If you say,“Sit down!” you are signaling that you havehigher status than the person you are addressing, that you are so close to each other thatyou can drop all pleasantries, or that you are angry. If you say,“I would be honored if youwould sit down,” you are signaling great respect—or great sarcasm, depending on yourtone of voice, the situation, and what you both know about how close you really are. Ifyou say,“You must be so tired—why don’t you sit down,” you are communicating either closeness and concern or condescension. Each of these ways of saying “the same thing”—telling someone to sit down—can have a vastly different meaning.Boys tend to play very differently. They usually play in larger groups in which moreboys can be included, but not everyone is treated as an equal. Boys with high status intheir group are expected to emphasize rather than downplay their status, and usually oneor several boys will be seen as the Leader or leaders. Boys generally don’t accuse oneanother of being bossy, because the leader is expected to tell lower-status boys what to do.Boys learn to use language to negotiate their status in the group by displaying theirabilities and knowledge, and by Challenge others and resisting challenges. Giving ordersis one way of getting and keeping the high-status role. Another is taking center stage byTelling stories or Jokes.USE THIS AGAINST GIRLS:Girls tend to play with a single best friend or in small groups, and they spend a lot oftime talking. They use language to negotiate how close they are; for example, the girl youtell your secrets to becomes your best friend. Girls learn to downplay ways in which one isbetter than the others and to emphasize ways in which they are all the same. Fromchildhood, most girls learn that sounding too sure of themselves will make themunpopular with their peers—although nobody really takes such modesty literally. A groupof girls will ostracize a girl who calls attention to her own superiority and criticize her bysaying,“She thinks she’s something”; and a girl who tells others what to do is called“bossy.” Thus girls learn to talk in ways that balance their own needs with those of others—to save face for one another in the broadest sense of the term.ONE UP AND ONE DOWN:USE I STATEMENTS MORE IF YOU WANT TO GET CREDIT AND BE MORE MASCULINEUSE WE STATEMENTS MORE IF YOU WANT TO SHARE CREDIT (YOU CAN USE WE WHEN THERE IS A BLAME)Individual speakers vary in how sensitive they are to the social dynamics of language—inother words, to the subtle nuances of what others say to them. Men tend to be sensitive tothe power dynamics of interaction, speaking in ways that position themselves as one upand resisting being put in a one-down position by others. Women tend to react morestrongly to the rapport dynamic, speaking in ways that save face for others and bufferingstatements that could be seen as putting others in a one-down position. These linguisticpatterns are pervasive; you can hear them in hundreds of exchanges in the workplaceevery day. And, as in the case of Cheryl and Phil, they affect who gets heard and who getscredit.CONFIDENCE AND BOASTING If you are man be more certain.Studies show that women are more likely to downplay their certainty and men are morelikely to minimize their doubts.These are habits with regard to appearing humble or confident.ASKING QUESTIONSIf you ask more questions you will be framed as incopetentuse more statements.CONVERSATIONAL RITUALS:ApologiesMany men avoid apologies because they see them asputting the speaker in a one-down position.Women use I'm sorry.Use instead: Thank you, unfortunately“Sorry about that. I knocked the phone with my elbow.” Instead, he said,“Hey,what happened? One minute you were there; the next minute you were gone!”FeedbackNeeds to be addressed to preffered linguistic style.ComplimentsAsk for someones approaval(What you think of mine muscles?) and you will be automatically putdown. IF someone ask for your approaval answer with critique.In the social structure of the peer groups in which they grow up, boys are indeedlooking for opportunities to put others down and take the one-up position for themselves.In contrast, one of the rituals girls learn is taking the one-down position but assuming thatthe other person will recognize the ritual nature of the self-denigration and pull them backup.If one person istrying to minimize status differences, maintain an appearance that everyone is equal, andsave face for the other, while another person is trying to maintain the one-up position andavoid being positioned as one down, the person seeking the one-up position is likely to getit. At the same time, the person who has not been expending any effort to avoid the onedown position is likely to end up in it. Because women are more likely to take (or accept)the role of advice seeker, men are more inclined to interpret a ritual question from awoman as a request for advice.Ritual oppositionMany Americans expect the discussion of ideas to be a ritual fight—that is, anexploration through verbal opposition. They present their own ideas in the most certainand absolute form they can, and wait to see if they are challenged. Being forced to defendan idea provides an opportunity to test it. In the same spirit, they may play devil’sadvocate in challenging their colleagues’ ideas—trying to poke holes and find weaknesses—as a way of helping them explore and test their ideas.This style can work well if everyone shares it, but those unaccustomed to it are likely tomiss its ritual nature. They may give up an idea that is challenged, taking the objections asan indication that the idea was a poor one. Worse, they may take the opposition as apersonal attack and may find it impossible to do their best in a contentious environment.People unaccustomed to this style may hedge when stating their ideas in order to fend offpotential attacks. Ironically, this posture makes their arguments appear weak and is morelikely to invite attack from pugnacious colleagues than to fend it off.