In a similar vein to Tannen's book on family communications, "I only say this because I love you: How the way we talk can make or break family relationships throughout our lives", this book targets in on mothers and daughters specifically. It builds on the axis of "connection" and "control". When you are a child, your mother controls a great deal about your life. As you grow up, your mother should release the amount of control and move towards connecting with you as an adult. Obviously this does not happen overnight, nor does it happen easily. What I took from this book is the need to evaluate what you are really saying, not just the specific words. Examine the underlying message, the metamessage, and try to communicate what you want to say clearly. When you were a child your mother could say "wear this", and you did. But she cannot say that to you as an adult because it is so blatantly controlling, so instead she tries to control you more indirectly by suggestion "this dress makes you look really slim". You can take that either as her attempt to connect with you because she cares how you look and loves you, or you can understand it as criticism. The truth of what is said depends on the relationship. So the moral of the story is to communicate clearly, honestly, and to encourage that both directions.