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The Dance of Deception: A Guide to Authenticity and Truth-Telling in Women's Relationships

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When The Dance of Deceptionwas published, Lerner discovered that women were not eager to identify with the subject. "Well, I don't do deception" was a common resonse. We all "do deception", often with the intention to protect ourselves and the relationships we depend on. The Dance of Deceptionunravels the ways (and whys) that women show the false and hide the real -- even t When The Dance of Deceptionwas published, Lerner discovered that women were not eager to identify with the subject. "Well, I don't do deception" was a common resonse. We all "do deception", often with the intention to protect ourselves and the relationships we depend on. The Dance of Deceptionunravels the ways (and whys) that women show the false and hide the real -- even to our own selves. We see how relationships are affected by lying and faking, by silence and pretending and by brave -- but misguided -- efforts to tell the truth. Truth-telling is at the heart of what is most central in women's lives. It is at the foundation of authenticity and creativity, intimacy and joy. Yet in the name of "honesty", we can bludgeon each other. We can approach a difficult issue with such a poor sense of timing and tact that we can actually shut down the lines of communication rather than widening the path of truth-telling. Sometimes Lerner's advice takes a surprising turn -- for example, when she asks us to engage in a bold act of pretending in order to discover something "more real"; or when she tells us not to parachute down on our family to bring up a "hot issue" without laying the necessary groundwork first. Whether the subject is affairs, family secrets, sexual faking or the challenge of "being oneself", Lerner helps us to discover, speak and live our own truths.


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When The Dance of Deceptionwas published, Lerner discovered that women were not eager to identify with the subject. "Well, I don't do deception" was a common resonse. We all "do deception", often with the intention to protect ourselves and the relationships we depend on. The Dance of Deceptionunravels the ways (and whys) that women show the false and hide the real -- even t When The Dance of Deceptionwas published, Lerner discovered that women were not eager to identify with the subject. "Well, I don't do deception" was a common resonse. We all "do deception", often with the intention to protect ourselves and the relationships we depend on. The Dance of Deceptionunravels the ways (and whys) that women show the false and hide the real -- even to our own selves. We see how relationships are affected by lying and faking, by silence and pretending and by brave -- but misguided -- efforts to tell the truth. Truth-telling is at the heart of what is most central in women's lives. It is at the foundation of authenticity and creativity, intimacy and joy. Yet in the name of "honesty", we can bludgeon each other. We can approach a difficult issue with such a poor sense of timing and tact that we can actually shut down the lines of communication rather than widening the path of truth-telling. Sometimes Lerner's advice takes a surprising turn -- for example, when she asks us to engage in a bold act of pretending in order to discover something "more real"; or when she tells us not to parachute down on our family to bring up a "hot issue" without laying the necessary groundwork first. Whether the subject is affairs, family secrets, sexual faking or the challenge of "being oneself", Lerner helps us to discover, speak and live our own truths.

30 review for The Dance of Deception: A Guide to Authenticity and Truth-Telling in Women's Relationships

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I think this might be my new favorite book by Lerner. There is a new gem of wisdom in every book of hers that I read. This one is no exception. I already had some pretty strong opinions about honesty and its place in the virtue hierarchy, but Lerner not only dovetails what I already believed, she takes it deep into the underbelly of consideration for long term happiness using her amazing knowledge of family systems. Not only does this book discuss the nuances and biases concerning truth and dece I think this might be my new favorite book by Lerner. There is a new gem of wisdom in every book of hers that I read. This one is no exception. I already had some pretty strong opinions about honesty and its place in the virtue hierarchy, but Lerner not only dovetails what I already believed, she takes it deep into the underbelly of consideration for long term happiness using her amazing knowledge of family systems. Not only does this book discuss the nuances and biases concerning truth and deception in our culture, but it also talks about how to discover for yourself when a lie to another person is healthy or not, and whether an instant and passionate or strategic and slow unveiling is best. Anyone curious about truth and how it affects their relationships should read this book. Anyone with a secret that causes them pain should read this book. The wisest answers to questions regarding honesty may not be what you expected.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Soaringspirit

