening to conversations between mothers and daughters to sort through some of the friction and confusion for her latest book, You’re Wearing That?
“Mothers and daughters talk more, talk about more personal topics. That means they may be closer, but they also risk offending each other much more,” Tannen told “20/20’s” JuJu Chang.
You’re Wearing That?
Even Tannen, who’s had a terrifically successful career, has been offended by her mother. After she appeared on “Oprah,” Tannen said her mom made a comment that stung. Tannen recalled her mom’s jab: “You’re wearing that same suit? You wore that suit on the other show.”
That critical comment gave Tannen a great title for her new book on mothers and daughters: You’re Wearing That?
A woman’s appearance is a minefield, Tannen said, calling it the No. 1 flash point in the relationship. Weight, hair and clothes are the “big three” points of criticism — and sensitivity — when it comes to appearance, Tannen said.