Harriet Lerner Quotes

Harriet Lerner

Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to.

Harriet Lerner
(The Dance of Anger, 1985)

We'll always be disappointed if we believe that we can plan for a peak experience and make it happen. True joy can't be anticipated or planned. It just strikes.

Harriet Lerner

Fear is a message - sometimes helpful, sometimes not--but often conveying critical information about our beliefs, our needs, and our relationship to the world around us.

Harriet Lerner (Fear and Other Uninvited Guests, 2004)

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.

Harriet Lerner (The Dance of Anger, 1985)

What fuels human unhappiness can be boiled down to three key emotions ... anxiety, fear, and shame ... perhaps nothing is more important than understanding how these emotions affect us and how to manage ourselves when we are in their grip.

Harriet Lerner

We will be in tune with our bodies only if we truly love and honor them. We can't be in good communication with the enemy.

Harriet Lerner (The Dance of Deception, 1993)

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.

Harriet Lerner (The Dance of Anger, 1985)

Throughout evolutionary history, anxiety and fear have helped every species to be wary and to survive. Fear can signal us to act, or, alternatively, to resist the impulse to act. It can help us to make wise, self-protective choices in and out of relationships where we might otherwise sail mindlessly along, ignoring signs of trouble.

Harriet Lerner (Fear and Other Uninvited Guests, 2004)

Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan. But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.

Harriet Lerner (The Dance of Intimacy, 1989)

Harriet Lerner Biography

Born: November 30, 1944

Harriet Lerner is an American psychologist. She is best known for her various books on family and work relations.

Notable Works

The Dance of Anger (1985)
Life Preservers (1996)
The Dance of Fear (2004)