    Read everything by Harriet Lerner

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Young

    Seemed to provide some of the reasons why women lie, and when they lie, as well the 'justifications' provided for lying. The main reason I dislike this book is because almost all the excuses for lying in the book are self-serving, and fail to take into account the secondary reasons for lying, which are often the more true one. The book only penetrated one layer of lying, not the next. Further, it did not always take into account the consequences when the lies were found out, merely glossing over Seemed to provide some of the reasons why women lie, and when they lie, as well the 'justifications' provided for lying. The main reason I dislike this book is because almost all the excuses for lying in the book are self-serving, and fail to take into account the secondary reasons for lying, which are often the more true one. The book only penetrated one layer of lying, not the next. Further, it did not always take into account the consequences when the lies were found out, merely glossing over them by saying, 'X was angry at first when they found out they had been lied to, but then came to forgive her...,' but perhaps I'm looking for another book, eg the consequences of lying. There was a later section on lying to accommodate society's perception of a woman, which was quite good, probably the best part of the book. I guess I'm just annoyed there wasn't some guide about how to encourage women to be authentic and not to meaninglessly lie, when there is little benefit. For me, this book was vastly incomplete. As the author lied to me about the title, so I lie about the rating. It is probably closer to 3+ stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    *Truth be told* Perhaps the truth can set us free, but it seems that the first step is to free that truth within us. The Dance of Deception provides an insightful overview of how our own personal truths get blocked by both systemic forces such as society, cultural expectations, family secrets, as well as by inner forces such as overwhelming emotions, personal narratives, and internal confusion. Harriet explores the process of truth-telling in women's lives which begins with tuning into our own pe *Truth be told* Perhaps the truth can set us free, but it seems that the first step is to free that truth within us. The Dance of Deception provides an insightful overview of how our own personal truths get blocked by both systemic forces such as society, cultural expectations, family secrets, as well as by inner forces such as overwhelming emotions, personal narratives, and internal confusion. Harriet explores the process of truth-telling in women's lives which begins with tuning into our own personal truths and then effectively sharing these truths with others. Her book clearly illuminates how the quest for our deepest truths is a prerequisite for authentic relationships with both the self and others.

