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The Dance of Deception: Pretending and Truth-Telling in Women's Lives
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The Dance of Deception: Pretending and Truth-Telling in Women's Lives

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  290 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A groundbreaking exploration of the significance and role of pretending and truth-telling in women's lives from Harriet Lerner, an internationally renowned expert on the psychology of women and the bestselling author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Intimacy (nearly 100,000 hardcover and 400,000 paperback copies sold).
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published April 1993 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1993)
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Joseph Young
Seemed to provide some of the reasons why women lie, and when they lie, as well the 'justifications' provided for lying.

The main reason I dislike this book is because almost all the excuses for lying in the book are self-serving, and fail to take into account the secondary reasons for lying, which are often the more true one. The book only penetrated one layer of lying, not the next. Further, it did not always take into account the consequences when the lies were found out, merely glossing over
I think this might be my new favorite book by Lerner. There is a new gem of wisdom in every book of hers that I read. This one is no exception. I already had some pretty strong opinions about honesty and its place in the virtue hierarchy, but Lerner not only dovetails what I already believed, she takes it deep into the underbelly of consideration for long term happiness using her amazing knowledge of family systems. Not only does this book discuss the nuances and biases concerning truth and dece ...more
Read everything by Harriet Lerner
*Truth be told*

Perhaps the truth can set us free, but it seems that the first step is to free that truth within us. The Dance of Deception provides an insightful overview of how our own personal truths get blocked by both systemic forces such as society, cultural expectations, family secrets, as well as by inner forces such as overwhelming emotions, personal narratives, and internal confusion. Harriet explores the process of truth-telling in women's lives which begins with tuning into our own pe
Feb 02, 2015 Adriana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adriana by:
It is amazing isn't it? How it's almost like a mating call. We show one side of ourselves and then the rest of ourselves a year or two later. The dance of deception is an excellent read.
Carlos Rendon
In this book of constantly juxtaposed ideas and opinions, Lerner teases out the complexity of what it means to be honest and truthful, specifically as it relates to women.
Deborah Dewitt
This one started strong with a powerful in-depth and enlightening ( for me) explanation of ways we can live honestly and authentically. She covers the problems created by paths of dishonesty and the devastating impact of deception on so many levels that prevents us again and again in attaining the intimacy in our relationships. The middle third of the book is filled with a lot of her academia journey of long ( long ) ago and is a bit tedious as it meanders finally into some more good info on how ...more
I wasn't that intrigued by the sections that were more sociological than individual. I did appreciate some of the examples. There were some good points in this book. The section about your body giving signals really hit me hard. It's a good tie-in with the previous two books in this trilogy. I tend to be a hit-and-run confrontational type of person, I think, once I get the courage to come out with some things.
Having read, "The Dance of Anger", I decided to read another of Harriet Lerner's books. This one is good, too. And I browsed through several of her other books. I think "The Dance of Anger" is her best work. There is some repetition of explanations and theories in the other books.
Tracy Jacobs
Just finished this book and I loved it. A great read for anyone wanting to better understand the value of not deceiving yourself or others. If you're interested in truth-telling, integrity and authenticity, then this book might be a good fit.
Amy B.
This is an amazing book. I don't normally drift towards self-help types but this was really a very readable insight into things that happen everyday.

My favorite part is learning the difference between privacy and secrecy.

This is an interesting read. Lerner brings up all sorts of ideas that I hadn't fully considered. This book has a strong feminist tone and looks at the issues in a large cultural fashion rather than an intimate fashion.
Any of Harriet Lerner's books are amazing! If you are a woman...and especially if you have tried therapy from a shrink...FORGET IT...just read these line of "The Dance Of" books by Harriet! Peace!!!
I learned a lot about the difference between honesty and truth-telling. I am a person who tends to be bluntly honest and it was interesting to read about the potential pitfalls of this.
I registered a book at!
This is a wonderful well written book! A lot of truth in these pages about when and why we lie to ourselves and others.
Wasn't worth my time. Glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't waste my money.
Jenny (rapid tortoise)
Very thought-provoking. Must-read for women.
reframed my inner interrogations and gave me clarity
I love all her books. They are wonderful.
Very interesting and useful insights.
Read and also listened to it.
Courtney marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
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May 14, 2015
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Harriet Lerner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the second of two daughters. Her parents, Archie and Rose Goldhor, were both children of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. They were high school graduates who wanted their daughters to "be someone" at a time when women were only supposed to "find someone."

"Achievement was next to Godliness for my sister, Susan, and me." Harriet notes. "My f
More about Harriet Lerner...
The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate The Dance of Fear: Rising Above Anxiety, Fear, and Shame to Be Your Best and Bravest Self Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up

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