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The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, PH.D

I. The Challenge of Anger
A. Angers Messages Meanings

  1. Anger is a signal, we need to listen to
  2. We are being hurt
  3. Our rights are being violated
  4. Our needs are not being met
  5. Our wants are not being met
  6. Something is just not right
  7. We are not addressing important emotional issues in our lives
  8. Too much of our self, beliefs, values, desires, or ambitions are being compromised in a relationship.
  9. 9.   Signal that you are doing more and giving more than you can comfortably do or give
    1. Anger warns you that others are doing too much for you, at the expense of your own competence and growth.
    2. Anger can motivate you to say NO to the ways in which you are defined by others and YES to the dictates of our inner self.

B. Girls and Stereotypes

  • Nurturers
    • Soothers
    • Peacemakers
    • Don’t rock the boat
    • Please
    • Protect
    • Placate others
    • Unladylike
    • Unfeminine
    • Un-Maternal
    • Sexually unattractive
    • Strident
    • Shrews
    • Bitches
    • Hags
    • Nags
    • Man haters
    • Unloving
    • Unlovable
    • Devoid of femininity
    • Ø CHANGE:  is an anxiety arousing and difficult business for everyone including those of us who are actively pushing for it.
    • Ø Signals the necessity for Change.
      • Is my anger valid?
      • Legitimate?
      • Do I have a right to be angry?
      • Ø Anger is something we FEEL.  It deserves our Respect and Attention.
        • What am I really angry about?
        • What is the problem, and whose problem is it?
        • How can I sort out who is responsible for what?
        • How can I learn to express my anger in a way that will not leave me feeling helpless and powerless?
        • When I’m angry how can I clearly communicate my position without becoming defensive or attacking?
        • What risks and losses might I face if I BECOME CLEARER AND MORE ASSERTIVE?
        • If anger is not working for me what can I do differently?

Reading other people’s reactions and ensuring that we do not rock the boat, we may become less and less of an expert about our own thoughts, feelings and wants.

The more we are nice the more we accumulate a storehouse of unconscious anger and rage.  Anger is inevitable when our lives consist of giving in and going along: when we assume responsibility for other people’s feelings and reasons; when we relinquish our primary responsibility to proceed with our own growth and ensure the quality of our own life’s when we behave as if having a relationship is more important than having a SELF.

If we feel guilty about not giving enough or not doing enough for others, it is unlikely we will be angry about not Getting enough,.

“Nothing, but nothing, will block the awareness of anger so effectively guilt and self-doubt.  Our society cultivates guilt feelings in a woman such that many of us still feel guilty if we are anything less than an emotional service station to OTHERS. “

*This book is designed to help women move away from styles of managing anger that do not work for them.  These include silent submission, ineffective fighting and blaming and emotional distancing.  The author wants to provide the reader with the insight and partial skills to stop having in our old ways and begin to use ange3r to clarify a new position in our relationships.

The focus of this book is mainly of anger and family because they are the most important, influential and difficult in our everyday lives.  The author will begin by looking at the ways in which we betray and sacrifice the “self” in order to preserve harmony with others; it will explore the “I” and togetherness and the “We” in relationships.  You will learn how you got “stuck” and then learn to get unstuck by shifting our patterns rather than using blame to solve our anger issues.  Each chapter contains information that has relevance for any relationships that you are in.  The author wants to share how we can use our anger as a tool for change.

  1. You will learn to tune in to the true sources of anger and clarify where you want to stand.
  2. You will learn communication skills that actual work.
  3. You will learn to observe and interrupt nonproductive patterns of interaction
  4. You will learn to anticipate and deal with counter moves.
  5.  You will learn that many of our problems with anger occur when we choose between having a relationship and having a self.  This book is about having BOTH!

© 2013 Jackie Paulson

Her husband would not let her go to the workshop:

  1. She submits to unfair circumstances
  2. She does not feel in control of her life
  3. She has not effectively addressed the read issues at hand.
  4. She is unclear about her own contribution to her dilemma
  5. She sacrifices her own growth t bolster and protect her husband.
  6. She preserves the status quo in her marriage at the expense of her own self.
  7. She avoids testing how much flexibility her marriage has to tolerate change on her part.
  8. She feels helpless and powerless.
  9. She turns anger into tears.
  10. She gets a headache.
  11. She does not like herself.
  12. She believes that she behaves badly.

SHE DE -SELFS herself for her man!

What is De-Self-ing?  It means that too much of one’s self including ones thoughts, wants, beliefs and ambitions is “negotiable” under pressures from the other person in the relationship. (Her husband).

Solution: the power to take charge of her own self.

She needed to clarify her own priorities and TAKE Action on her behalf.

The Dance of Anger BOOK