  5. 4 out of 5

    April

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I learned about this book while reading bell hooks's book All About Love and so it went on my to-read list. I'm glad I read it because it helped to clarify some important distinctions involved in truth-telling. I also appreciated the discussion on honesty within relationships about attraction to others and what those conversations could look like. I want to separate out that chapter for people in relationships to read--mostly for me and whoever is in my life, so we can be on the same page (or no I learned about this book while reading bell hooks's book All About Love and so it went on my to-read list. I'm glad I read it because it helped to clarify some important distinctions involved in truth-telling. I also appreciated the discussion on honesty within relationships about attraction to others and what those conversations could look like. I want to separate out that chapter for people in relationships to read--mostly for me and whoever is in my life, so we can be on the same page (or not) about how we approach this. Part of me wishes I read it in college (if it was part of a class I took), but part of me knows that I might not have been receptive to the concepts at that time. Maybe. “Deception has played a major role in the evolution of human life. It is interesting to think about the fact that deception and ‘con games’ are a way of life in all species and throughout nature. Organisms that do not improve their ability to deceive—and to detect deception—are less apt to survive.” pg. 11 “When we are silent or withholding about the self, we may call it ‘privacy,’ a word suggesting that our failure to disclose is neutral or harmless. We would all agree that we don’t have to tell anyone everything, although the more intimate the relationship the greater both the possibility and the longing to tell—and the bigger the emotional consequences of not telling. Privacy differs from deception. But when we say, ‘This is nobody’s business but my own,’ we may obscure the full meaning and consequences of secrets and silence, of a life in hiding in which we do not allow ourselves to be known.” pg. 13 “Because of the enormous human capacity for self-deception, we may fail to recognize when we are lying—or when we are not living authentically and truly. In any case, we can be no more honest with others than we are with the self.” pg. 13 “As many have observed, it is easy to tell a lie, but it is almost impossible to tell only one. The first lie may need to be protected by others as well. Concealing something important takes attention and emotional energy that could otherwise serve more creative ends. When we must ‘watch ourselves,’ even when we do so automatically and seemingly effortlessly, the process dissipates our energy and erodes our integrity.” pg. 29 “I do not seek privacy in order to fool others or engage in acts of deception. Rather, I seek privacy primarily to protect my dignity and ultimate separateness as a human being. Thus, I publicly defend my ‘right to privacy.’ In contrast, I don’t recall ever using the phrase, my ‘right to secrecy,’ although surely I have the right to keep some secrets, my own and others. Secrets may, as lies always do, demand justification. In contrast, it is the violation of privacy, not the guarding of it, that demands justification.” pg. 36 “My right to privacy also includes my right to protect my body, and any decisions regarding it, from unwanted control and intrusion by others. The possibility that the government could force me to carry a fetus to term, for example, is as terrifying to me as the possibility that the government could order a fetus ripped from my womb. I feel entitled to make personal choices about reproducing, loving, and dying—without state intervention. If I do not control my own body, I do not control my own life, and I am in no position to seek or define my own truths.” pg. 36 “‘You’re invading my life space!’ . . . Protecting one’s personal space occurs both within and between species. One species will flee from another at a particular ‘flight distance,’ for example, six feet for a wall lizard. Within species, each animal has a ‘social distance,’ a minimal distance that the animal routinely preserves between itself and others of its kind. ‘Having space’ is a critical aspect of privacy and self-preservation.” pg. 37 “As I see it, however, privacy shifts into secrecy when an act of deliberate concealment or hiding has a significant impact on a relationship process. Secrecy, as I define it here, is deliberate concealment that makes a difference.” pg. 39 “Around this time I began to understand that the widespread female practice of faking orgasms (or pretending greater enthusiasm about intercourse than is felt) is an act with deeper meaning: It reflects cultural pressures for women to be more concerned with the pleasure that we arouse in others than with the pleasure we might feel within ourselves. Faking orgasm is an important example of pretending and self-betrayal in women’s lives that bolsters our sexual partners and protects them at the expense of the self. It reflects the myths we have internalized about what men need from women and have a right to expect from us.” pg. 52 “Each woman is ultimately the best expert on her own self. But to begin to know our own truths, we need to examine our own stories and those of other women. Telling a ‘true story’ about personal experience is not just a matter of being oneself, or even of finding oneself. It is also, as we will see, a matter of choosing oneself.” pg. 67 “I credit feminism, more than any other force in my life, with allowing me to move toward the truth, toward greater congruence between my private life and public image.” pg. 73 “She [Peggy McIntosh] notes that the ability to feel fraudulent rests on our capacity to be in touch with our own authenticity. By knowing what is ‘real’ in ourselves, we can recognize when the self is being violated by institutions or roles that ask us to put aside an integral part of ourselves or to pretend to be what we are not.” pg. 76 “A more parsimonious explanation is that dead-end jobs evoke dead-end dreams, while new opportunities evoke new desires and, ultimately, new stories about our ‘true self.’” pg. 81 “If we are not told the truth, we cannot trust the universe—including our internal universe of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Like all human beings, however, our parents can be no more honest and direct with us than they are with themselves.” pg. 87 “Even in calmer, more flexible families, differences challenge mothers and daughters. With the role of women changing so fast, it is not surprising that a mother may experience her daughter’s expression of difference as disloyalty or betrayal, as discontinuity or loss, and as a judgment on the mother’s own life and choices. Such tensions are understandable as a mother watches her daughter struggle to find new and different explanations for what it means to be an adult woman compared to what was prescribed over countless generations.” pg. 91-92 “Women frequently leave a part of themselves at home. That is, we may sacrifice important aspects of the self in an unconscious effort to be for our mothers. A daughter senses her mother’s hopes, fears, dreams, compromises, losses, and unfulfilled longings.” pg. 93 “. . . a process of truth-telling, of knowing and being known, of refining and deepening their disclosures to one another.” pg. 110 “Doing what comes naturally may just as naturally land us in trouble. In the name of either ‘honesty’ or ‘truth,’ we are likely to drive anxiety higher rather than promote the conditions of safety that encourage truth-telling. Much of what we call ‘telling the truth’ involves an unproductive effort to change, convince, or convert another person, rather than an attempt to clarify our own selves.” pg. 115 “Between what is playful and what is desperate, we could name countless forms and functions of pretending in everyday life. Whether the intention is to dazzle or distract, confuse or