• The Dance of Anger

  • A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships
  • By: Harriet Lerner
  • Narrated by: Barbara Caruso
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,231 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Anger is something we feel. It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention. We all have a right to everything we feel - and certainly our anger is no exception.

"Anger is a signal and one worth listening to," writes Dr. Harriet Lerner in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions. 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, Dr. Lerner teaches both women and men to identify the true sources of anger and to use it as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.

For decades this book has helped millions of listeners learn how to turn their anger into a constructive force for reshaping their lives. With a new introduction by the author, The Dance of Anger is ready to lead the next generation.

©1985 Harriet G. Lerner (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about The Dance of Anger

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Quick, concise, tactics and a good narrator

I've never left a review before. I'll first talk about the book, without trying to give away anything (read it!), and then the narrator.

BOOK: This book is really awesome. I'm not a fan of reading self help books, I find them preachy, repetitive, and drawn out. This was the exact opposite. The book was written like a good paper: tell them what you're going to tell them, explain it in detail, summarize what you've told them. She goes over what the book will do and what it won't do. Then she goes into it, providing ONE example. Towards the end, she introduces a new concept. Before she delves into the new concept, she summarizes everything you've just learned, gives a different spin on the example, and tells you what chapter to go back to if you need more help. She then reintroduces the new topic and explores that further. It was very clear, and very quick.

NARRATOR: She did an awesome job. SUPERB. I loved listening to her. I actually thought she was the author because she spoke so authoritatively. She didn't try to get fancy and come up with voices/accents for each character the author noticed. In fact, I did not appreciate how wonderful of a job she did until I started listening to the "Why Won't You Apologize" book by the same author, narrated horribly by someone else. Barbara Caruso did such a good job, I'm going to look for other books narrated by her. But for this self-help book, her ability to speak so clearly and authoritatively really just drove home all the points the author made. It was a wonderful combination.

22 people found this helpful

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Great Material, delivery feels dated

I read this for a class and it was an ideal supplement to my other class texts. The material is good, sometimes the delivery sounds dated. Great read for a man or woman.

7 people found this helpful

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Most helpful self help book ever!

Any additional comments?

I originally read this book 20 years ago, and recently felt the need to revisit it. I downloaded the audio book (long commute) and found it just as helpful. The narrator was excellent, and I love the stories and different examples of how to put the advice into play. I only wish that there were a non gender specific version for reluctant men, because the advice given does bridge the gender gap if one is able to "hear" past the she/her narrative.

6 people found this helpful

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Learn to benefit from power of anger!

Helpful for either gender, and for any relationships. Dr. Lerner explains how we can break the cycle of blaming in a relationship.

6 people found this helpful

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So necessary!!!

Wish everyone, especially women had access to such a comprehensive material! You will definitely relate to so many situations described in this book.

4 people found this helpful

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even as a man I loved this book.

highly recommend this . So much insight not only for women, but for anyone. I am thankful my wife recommended that I listen.

4 people found this helpful

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Read it now

So much practical advice and examples help learn your part in your relationships and how to change yourself to change the dynamic

3 people found this helpful

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Every woman should read this book!

The stories are excrllent examples of problems then showing a better way to think and speak that works.

2 people found this helpful

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Love the book, but the narrator is a bit clipped

I read this book in my 20s and it really changed my life. I enjoyed hearing it again. It has wonderful tools for changing your relationships.

2 people found this helpful

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  • GI
  • 07-27-18

A must read to manage your temper

the book gives good care studies of different types of situations where one can learn to manage anger while making oness point of view clear without antagonizing the other

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carlene Celeste
  • 10-03-17

A wonderful, insightful book

This is the 3rd time I've returned to this book and each time I find new insights. Harriet Lerner has helped a great many people with this book, the discussion on who is responsible for what, the questions she guides us to ask ourselves and the position of being for ourselves and not against others is just what I have needed time and again in my life.
Harriet helps us to see that as women we're often encouraged to feel responsible for the thoughts, feelings and wellbeing of others but not for our own, she calls this being in a de-selfed position. By owning the responsibility for our own wellbeing, seeing where and how our actions are part of the patterns in which we are entrenched, we can choose new behaviours breaking the cycle of impotent anger and using our anger as a tool for transformation and self empowerment.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Zahra
  • 04-27-17

absolute gem of a book

Dr Lerner's understanding of human relationships is second to none, investing your time in listening to this book means improving your understanding of yourself and others

4 people found this helpful

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  • Craig Rossiter
  • 03-07-21

Life changing

This book will change your life. I’m listening for the third time bcs is one of those books that you really want to merge your mind with as much as possible. It has illuminated the rout of my anger issues and transformed my relationship with those around me. I’ve tried soo many different things for my anger but this book has done it. I’m finally able to handle my feelings. If you struggle with your anger please read this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sj
  • 02-13-19

Brilliant!!

