The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships

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Perennial Library, 1989 - Family & Relationships - 239 pages
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"Anger is a signal and one worth listening to, " writes Dr. Harriet Lerner in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions of readers. While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless. In this vivid, engaging and eminently wise work, Dr. Lerner teaches women to identify the true sources of our anger and to use anger as a powerful vehicle for creating meaningful and lasting change. This book has inspired more "You changed my life" stories from both women and men than perhaps any other bestseller on the American scene today. "The Dance of Anger" has sold more than 2 million copies and been translated into more than 30 foreign editions.

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I read this book in just a few hours and have since re-read it multiple times. The message is simple: No one forces us to react angrily, irrationally, or emotionally to anything. We choose to react or to not react. If you do or say something that provokes an emotional response in me, it is my choice whether or not I will react based on whatever I am feeling. I don't have to react according to the emotions are are attempting to provoke in me. If I become angry, it's because I let myself be angry. I have complete control over my emotions, and it is my decision how I will respond to people and situations that provoke me. I don't have to react angrily or even at all. We choose what we react to and how we will react to those things. It's easy to blame our emotions on the other person and say "he made me go crazy" etc. This book awakened me to the realization that no one can "make" me feel any particular way. Everything is a choice. I chose to step away from the same old song and dance. 

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About the author (1989)

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., currently has a private practice in Topeka, Kansas

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