camouflage, masquerade or malinger, impress or impersonate, pretending is an ever present adaptational strategy throughout all of nature. A particular act of pretending may elicit censure (‘Why must she always pretend to have it all together?’) or admiration (‘I was amazed that she was able to give such an uplifting performance when her heart was breaking’). In either case, the human capacity to hide the real and display the false is truly extraordinary, allowing us to regulate relationships through highly complex choices about how we present ourselves to others.” pg. 118 “According to one dictionary, pretending is ‘mild in force’ and implies ‘no evil.’ the tow dictionaries in my library don’t even include the words ‘lie’ or ‘deceive’ among the synonyms provided. Pretending is a ‘soft’ verb. As such, it is the form of deception we are least likely to scrutinize. The very word ‘pretending,’ like the word ‘privacy,’ invites us not to pay attention. And yet, as I listen to women reveal how they pretend in their own personal lives, I hear stories of grave, ongoing deceptions. Of necessity, these must be shored up by lying and self-betrayal: ‘I pretended that I was in love with him, because I was desperate to get married’; ‘I pretended to want sex’; ‘I pretended to enjoy motherhood’; ‘I pretended to be happy in my marriage.’ Patriarchy schools women to pretend as a virtual way of life, and then trivializes its eroding effects on ourselves and our partners.” pg. 121 “Humans lean toward dichotomous, polarized thinking under stress. As we divide into opposing camps, multiple and complex truths are easily lost, with each party overfocused on what the other is doing wrong and underfocused on our own options for moving differently. Whether we are talking about individuals or governments, it is a remarkable achievement to move against our automatic, patterned responses, which block the possibility of open conversation and the experience of a more nuanced and complex view of what we name reality. Changing how we habitually behave in a relationship may require an initial willingness to pretend, to act, to silence our automatic responses, to do something different even when it initially feels nothing like ‘being oneself.’ One can discover in pretending that one has allowed for the emergence or invention of something ‘more real.’” pg. 129 “Goethe once wrote (before inclusive language): ‘If you treat man as he appears to be, you make him worse than he is. But if you treat man as if he already were what he potentially could be, you make him what he should be.’ We can never know the totality or the potential of other human beings (or what they ‘should be,’ for that matter), but who they are with us always has something to do with how we are with them. W. Brugh Joy has paraphrased Goethe’s quotation as follows: ‘If I treat myself as I think I appear to be, I make myself less than I am. But if I treat myself as if I already were what I potentially could be, I make myself what I should be.’ Both quotations are intriguing meditations on the power of imagining and pretending—and the relationship between the two.” pg. 135 “When we aren’t receiving and processing information from the other person, we become dishonest with ourselves. We are all responsible, in part, for how our relationships go; we may collude with or even invite dishonesty.” pg. 163-164 “Toward this end, they renewed their promise to each other to openly share any outside attraction before acting on it. This would include revealing strong emotional and romantic attractions, not just genital ones. The one listening would try to respond with honest feelings, without punishing the other for honesty by becoming overly reactive or controlling. Both would feel free to ask each other about outside attractions, and to remind each other that honesty, not monogamy, was their most important shared value.” pg. 164 “In her book The Monogamy Myth, Peggy Vaughan underlines the fact that we cannot assume monogamy without discussing it, nor can we assure it by extracting promises or issuing threats. Only honesty can create the groundwork for monogamy. Attractions kept secret from a partner are far more likely to intensify and be acted on.” pg. 164-165 “We both tentatively conclude that the body does not mislead. Rather, to be more accurate, we misread. We overanalyze, on the one hand, or on the other, we fail to pay attention at all. Being in touch with our bodies, or more accurately, being our bodies, is how we know what is true.” pg. 182 “The quest for truth has at its center the struggle to identify the body’s deepest truths and to distinguish these from automatic conditioned responses that begin in the body and then mislead.” pg. 183 “Anxiety—like anger—requires interpretation. Like other messages from the body, the true meaning of anxiety may be obscured. Yes, we’re anxious. But what is the danger? Is it past or present, real or imagined? Should we stop to consider it or try to ignore it? Are we feeling anxious because we are boldly charting new territory, or because we are about to do something stupid? Who is being served or protected by our fear?” pg. 185 “The body’s first response to anxiety is not courage. Rather, when we are anxious, we seek comfort, which means doing what is reflexive and familiar. ‘Doing what comes naturally’ can lull us into a psychic slumber, a life on automatic pilot where our commitment is to security and safety rather than truth and honor.” pg. 188 “Regretfully (or happily), there are no ‘how-to’ guidelines for deciphering the body’s signals. Obviously, we can ‘read’ our bodies more accurately during a calm, meditative moment than during an anxious, frenetic time. And 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.” pg. 194 “But the advice to be one’s true self, and to value one’s true self apart from context and how others respond to us, is as absurd as it is advisable. For starters, we are relational beings who need approval and appreciation from significant people in our lives. Our wish to be valued, and to belong, is not excessive dependency but a basic, enduring human need. Also, we don’t have one ‘true self’ that we can decide to reveal on the one hand or hide on the other. Rather, the particulars of our situations define, limit, and expand what we assume to be ‘real’ and ‘true’ about ourselves. Nor is there ever a point in human life when the self is ‘finished’ or ‘set.’ Situations are always redefining who we are. It’s not just a matter of what we present to others but also what we become within different contexts.” pg. 199 “Most of us fail to appreciate how profoundly we influence each other and how larger systems influence us. Instead, we learn to think in terms of individual characteristics, as if individuals are separable from the relationship systems in which they operate. Obviously, we do have aspects of the self that are relatively stable and enduring, predictable, and even rigidly patterned. And some aspects of the self are not negotiable under relationship pressures. We do not, however, have one ‘true self’ that we can choose to either hide or authentically share with others. Rather, we have multiple potentials and possibilities that different situations will evoke or suppress, make more or less likely, and assign more or less positive or negative values to.” pg. 206 “How then do we expand the possibilities of knowing what is ‘true’ about our selves and our world? Only by recognizing how partial, subjective, and contextual our ‘knowing’ is can we even hope to begin to enlarge it. Only as we understand that a very small group of privileged human beings have defined what is true and real for us all can we begin to pay attention to the many diverse voices (our own, included) that we have been taught to ignore. Only by viewing human behavior in context, by placing ourselves in new contexts, and by trying out new behaviors in the old contexts, can we begin to move toward a more complex truth about ourselves and others.” pg. 209 Book: borrowed from SSF Main Library.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessika Valentine

