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

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Book Overview

The renowned classic and New York Times bestseller that has transformed the lives of millions of readers, dramatically changing how women and men view relationships. Anger is something we feel. It... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

Great Book

This was a great read that teaches how to implement different techniques in your life and manage your anger. It offers great advice as well as personal accounts. I learned things from this book that have helped me in my everyday life.

Nuanced look at anger in relationships

I was skeptical about this book and probably wouldn’t have bought it if not for the recommendation of a friend. It has already had an impact on my relationships with the people around me and my relationship to anger in meaningful ways and I only finished it yesterday. It’s billed as a book for people socialized female, but I would recommend to anyone of any gender. A helpful look at how anger manifests and how our patterns might actually be reinforcing everything we say we want to change.

Still helpful - second time around

I read this book about 10 years ago and have been recommending it since. Recently, in speaking with a friend who is doing the dance with another, I decided to order the book again for myself. The book was as vibrant and helpful the second time around and because I am a different person with different issues, I was able to receive the information from a new place. Don't think you have to be angry with a capital A, to get something out of the book. As it says, it is for changing patterns and helping us to get out of the "loop".

I Wish I'd Read This Earlier

I was truly able to relate to the family situations and common anger responses discussed in this book. I soon came to realize how I have been mishandling my anger for most, if not all, of my adult life. The author discusses our need to discontinue those anger responses that haven't been working for us thus far in particular situations and to step back and assess the true reasons for our anger. She then helps us think through realistic alternative responses. She supports our right to be angry and challenges us to avoid considering our anger as being either wrong or inappropriate. If we're angry, we're angry. We just need to do something productive with it as, properly channeled, the emotional energy we possess when angry could help drive us to make major positive changes in our life. I am going through an ugly divorce and I now recognize that both my and my husband's inability to effectively handle anger was a key contributing factor to our failed marriage. Though it is too late for my own marriage, I'm giving this book to my daughter, who I often see repeating in her own marriage some of the poor anger responses she learned at home. The alternative responses do work, though they aren't easy to remember in heated situations. It will take a concerted effort to "practice" appropriate anger responses until they become second nature. But it's worth the effort as I have already seen positive change occur in several of my relationships. This was a great "AHA" book for me. I understand so much more about my own anger now than I ever have and am prepared to manage it in a way that will most likely blow my family members away!

Wow !

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.

What is my anger telling me?

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.

A woman trying to deal with midlife

As a person dealing with menopause and my husband's midlife crisis, I wanted to learn more about myself. How am I contributing to the disintegration of my marriage was an important question for me since I didn't want another relationship until I understood what was happening in this one. I discovered patterns of my own overfunctioning, blaming and pursuing which I am breaking to change my behavior. This book has helped me to let go of my guilt feelings about wanting change, and to appreciate the needs of my children and husband. I have learned that pain and suffering translate to growth. Anger is a part of the process and a healthy one. I don't know if I will be able to save my present relationship, but having read this book, I know that I won't repeat unhealthy behaviors in another relationship.

An education on personal anger

I have been through group therapy and psychoanalysis. I have read thousands of pages on anxiety and depression. But, this book was a primer for me on anger.In the past, I was taught that anger was a negative side effect of other emotional problems. Therefore, I believed my anger would disappear if I 'fixed' myself in general.Now, I realize that anger is a healthy signal to balance specific life areas. My anger is natural and not a flaw in my character. The author helped me address my anger issues with myself, my husband, my children, and my mother-in-law! I am thrilled that my therapist recommended this book. I am busy recommending it to all my friends.
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