Customer Review

454 of 468 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is my anger telling me?, July 15, 2001
This review is from: The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships (Paperback)
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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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 27, 2010 6:18:40 AM PDT
Excellent review. You summed it up perfectly. My only complaint is that the book is written about women and intimate relationships, when I believe it would be helpful to all people, and in all relationships.

Posted on Apr 28, 2013 3:20:13 PM PDT
THANK YOU. Your first paragraph is exactly what people need to hear, over and over and over. Impulse control is one thing, anger is another, and how each should be dealt with is not at all the same.

I know more than one person who is suffering severely, and whose life would be changed if they truly understood this. I don't know what's so tough about it. One is about mutual respect, which is a basic human need that all people have and owe to one another, no matter what the circumstances. The other is a very important message that needs to be understood in depth first, and then dealt with based on that understanding.

The two are as different as good manners and servitude.

Thank you again for your review and recommendation. I hope this year is going well for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2014 10:45:44 AM PST
TB-Writer says:
Your post is equally deserving of acknowledgment.
I wish more than just a couple of my family members undestood how to treat other family members with courtesy and respect. They don't, at enormous loss to all.
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