What Our Anger Teaches Us (Harriet Lerner, Ph.D)
Listen now
“I think it's very important to mention also, Elise, that even if a woman feels permission to be angry, that anger is such a tricky mischievous emotion that it's so difficult to know what our anger means or what to do with it. So we may know that we’re angry and anger activates us to, to act, to take a position, to do something, but our anger does not tell us what the real issue is, who is responsible for what, what is the best way to proceed with our anger…” So says psychotherapist Dr. Harriet Lerner. Lerner is known and beloved for her many best-selling books about women, family systems, and relationships, including the classic Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships, which we explore in today's episode.  Lerner believes that anger is an essential, but oftentimes misunderstood and mismanaged emotion. She set out to write Dance of Anger to tackle female anger specifically, of which nothing had been written at that time. When women are discouraged from discussing their anger, she tells us, they lose a sense of self, as the pain of our anger preserves our dignity. We discuss the stereotype of the unloving, unlovable, and destructive angry woman, and the way in which female anger is only deemed acceptable when it is on the behalf of others. Lerner leaves us with tips for beginning to work through our anger productively, starting with moving toward assertive self-definition without asking for permission, and ultimately becoming careful observers of our own role in the patterns that keep us stuck in anger so that we may make positive, lasting change on our own behalf.  EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: The importance of anger…(5:25) Are you a nice lady or a bitch…(9:00) Working through anger productively…(21:40)  Moving towards self definition…(36:36) MORE FROM HARRIET LERNER: Harriet Lerner's Website The Dance Of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Pattern of Intimate Relationships The Dance Of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate The Dance Of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships The Dance Of Fear: Rising Above Anxiety, Fear, and Shame to Be Your Best and Bravest Self The Dance Of Deception: A Guide to Authenticity and Truth-Telling in Women's Relationships Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
More Episodes
“What is that instinct that might be asking me to do something really unadvisable or radical or leap outside the bounds of my own life? And that's the space by which I think we move forward in life. And that's the space in which I think we move forward honestly on the page and in writing. And I...
Published 04/18/24
Million Dollar Advice is a work and career advice podcast hosted by friends and colleagues Kim Lessing and Kate Arend. Together Kim and Kate run Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions and are very cool and good at their jobs. Each week, they help live callers with their work-related dilemmas....
Published 04/16/24