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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,144 Ratings  ·  423 Reviews
"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, ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1985)
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Skylar Burris
Oct 25, 2009 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it
I recently heard a sermon on anger at my church. When I saw the sermon topic printed in the bulletin, I felt reluctant. I expected to hear what you sometimes do in Christian circles, that anger is bad and one should avoid becoming angry. I was not eager to hear this message, as I had been feeling strong anger about some personal injuries I had experienced, but I prayed I would receive the message with an open mind. The rector, however, said nothing of anger being either bad or good; he said, rat ...more
Oct 18, 2008 Ladiibbug rated it it was amazing
** A Life Changing Book **

Read years ago. This book made a huge impact on my life, and changed my life dramatically for the better.

The Dance of Anger, recommended by a therapist, will show the reader how to express anger -- and deal with anger being directed toward you -- without yelling, screaming, name calling, etc.

This was literally the first clue I ever got about how to express anger in a calm way and to actually RESOLVE an issue, without constantly exploding over it, or being the "explodee"
Nov 12, 2008 Kathrynn rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathrynn by: Ladiibbug
I think this author produced a well-thought out book. It focuses on helping women move away from unproductive anger and learning to be angry with positive, effective results.

There is a section on women who don't "allow" themselves to be angry that I didn't spend much time on because never felt I wasn't allowed to be angry. There is another portion on "de-selfing" which involves a person (male/female) allowing another in their relationship to walk all over them and I didn't spent much time on thi
Kathie M
Dec 11, 2007 Kathie M rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who feels like they're stuck and can stomach a self-help book
I know my friends are sick of hearing about her, but Harriet Lerner is a genius and my own personal guru (from afar). I never really thought I'd read a self-help book(especially one on relationships, eek), but I've re-read this one three times at different points in my life. The books (there's a Dance series) are easy to read, her case studies are good because the examples are ones that everyone can find in their own lives, and her advice is really sound. The basic premise is that if you're unha ...more
May 27, 2008 K rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bowen therapists; women who want to improve their family relationships
Recommended to K by: Nechama Ginzberg
Shelves: professionallit
Wow. This was a really great book, one which I appreciated on both a personal and a professional level. Written in a deceptively simple self-help/pop psych style, this book had the advantages of being highly readable, practical, and almost entertaining, appealing to a lay audience. At the same time, this book was based on solid Bowen theory and was far from superficial or facile.

This book clarified a lot of things for me that I've been working on with my supervisor, and has been helping me func
Mar 10, 2011 Angie rated it liked it
This book has been quoted to me for many years and my boss recently recommended it.

It is one of the first self help books on the topic and it took years of rejection for Harriet Lerner to get it published. While it is targeted to women, it applies to everyone.

I liked the opportunity to use anger to define self and I appreciated the context of societal roles by gender even though I tend to be more "masculine" in my expression of anger.

The best part about the book is the simple how-to examples o
Mar 07, 2008 Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: get-over-it
Excellent book for women of all walks to read!! It's not what it sounds like. I know we all are programmed away from anger. Anger is BAAAAAAD, right? Well, this is one of Harriet Lerner's fabulous books that teaches women how to use our emotions in a positive way to get our needs met. It's a book about boundaries and using our anger...recognizing it as a gps system. Our anger is valid and it is always telling us something.

This is not a book about venting or blowing off steam. It's a book about
May 20, 2016 Skaistė rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Puiki knyga, suteikianti daug vertingos ir naudingos informacijos, pateikianti aiškius, gyvenimiškus atvejus, kuriuose galima rasti šį tą sau naudingo. Rekomenduoju perskaityti visiems, ne tik moterims.
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Jul 12, 2014 Rebecca Waring-Crane rated it it was amazing
A gem of a read especially for any woman who has ever been told, "You shouldn't feel that way!"

"Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to. Our anger may be a message that we are being hurt, that our rights are being violated, that our needs or wants are not being adequately met, or simply that something is not right. Our anger may tell us that we are not addressing an important emotional issue in our lives, or that too much of our self -- our beliefs, values, desires, or ambitions -- is bei
Feb 18, 2016 Jess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone I meet. I read this book at least 3 years ago, and the lessons I learned from it on how to handle relationship issues and family drama I still recall and use now.

Although the book is written for a female target audience, the whole thing is applicable to people of both genders. Lerner does a fantastic job at including scenarios that are relevant to everyone, no matter how old they are, whether
Apr 25, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rebecca by: Daniel
constantly re-reading this one since 2004.

seriously. this is a great book to keep on your bookshelves amongst literary fiction and a few aesthetically pleasing picture really makes people do a double-take. ...even though they'd never admit it.
I actually love how awfully self-help this book looks.

