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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lighten Up, Reach Out in New Ways and Be True to Yourself!, 19 Sept. 2001
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
In a moment when we feel safe, loved, comfortable, and relaxed, most people can communicate quite well and strengthen relationships. Catch us off guard with a terrible blow from someone close, and our knees may jerk so hard that they hit us in the jaw. We may say and do things that damage or destroy relationships. What can we do instead of these harmful reactions? How can we repair things once the damage has been done?
While many authors have written fine books about building and maintaining good and deteriorating relationships, this book has taken on all of the tough issues as its focus. You think your spouse is cheating with someone else. Your child won't speak to you. Your husband has taken liberties with your daughter. Your best friend says she or he never wants to see you again. There's a terrible family crisis and the other person cuts you off.
Dr. Lerner draws on her personal experiences as well as case histories from her practice as a psychotherapist to give you answers. In doing so, she doesn't promise solutions will follow. But you can be sure that you will have done a great deal to try to help the situation.
The book starts with the contrast of adult behavior to how children behave. Two children become angry in a sandbox, but five minutes later are quietly playing together again. "They choose happiness over righteousness." Adults usually do the opposite.
The essence of the book is to encourage you to figure out what you need to have from a relationship, and to communicate those needs, while finding out the same from the other person. In that simple statement, the book's concept is very much like the better negotiating books (such as Getting to Yes). Naturally, this advice is a lot harder to follow when your most intimate and closest relationships are involved. So you need someone to talk it over with. You can also use this book as a source of coaching for most of the tough personal situations you may find yourself in. While reading this book, you will get more from it if you keep an open mind about the specifics of the advice being presented.
The overriding point Dr. Lerner is making is that the other person may be in the wrong, but if you make him or her feel unhappy all of the time about it, you may lose the relationship. If the relationship is important to you, you may win the battle and lose the war.
There is a lot of judgmental advice in here about when to be silent, when to speak, and how much to say and in what ways. In different families and with different cultures, these rules will be quite different and Dr. Lerner makes that point explicit. You have to decide how you want to respond. That's what's important.
Although this book will seem like a natural to many women, I think most men will benefit as well. The examples go from the perspectives of both sexes, and men will get many valuable ideas for constructive ways to deal with conflict and issues. In my case, I find myself spending a lot of time listening to other people unburden themselves. Sometimes, this gets to be more than I am comfortable with. The book provided me with some valuable ideas for drawing limits to how many times I have to listen to the same complaint while still expressing my desire to support and be there for the other person.
I thought that the best parts of the book were the concepts of asking questions to find out more about what and why the other person is feelings the way she or he is, and providing the kinds of support that will make others realize that we care about them. Both are enriching and rewarding things to do.
Knowing that some people have trouble apologizing, I thought that the book was realistic to point out that in some relationships you are not going to get apologies. You should face up to that and decide how you feel about it.
After you finish reading and thinking about this excellent book, I hope you will drop a note, call, talk to, or give a hug to each person you care about in the next 24 hours. If you find that rewarding, pick a regular day in your schedule to repeat the process. As many people report, sometimes the best way to get more love . . . is to give more first!
Find the silver lining, even during the storms of your relationships, by learning how to become closer and more in tune!...
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lighten Up, Reach Out in New Ways and Be True to Yourself!, 8 July 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
In a moment when we feel safe, loved, comfortable, and relaxed, most people can communicate quite well and strengthen relationships. Catch us off guard with a terrible blow from someone close, and our knees may jerk so hard that they hit us in the jaw. We may say and do things that damage or destroy relationships. What can we do instead of these harmful reactions? How can we repair things once the damage has been done?
While many authors have written fine books about building and maintaining good and deteriorating relationships, this book has taken on all of the tough issues as its focus. You think your spouse is cheating with someone else. Your child won't speak to you. Your husband has taken liberties with your daughter. Your best friend says she or he never wants to see you again. There's a terrible family crisis and the other person cuts you off.
Dr. Lerner draws on her personal experiences as well as case histories from her practice as a psychotherapist to give you answers. In doing so, she doesn't promise solutions will follow. But you can be sure that you will have done a great deal to try to help the situation.
The book starts with the contrast of adult behavior to how children behave. Two children become angry in a sandbox, but five minutes later are quietly playing together again. "They choose happiness over righteousness." Adults usually do the opposite.
The essence of the book is to encourage you to figure out what you need to have from a relationship, and to communicate those needs, while finding out the same from the other person. In that simple statement, the book's concept is very much like the better negotiating books (such as Getting to Yes). Naturally, this advice is a lot harder to follow when your most intimate and closest relationships are involved. So you need someone to talk it over with. You can also use this book as a source of coaching for most of the tough personal situations you may find yourself in. While reading this book, you will get more from it if you keep an open mind about the specifics of the advice being presented.
The overriding point Dr. Lerner is making is that the other person may be in the wrong, but if you make him or her feel unhappy all of the time about it, you may lose the relationship. If the relationship is important to you, you may win the battle and lose the war.
There is a lot of judgmental advice in here about when to be silent, when to speak, and how much to say and in what ways. In different families and with different cultures, these rules will be quite different and Dr. Lerner makes that point explicit. You have to decide how you want to respond. That's what's important.
Although this book will seem like a natural to many women, I think most men will benefit as well. The examples go from the perspectives of both sexes, and men will get many valuable ideas for constructive ways to deal with conflict and issues. In my case, I find myself spending a lot of time listening to other people unburden themselves. Sometimes, this gets to be more than I am comfortable with. The book provided me with some valuable ideas for drawing limits to how many times I have to listen to the same complaint while still expressing my desire to support and be there for the other person.
I thought that the best parts of the book were the concepts of asking questions to find out more about what and why the other person is feelings the way she or he is, and providing the kinds of support that will make others realize that we care about them. Both are enriching and rewarding things to do.
Knowing that some people have trouble apologizing, I thought that the book was realistic to point out that in some relationships you are not going to get apologies. You should face up to that and decide how you feel about it.
After you finish reading and thinking about this excellent book, I hope you will drop a note, call, talk to, or give a hug to each person you care about in the next 24 hours. If you find that rewarding, pick a regular day in your schedule to repeat the process. As many people report, sometimes the best way to get more love . . . is to give more first!
Find the silver lining, even during the storms of your relationships, by learning how to become closer and more in tune!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dance of Connection, 19 Dec. 2011
By 
J. R. Figuiere (Stowmarket, Suffolk) - See all my reviews
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This is one of a series of books written by Dr. Harriet Herner, PH.D. I have learnt how to control my anger to obtain the results I would like instead of exploding unproductively all over the place like a bomb. A very very valuable book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: The Dance of Connection (Kindle Edition)
A good start to the book but the I lost interest as the stories became a bit repetitive and didn't give as much advice and help as I expected it to.
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The Dance of Connection by Harriet Lerner
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