Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence. To survive in the world, we have to act in concert with others, but to survive as ourselves, rather than simply as cogs in a wheel, we have to act alone.

Deborah Tannen


The Quote in Other Words

Communication requires a constant effort to balance the desire for closeness and the need for autonomy. In order to thrive in society, we must cooperate with others, but in order to maintain our individuality, we must also act independently rather than just conforming to societal norms.


Explanation of the Quote

This quote highlights the delicate balance between our need for connection and our need for autonomy. As social beings, we rely on communication to establish and maintain relationships with others. However, we also have a fundamental need to assert our individuality and pursue our own goals and interests.

Effective communication requires us to navigate this tension between intimacy and independence. We must be able to express ourselves honestly and openly, while also respecting the boundaries and needs of others. This requires a high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness, as well as a willingness to compromise and collaborate.

Ultimately, the ability to strike this balance is essential for both personal and professional success. By cultivating strong communication skills, we can build meaningful relationships, achieve our goals, and thrive in a complex and interconnected world.