If you get in fights with your mother--or your partner--or strangers (and maybe sometimes the fights stay in your head)...this is the book for you.

If I were a dancer I'd totally choreograph T
Feb 17, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This is a great book for anyone who's ever been, currently or will be angry with someone else. It will teach you how to better communicate your anger in more effective ways so that you can produce favorable results. In addition, it will teach you how to change your own behavior to influence someone else's behavior. Harriet's breakdown of the coveted triangle, where a third person becomes involved with a relationship between two other people, is helpful because it is applicable to everyone. Be wa ...more
Nov 28, 2015 Ev rated it really liked it
I hesitated to let the Goodreads world know I read this book. But, if it encourages others to read "self-help" books, then why not.

I used "self-help" in quotes, because our relationships with ourselves affect those all around us. The topic of anger has been on my mind for a couple of months now, particularly how it is feminized.

Dr. Lerner's book is insightful and enlightening; an "open book", in every sense of the term. She succinctly demonstrates how we all - man, woman, child; intimate partner
Apr 14, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Great book and a worthwhile read for women and men. From my own experience, I was battling my ex for over a year to get our divorce settled. After I read the book, I changed my approach from being more emotional and pursuing, to being more cool and detached. Within 3 weeks, we had our divorce settlement finalized and signed by lawyers. Why? Because the book taught me that if I want the opposite reaction of my partner, I had to do the opposite of what she was doing. And it worked perfectly!
May 24, 2016 Kadircan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Öfke Dansı, insanlar arasındaki ilişkilerde deneyimlenen kronik anlaşmazlıkların ve gerginliklerin ortadan kaldırılmasında öfkeden nasıl yararlanabileceği hakkında yazılmış güzel bir kişisel gelişim kitabı.

Kitaba göre öfke, yerli ya da yersiz, haklı ya da haksız, iyi ya da kötü gibi değerlendirmelerin dışında tutulmalı ve sahip olunan kişisel bir soruna dair bir işaret olarak görülmelidir. Bu sorun, ilişkilerde aşırı ya da yetersiz yüklenen olmak, takipçi, mesafe koyucu ya da suçlayıcı konumlar
Mar 08, 2014 D rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks interested in psychology and self-improvement
Recommended to D by: Rikka Stewart
just a fascinating look at anger -- what it represents, how it manifests itself (often negatively), and its constructive use.

lerner's voice is compassionate, her point of view feminist, her information solid, and her advice instructive. she particularly examines women's anger, viewing it within established relationships, not as destructive in and of itself but, rather, as a sign that something within the relationship needs to change.

she discusses identifying the root causes of anger, understand
Lisa King
I first read this book several years ago and it really helped me establish boundaries with family, friends and coworkers. It took time and persistence on my part but I did it and am a much happier person because of my efforts. Reviewing the book and its wisdom every now is a great idea.

We humans love our routines. They make us feel safe because they are familiar. If it’s not broke, why fix it? Sometimes it really is broken and our anger signals this fact. It is up to us to change our own behavio
May 12, 2016 Canan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
olabildiğince anlaşılır, olabildiğince etkili bir kitap. Psikolojik danışman olduğumdan okurken danışanlara önerilebilecek bir kitap olarak listeme ekledim. Kadın olmak, öfkeyi hissetmek ve ilişkiler üzerine defalarca okunabilir
Aug 08, 2011 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Shelves: relationships
Helpful book. Guys may be turned off due to the subtitle: "A Woman's Guide...", but Lerner's principles aptly apply to men too. Also, anger may be the topic, but a healthier relationship is the goal. She helps break down how anger, instead of causing endless cycles of frustration, can be used as a tool to deepen our relationships with loved ones and to better understand our true selves.