    This book made me think real hard about the way we women are brought to pretend and deceive in our everyday lives even when we think we are the epitome of honesty, it's true like the author said because truth telling needs context and needs all women to be truth tellers. In my community where I was brought, women are supposed to pretend that they have it together, always, because they are the glue of their homes and without them all disintegrates but the world of today is different, more women a This book made me think real hard about the way we women are brought to pretend and deceive in our everyday lives even when we think we are the epitome of honesty, it's true like the author said because truth telling needs context and needs all women to be truth tellers. In my community where I was brought, women are supposed to pretend that they have it together, always, because they are the glue of their homes and without them all disintegrates but the world of today is different, more women are coming out as vulnerable, tired, even weak and that's no reason not to celebrate them, but even more of the reason because they are still the glue and they still keep pushing forwards and 'leaning in' regardless of their vulnerability but despite it. I read this book after another about the women's sexual revolution and I saw a parallel in some points but not all. All in all, this is a good read that will bring forward more readings of one's own reality.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie Atha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked her books as always but this one less than the others that I've read. I felt she used this book as a tool to put her political feelings out there even though her feelings are well known by her other books. I asked myself a few times if this was a book on political and moral views or psychology. But I understood later after finishing it that she might very well have been practicing what she teaches in the book, to follow your own heart on truth and deception. Maybe she felt it was decepti I liked her books as always but this one less than the others that I've read. I felt she used this book as a tool to put her political feelings out there even though her feelings are well known by her other books. I asked myself a few times if this was a book on political and moral views or psychology. But I understood later after finishing it that she might very well have been practicing what she teaches in the book, to follow your own heart on truth and deception. Maybe she felt it was deception to leave out some of those feelings, looking back, I do see how she might find it blends together and she was using her own feelings as examples which she has always done but more clearly in this book. I am not sure if these are spoilers so I will say yes..?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Izlinda

