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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Dance of Anger

1. What are the forces from family and culture that encourage us to deny our own legitimate anger? Why is women's anger threatening to others and ourselves?

2. What are the tyupical ways we manage anger (for example, venting, distancing, blaming) that don't work for us over the long haul? Discuss case examples from the book that illustrate "anger gone wrong" and see what you learn from them.

3.Discuss the following concepts and themes that are illustrated by case examples in The Dance of Anger. Move from the examples in the book to examples in your own life.

4. Emotional pursuer-- emotional distancer (Chapter 3)

5. Anger at our mothers (Chapter 4)

6. Triangles (Chapter 8)

Remember, there are important "how to" lessons contained in each woman's story throughout the book. A group situation is an ideal place to connect these with your own life and formulate new steps to move differently in relationships. Quotes for Discussion

"Anger is a signal and one worth listening to." (Page 1)
"Those of us who are locked into ineffective expressions of anger suffer as deeply as those of us who dare not get angry at all." (Page 5)
"It is not just anger and fighting that we learn to fear; we avoid asking precise questions and making clear statements when we unconsciously suspect that doing so would expose our differences, make the other person feel uncomfortable, and leave us standing alone." (Page 93)

The Dance of Anger
by Harriet Lerner

  • Publication Date: September 11, 2012
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 006091565x
  • ISBN-13: 9780060915650