Some stuff Lerner discusses: misconceptions of anger (ch 1); marital discord and breaking the cycle (ch 3; also
Mar 02, 2011 Kassandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Self help books normally make me want to vomit. Or at least squirm uncomfortably. This book I can honestly recommend without reserve. It gives real and practical advice on conflict. I think that the title is some what misleading as you don't have to have a problem with anger to get something out of this book. It sort of addresses that when she talks about how there are people who express anger externally and those who internalize. Either way, this book is very readable and gave me a lot of insig ...more
Mar 03, 2010 Aerin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I read this after Dance of Intimacy, and they are somewhat similar. However. I do think this one focuses more on the feelings of anger and how we react to them. As with "Intimacy", I think it is useful for both men and women. When I first saw this book, even though I read and loved Intimacy, I thought, "Anger? I don't need this book, I'm not an angry person." But, was I wrong. This book addresses both extremes, as well as states in between: giving into anger and emotion, or squashing it because ...more
Oct 23, 2015 Toppy rated it really liked it
I would argue that this book is also relevant to males as I found the information both useful and mostly interesting. It is full of practical, instructive stories that most (perhaps middle class) people could relate to.
Jun 25, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Every woman should read this book - and most men. It's a 99% sure bet you will see yourself in here; and if you're in that one percent who doesn't, it will help explain the rest of us. Lerner explains the many ways we deal and don't deal with anger. Women are far more likely to bury their anger (until they explode) or shift there anger away from it's real source to something or someone else. Scenarios offer looks at a variety of ways this anger, and our dance with it, plays out. There are cases ...more
Jul 05, 2011 khrome rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
There was a lot of good tips in this book, but they were buried within stories that were full of repetitious points. The writing style is what made this book hard to read. Most sections started with a story where I felt it should have started with a summary of the lesson to be learned. I found myself saying "get to the point" a lot, and having to take a lot of breaks, whereas other well-organized psychology books kept me engaged. Otherwise, very good info if you can wade through it.
Feb 17, 2015 Geneva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the grand scheme of self-help(ish) books, this one's pretty old, so much of the information in it were things I already knew BUT that doesn't mean they weren't revolutionary when the book was written (the importance of "I feel" instead of "you always", for example, could have been new and exciting when this book was written, but it's been part of my knowledge base for ages). I also feel like the title was a bit misleading. The author argues that "anger" can manifest in different ways, either ...more
Karen Prive
Jun 24, 2016 Karen Prive rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me repeatedly by various friends, mentors and professionals since it was first published. I'm not sure why I ignored those repeated suggestions, or why this time I not only open to reading the book but hopeful that it would help me address some current issues. I do know that reading this book at this time in my life has changed my perspective and also helped me think about strategies to improve my behavior especially in my most intimate relationships.

I have struggle
Stacy Simpson
Nov 23, 2015 Stacy Simpson rated it it was amazing
I must say this was an excellent help to understanding my anger issues. It gave me a clear sight to what I'm doing wrong and what i need to do to fix it. A for sure must read for all woman!!!
Oct 29, 2009 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the only self-help books I thought was... helpful. Don't remember the details after 20 years but the basic idea really stuck. Don't expect someone else to change, you have to do it. And if you do, expect a reaction. The book deals with all sorts of relationships, mom/child, husband/wife, boss/employee, etc.
Magdalena Moszyńska
May 04, 2016 Magdalena Moszyńska rated it it was amazing
The book may seem out-dated due to the date when it was first published and you may think that it doesn't address contemporary life issues because of that. You couldn't be any more wrong.
It precisely addresses the everyday emotional struggles and persisting relationship patterns, whose existence we try deny so desperately.

What I liked about the book the most was that it accurately described and analysed given examples, in terms of each party's involvement unlike what we usually like to think -
Oct 14, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An excellent book that compels the reader to look at patterns and personal history from a fresh perspective. Anger is an important topic, and especially so for woman since we have generally been socialized to deny it, internalize, contain it - to the detriment of relationships and health
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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...

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“Our society doesn’t promote self-acceptance and it never will. First of all, self-acceptance doesn’t sell products. Capitalism would fall if we liked ourselves the way we are now. Also, people who feel shamed and inadequate themselves tend to pass it on. I’m sure you’ve noticed that many individuals and groups try to enhance their self-esteem by diminishing others.” 2 likes
“it is no wonder that it is hard for us to know, let alone admit, that we are angry. Why are angry women so threatening to others? If we are guilty, depressed, or self-doubting, we stay in place. We do not take action except against our own selves and we are unlikely to be agents of personal and social change. In contrast, angry women may change and challenge the lives of us all, as witnessed by the past decade of feminism. And change is an anxiety-arousing and difficult business for everyone, including those of us who are actively pushing for it. Thus, we too learn to fear our own anger, not only because it brings about the disapproval of others, but also because it signals the necessity for change. We may begin to ask ourselves questions that serve to block or invalidate our own experience of anger: “Is my anger legitimate?” “Do I have a right to be angry?” “What’s the use of my getting angry?” “What good will it do?” These questions can be excellent ways of silencing ourselves and shutting off our anger.” 2 likes
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