    I wasn't that intrigued by the sections that were more sociological than individual. I did appreciate some of the examples. There were some good points in this book. The section about your body giving signals really hit me hard. It's a good tie-in with the previous two books in this trilogy. I tend to be a hit-and-run confrontational type of person, I think, once I get the courage to come out with some things. I wasn't that intrigued by the sections that were more sociological than individual. I did appreciate some of the examples. There were some good points in this book. The section about your body giving signals really hit me hard. It's a good tie-in with the previous two books in this trilogy. I tend to be a hit-and-run confrontational type of person, I think, once I get the courage to come out with some things.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Crystalyn

    Disappointed. This book was quoted from in "Mending the Soul: Workbook" so I was really looking forward to reading the actual book. However, the liberal views were hard for me to actually hear what the author was trying to say. So, I ended up disagreeing with the author quite often. Very disappointed. Disappointed. This book was quoted from in "Mending the Soul: Workbook" so I was really looking forward to reading the actual book. However, the liberal views were hard for me to actually hear what the author was trying to say. So, I ended up disagreeing with the author quite often. Very disappointed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is an amazing book. I don't normally drift towards self-help types but this was really a very readable insight into things that happen everyday. My favorite part is learning the difference between privacy and secrecy. This is an amazing book. I don't normally drift towards self-help types but this was really a very readable insight into things that happen everyday. My favorite part is learning the difference between privacy and secrecy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liaken

    This is an interesting read. Lerner brings up all sorts of ideas that I hadn't fully considered. This book has a strong feminist tone and looks at the issues in a large cultural fashion rather than an intimate fashion. This is an interesting read. Lerner brings up all sorts of ideas that I hadn't fully considered. This book has a strong feminist tone and looks at the issues in a large cultural fashion rather than an intimate fashion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Klassen-Jacobs

    Just finished this book and I loved it. A great read for anyone wanting to better understand the value of not deceiving yourself or others. If you're interested in truth-telling, integrity and authenticity, then this book might be a good fit. Just finished this book and I loved it. A great read for anyone wanting to better understand the value of not deceiving yourself or others. If you're interested in truth-telling, integrity and authenticity, then this book might be a good fit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hwydiva

    I am so glad to see that this book was published over 20 years ago. The info in it is very dated. It is an interesting read if you want to learn about different phases of development in the feminist movement. Glad to see women have come so far since then.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I read this book after her current book on apologies. I found this one a little repetitive towards the end. There were some interesting parts about why we lie and deceive ourselves and others. Lots to think about.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    reframed my inner interrogations and gave me clarity

  16. 5 out of 5

    k8beeZ

    Any of Harriet Lerner's books are amazing! If you are a woman...and especially if you have tried therapy from a shrink...FORGET IT...just read these line of "The Dance Of" books by Harriet! Peace!!! Any of Harriet Lerner's books are amazing! If you are a woman...and especially if you have tried therapy from a shrink...FORGET IT...just read these line of "The Dance Of" books by Harriet! Peace!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Very interesting and useful insights.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bridgett

    I learned a lot about the difference between honesty and truth-telling. I am a person who tends to be bluntly honest and it was interesting to read about the potential pitfalls of this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I love all her books. They are wonderful.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Read and also listened to it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    I registered a book at BookCrossing.com! http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/3734466 I registered a book at BookCrossing.com! http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/3734466

  22. 4 out of 5

    Winona

    This is a wonderful well written book! A lot of truth in these pages about when and why we lie to ourselves and others.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Wasn't worth my time. Glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't waste my money. Wasn't worth my time. Glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't waste my money.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenny from Ukraine

