Videos for gender differences in communication

Two episodes of I Love Lucy have great scenes demonstrating female-style talk patterns.

I Love Lucy: Season 3, episode 71

Midway through the “Baby Pictures” episode, Lucy calls on her friend Carolyn Appleby on a surprise visit. The two women had found themselves in a competition over which of their sons was better looking and better behaved. The scene in Carolyn’s apartment shows the two women hurling insults at each other’s child while keeping big smiles on their faces. The insults are often disguised as compliments but the exchange ramps up until both are furious.

It is a nice example of the tendency women have to try to avoid conflict when they talk by disguising it and speaking indirectly.

I Love Lucy: Season 3, episode 72

The very next episode, “Lucy Tells the Truth,” contains another nice example of women communicating. Lucy has placed a bet that she will not tell a lie for 24 hours. She is discouraged to find that the next day involves a bridge game with Ethel and two other women. She finds it difficult not to lie when asked to give her opinions about the others’ furniture and clothing. Her attempts to be evasive demonstrate another pattern often found in women’s speech.

I have not researched all of the sites, but several web sites claim to have Lucy episodes available online. The links above go to episode descriptions. I know that does have some episodes available in their Classics series and you can find some at YouTube.

Note: Ray’s mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond” also presents several examples of burying insults in compliments — like, “The house is a lot cleaner than when I was here last time.” Do you know of any other examples of women talking this way from movies or TV?


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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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