As a relationship Counsellor I highly recommend this book to everybody, not just women. It covers all the things I cover with my couples so it was great to listen and be nodding and agreeing everything!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Eira Capelán
  • 04-23-21

Life changing

I coupled this book with three months of therapy and so far they have jointly improved my life vastly, helping me deal with anger, anxiety, depression, and people-pleasing behaviours. While aimed at women, is absolutely apt for both sexes and is an immense resource. I have listened three times already and each time new layers emerge! Thank you Dr Lerner!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aminah
  • 07-29-19

A great read for amazing insight

I had great insights from this book. The audio was a little dated but the advice is timeless.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pete
  • 01-18-19

Not for men

As a man, I got a whole 3 minutes in before the anger started to dance. Chauvenistic to the extreme, which is a shame as some of non gender specific insight in the first minute was useful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-22

Must read.This will improve your life

Leant a lot from this book. Definitely recommend to anyone wanting to improve their relationships and them self

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  • Anon
  • 05-23-22

enlightening

I loved this book - it tackles so many relatable challenges in a blame-free, empowering and constructive way and gives insight into why patterns of behaviour are so hard to break. still extremely relevant, nearly 40 years after being written...which is a little depressing!

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  • Sadie Edmondson
  • 07-09-21

Some useful information but the CIO stuff...

... really hasn't aged well and made me lose trust in the author completely.

(Paraphrasing) "Her mother was beginning to make ridiculous, fantastical, extreme assertions about the way she was leaving her infant to cry alone. Saying it would somehow traumatise or damage a helpless infant attempting to communicate their needs to the adult they are entirely reliant upon for survival. She did the right thing by ignoring these ridiculous ideas and continuing with this treatment of her child".

Erm, I know this was written decades ago but... I've got something to tell you 😬

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  • Catherine
  • 04-13-17

Good info narrator not so Much

The information is great but the narrator sounds like a school madam a bit off putting. Maybe I need to work on my anger around that.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Janine Reichert
  • 09-18-21

Highly recommend

I recommend this book to all my clients, female and male, and have applied the lesson with my own relationships with great success.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-24-22

10/10 Mind Blowing Life Changing

I wish I had heard of this book before I got married but perhaps I wasn’t ready. Now in my 40’s & 2 marriages later I’m now re-born & understand the tools & how to not get caught up in the drama triangle. Now I will dance in the joy of pleasing myself. Not in anger!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-21

Female oriented but still useful

It’s a pity that this was so female oriented as so much of the story affects men as well.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-24-21

Insightful

A great book for men to read. ill read it again for sure ...
Great book

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  • Mari
  • 08-13-21

Needed

A truly needed and incredible book every human should read. Practical and truthful on how to heal and make the best relationships you can, starting without you.Thank you.

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  • Ruth
  • 09-13-20

Great learnings!

great learnings... highly recommend. narrator ws fine though some other reviews said otherwise. don't let that put you off reading this excellent book to strengthen and build women's confidence in themselves abd relationships

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-22-20

Continues to be relevant 35 years on

This book gives women permission to be angry and to use anger as a signal for highlighting unmet needs. Dr Learner also gives examples of how women can be angry without holding a grudge and distancing from the people they care about or letting loose and ruining their chance for change in relationships. Dr Learner uses Family Systems Theory in a way that is understandable to general public and normalizes family resistance to change, motivating women to persist with personal change in relationships.

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  • Kirsten Chan
  • 07-07-20

Life changing

This book is basically talking about boundaries but I love that it gives so many practical ideas and ways to enforce boundaries which is what I’ve had trouble with in the past. I saw myself in many of the examples and will definitely find this book useful to re listen to.

It’s also taught me too that I’m not responsible for anyone but myself.

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  • Jasmine Gailer
  • 03-10-20

Not just about Anger: Will make sense your entire life!

This book blew my mind. I feel like every relationship in my life finally makes sense. All the patterns, habits, communication...just like “ooooohhhh I get it now”. I feel like this book would help women AND men, and not just with anger. It explains all our patterns in relationship so that we can FIX them if we want to. And if we have the courage.