Friday, 13 March 2009

The Dance of Anger

A while back I remarked to a friend how I don't know anybody who deals well with anger. She said that's because you're not supposed to; that anger by its very nature clouds and distorts. 

Since then I have been a spy in the house of anger. When and how is it OK to express? What's appropriate? Why is it that an angry woman is looked upon as unladylike and troubled if she chooses not to suppress her emotions?

I never learned how to be angry. As I mature and open my eyes I see more clearly the injustices that I have accepted because being angry is something that good Jewish girls just don't do.

From page 1:
Women, however, have long been discouraged from the awareness and forthright expression of anger. Sugar and spice are the ingredients from which we are made. We are the nurturers, the soothers, the peacemakers, and the steadiers of rocked boats. It is our job to please, protect, and placate the world. We may hold relationships in place if our lives depended on it.
Despite its title, this book is not some hokey-pokey wishy-washy new age self-help book, and its author, Harriet Lerner is not some quack. Lerner writes beautifully and intuitively and from a position of wise common sense.

For me as a woman, I struggle with recognising that what I am feeling is anger, being responsible for my own emotions and not anybody else's, not blaming others when I disagree with them, and appropriately dealing with other people's anger towards me.

I might struggle with these issues for a long time, but at least now I have read this book I feel clearer in my mind about how I would like to interact with people and how I would like to respond when faced with their hostility or indignant disapproval of the choices I have made.

Sending a link to a book or telling someone about it just isn't the same as thrusting a well-thumbed book in their hands and saying Please read this book! If I owned a copy of this book I would lend it to every woman I know, but as I don't, the Dewey Decimal number is: 155.633 LER.


(Text)ure and (me)aning said...

I'm getting it
sometimes I am a
and sometimes
an avalanche

(Text)ure and (me)aning said...

Hi Meg. Have been thinking about this post a lot
It has influenced my posts of late, so I dedicate them to you.
Hope you well in them there hills..

funnily enough the word I have to type in to post this comment is 'Chess', its a battle!

Meg said...

Thanks Eddy!

Yes, I am well in these here hills. Exhausted after a full weekend. Sending love from here to you. xx

emily b-sides said...

I have only just started this book and already I am so pleased I have it. So much of it is resonating with me.

Thanks for the red hot tip LOM.