Starting this Wednesday off with a book review, for my #TeachMe series. The book I have been reading is, The Dance of Intimacy, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
Well, I made it through the first half of the book so far! This book was written as a “woman’s guide”, to changing significant relationships. For all of you who are not familiar with this author, her books can be utilized by anyone. Stay tuned, because I wanted to include all of you with sharing your thoughts on whether or not you would continue reading this book, and the reasons for doing so. You can help by taking the toll at the end of the post. 🙂
Now! Let’s get started with peeling away the layers of this book, shall we?!
“It is the will to change that motivates us to seek help, and it is the fear of change that motivates us to resist the very help we seek”-Lerner.
The main theme throughout this book is understanding the process of change, to increase intimacy. What I mean is, when we feel “stuck” in your relationship, we often blame the other person. Maybe it’s their fault for starting the argument with us. Maybe our partner is at fault for not calling us back? But, I challenge you to think of what could possible be contributing to these sources of anxiety? It could very well be the most obvious concern, then indeed a quick fix is needed. This will not always be the case…
I believe Harriet Lerner is justified in her belief that there are many books available that offer specific guidelines, and how to’s, in regards to improving your relationships with others. But, what are we learning from many of these books? How can we learn to sustain long-term changes, when many of these recommendations may have been based off of a quick perception of the problem? I agree that these books can and have been helpful, but what we should focus on is becoming more knowledgeable in getting to the root of these “issues”.
To give you a better example, think about going to a friend to talk about your day…you know, just venting about what happened that caused you to become upset. Next, this friend has the best advice on what you should have done, and the reasons why this advice will help “fix” everything. Either this can be good really good advice, and you are thanking your lucky stars for such an amazing friend, or perhaps this friend has completely missed the mark? Without really understanding what happened in your day, how can anyone offer you meaningful suggestions that would be satisfying for you?
Not even do the significant people in our lives get to take the fall for providing us with the “wrong advice”! Many times WE are quick to jump to make decisions on how to resolve the “immediate” problems. Of course this may seem logical at the time. On the contrary, if you’re having the same argument for the 5th time this week, this may cause you to feel hopeless right? Been there. Done that too many times to count. What this just means is that you really haven’t figured out why these arguments are truly happening…I’ve learned that my expectations can get me into a ton of trouble. Come on guys, I can’t be the only one out there. 🙂 Many of my past disagreements, (with anyone), boiled down to me not feeling comfortable with accepting that life happens. I won’t have the ability of predicting what should happen or when (even though this would be…awesome).
Instead of discussing my expectations before the disagreement, I chose to say nothing. I’ve also learned that I needed to speak up for the things that I wanted. I was tired of hiding, and dealing with huge blow ups after the fact.
In a nutshell, this book provides you with ways on how to begin understanding where your feelings of anxiety stem from, that may prevent you from changing your behavior to improve intimacy within your relationship. Does your symptoms of anxiety originate from earlier experiences? Or is it something more recent in your life/relationship that needs your attention? Lerner provides case examples, and personal narratives about how to begin this process.
My question to you is, how do you resolve issues in any of your relationships? Are these changes typically a quick fix, or do you feel that you need to constantly address the same issue?
Help me Rate This Book:
Based on this book review so far, would you continue reading this book?
Thanks for your feedback!
Photo Credit #1: http://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-improve-your-low-sat-reading-score-6-strategies
Photo Credit #2: http://www.harrietlerner.com/pages/intimacy.html
Photo Credit # 3: http://www.unhs.co.uk/unhs/your-health/health-advice/headache.aspx