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

Harriet Lerner
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers


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Book Description

"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 engaging and eminently wise book, Dr. Lerner teaches women to identify the true sources of our anger and to use anger as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.

Editorial Reviews


Of all the books that have been written about the personal relationships of women and what to do about them, this is the most sound. It contains an inspirational message for all women, regardless of their age, background, or life experience. Like a family." -- Peggy Papp, M.S.W., The Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy*

About the Author

Harriet Lerner is one of the most respected voices on family relationships. Her books include the New York Times best-seller, The Dance of Anger, and The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life. She is a staff psychologist at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. She and her husband have two sons, Matt and Ben.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1013 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F2I2H56
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,406 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
414 of 423 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is my anger telling me? July 15, 2001
A large number of books on the topic of anger have recently come into my house -- how to recognize anger, what it means, and how to "control" it. This is the only one of these books that I liked. All the other books on this topic seem to treat anger as a loss of control, which should be repressed. In fact, they seem to be about impulse control more than about anger. (I have nothing against people learning to control their impulses, I just don't think that it's the same topic as the topic of anger.) Luckily, I did not pay for any of these books, so I can just be glad I read this one, and forget about the others.
In this book, Lerner treats anger as a signal that something is going wrong. She explains that only when we address the "something wrong" in a useful way will the anger go away. Then she explores the "dances" we engage in, in our attempts to make ourselves feel better. She suggests that most of our attempts to make ourselves feel better focus on the person(s) we think made us mad, rather than on ourselves. She compassionately and wisely shows how to disengage from the anger and the counter-productive patterns, while staying connected and acting with integrity. However, she also acknowledges the effect that this sort of change can have on other people in the dance, and she provides guidance in maintaining oneself in the face of countermoves.
Fundamentally, this is not the kind of self-help book that provides 10 easy steps to ridding oneself of anger. Instead, it describes a different way to think about anger, and discussion of the ways in wich one can respond to anger. No easy steps, just a way of thinking, which can radically change the way one engages with the world.
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157 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Use anger to make your life better July 31, 1999
By A Customer
I found this book as impossible to put down as any thriller -- it was fascinating even when it didn't directly apply to me. But most of it did.
All my life I have had a problem expressing anger. It usually comes out as tears, which does not impress anyone or improve the situation, or else I swallow it and tell myself it's not important. This book has helped me to understand that when I'm angry, it means something is wrong, and I attempt to calmly identify what that is, and take steps to make it better. I'm not expert at this yet, but the book has given me hope that small changes can lead to big improvement over time.
All in all, this is a great book for anyone whose anger has ever made them feel ashamed or powerless. Read and reread until your anger works for you, not against you.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, excellent April 2, 2000
By A Customer
I highly recommend this to anyone in a struggling relationship. After 10 years of marriage I could see no way of getting along with my wife. My therapist suggested this book and it just opened up a whole new world for me. My marriage is safe and strong. Don't let the title fool you, this is just as much for men as women, yes I am a guy.....
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159 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow ! October 28, 2001
Many years ago someone recommended that I read this book but I didn't bother. I thought "Yeah right, another self-help book. I don't think so!" I was so wrong. This book dares to take on that ugly, taboo emotion: ANGER! If you never learned good solutions for understanding and dealing with your anger, this is a book you need to read. It is filled with insight about anger. It also offers constructive solutions for getting rid of anger, and improving relationships with people who make us angry. It deals with generational patterns of anger! This book is not just for women. Men, too, could learn a lot from reading this book and putting it's suggestions into practice. Very highly recommended.
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141 of 156 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A WORD OF CAUTION June 9, 2004
By A Customer
I challenge anyone to say "I have never done that before". We all do these "dances" she speaks of all the time, I don't care if you are a woman or a man. It doesn't have to be a husband/wife relationship either, it happens in all relationships. Her theory is sound and true and can very well help you to end these "dances" (fights/problems) you have with other people. It was *very* enlightening to see what we do actually spelled out for us because so much we do we do without realizing or giving 2nd thought to.
Read this book from beginning to end before trying this stuff. Secondly, keep in mind one very important much as you can change your attitude, others can change theirs and not always in the direction you hope they will. Her methods do work, but you must be prepared in some instances to "let go" of people that cause you strife if you plan to try to change these "dances" with whom ever you do this with. The reason is that maybe you don't want to let go of your mother or your friend or who ever, but they might want to let "you" go because they don't like the change. Now, she tells you that in the book anyway, but just ready yourself for it. I had a few friends that I either let go or they let me go and now I am feeling a little excluded. Sure, there are no more fights or "bad times" but that let go of the good too. I couldn't get an in-between. Mind you, this worked WONDERS with some other people I tried it on and actually solidified the relationships more. Just be prepared that you win some, you lose can't change people to follow this "new" dance if they don't want to and it is always hard to let go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful read
Very interesting perspective on anger in general and ways to deal with it.
Published 2 days ago by Ann Lima
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I loved this book. It has a chapter for almost every type of relationship in your life (mother/daughter, husband/wife, coworker, etc) that you can relate anger to. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sarah A. Osmundson
4.0 out of 5 stars Key Gems in this Book
I was introduced to this book when I was given a copy of "The Dance of Anger" by a relative. Both he and I were in crisis mode in our marriages. It was painful. Read more
Published 14 days ago by N. L. Brumbaugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Very helpful.
Published 17 days ago by Ann M. Sochia
4.0 out of 5 stars Not For Women Only!
While this book is intended for women it has enormous value for men especially for those of us who were raised in a dysfunctional environment. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Michael Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed this book a long time ago!
Love this book! It has been a tremendous help to me in pinpointing my behaviors and feelings behind them. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Cindy C
4.0 out of 5 stars ) Very good book and came highly recommended
The book came very fast in the mail :)
Very good book and came highly recommended.
Published 23 days ago by betty gross
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was recommended to me by a friend
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and has me wanting to explore the other "Dance of" books. Read more
Published 26 days ago by heyday
5.0 out of 5 stars This is by far the best relationship book I have ever read
This is by far the best relationship book I have ever read. It helps us to understand why we do the things we do in a relationship and how to successfully break the pattern on bad... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Lisa Frey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
reading now very good
Published 1 month ago by Marilyn L. Gore
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More About the Author

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., is one of our nation's most loved and respected relationship experts. Renowned for her work on the psychology of women and family relationships, she served as a staff psychologist at the Menninger Clinic for more than two decades. A distinguished lecturer, workshop leader, and psychotherapist, she is the author of The Dance of Anger and other bestselling books. She is also, with her sister, an award-winning children's book writer. She and her husband are therapists in Lawrence, Kansas, and have two sons.

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