    Very thought-provoking. Must-read for women.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Rendon

    In this book of constantly juxtaposed ideas and opinions, Lerner teases out the complexity of what it means to be honest and truthful, specifically as it relates to women.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

    It is amazing isn't it? How it's almost like a mating call. We show one side of ourselves and then the rest of ourselves a year or two later. The dance of deception is an excellent read. It is amazing isn't it? How it's almost like a mating call. We show one side of ourselves and then the rest of ourselves a year or two later. The dance of deception is an excellent read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sibeth

    A good example of causes and effects of deception for women as a scientific way. There are some good messages for women in relationship also it helps to realize something that you are in wrong way.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Luann Habecker

    pg 12 We also depart from truth-telling through silence, as my family did, by failing to speak out. We do not ask an essential question or make a comment to clarify the facts. We without information from others that would make a difference in their lives. We do not even say, "There are some things I am not telling you." pg 53 Vagina/Vulva pg 84 "the happy girl" a role that was rigidly enforced pg 90 pg 98 learned to appreciate her mother's predictable response "oh, you're not really sad honey", as pg 12 We also depart from truth-telling through silence, as my family did, by failing to speak out. We do not ask an essential question or make a comment to clarify the facts. We without information from others that would make a difference in their lives. We do not even say, "There are some things I am not telling you." pg 53 Vagina/Vulva pg 84 "the happy girl" a role that was rigidly enforced pg 90 pg 98 learned to appreciate her mother's predictable response "oh, you're not really sad honey", as nothing more that information about Ruth's way of managing anxiety. pg 104 While it took only minutes to express his anger, it took hours to deal with its consequences pg 115 much of what we call "telling the truth" involves an unproductive effort to change, convince, or convert another person, rather than an attempt to clarify our own selves. pg 123 Glib affirmations to "think positively" and "look on the bright side" can alienate us from our bodies and our unconscious, by serving to conceal emotional complexity rather than uncover what is hidden or lost. pg 151 It is one thing to tell a preschool-age child that she is adopted. It is another to create a calm emotional climate where the child can feel safe to ask questions and share a range of honest emotions, including grief over her loss of significant people, separation from her birth mothers, and the possibility she may never meet her birth parents. At least one family member will pay a price when an important matter can't be noticed, talked about, or even remembered. pg 188 The body's first response to anxiety is not courage. Rather, when we are anxious, we seek comfort, which means doing what is reflexive and familiar. Doing what comes naturally can lull us into a psychic slumber, a life on automatic pilot where our commitment is to security and safety rather than truth and honor. pg 218 It is not that we have to tell everything, or to tell all at once, or even to know beforehand all that we need to tell. But an honorable relationship is one in which we are trying, all of the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us, of life between us. pg 108- Truth telling vs being honest. Whatever we experience with the greatest emotional intensity may be what we may mistakenly assume to be most real. pg 111- No single moment of honesty, self-disclosure, revelation or emotionality can determine how truth-telling will proceed over time. Truth-telling is a process/ honesty often referenced as incidents where they reacted. The solution to the problem is not to become less honest, but rather to be come better truth-tellers.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    This is my least favourite of "The Dance of.." books by Lerner. For The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships and The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships I found I couldn't put the books down. So eager was I to read the next piece of life- and perspective-changing insight that I finished each book in an average of two days; for this book however, it took at least three times that. There are many reasons, This is my least favourite of "The Dance of.." books by Lerner. For The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships and The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships I found I couldn't put the books down. So eager was I to read the next piece of life- and perspective-changing insight that I finished each book in an average of two days; for this book however, it took at least three times that. There are many reasons, but the overarching one is the feeling of uneasiness that descended on me every time I started reading. The most troubling thing is that I'm unsure if it is uneasiness from - the author revealing truths which I wasn't yet ready to confront; or - whether it was the act of thinking about deception and its role throughout my life brought up unhappy and unwanted memories; or - the style of writing was less factual and more experience based, and so I had to keep interrupting the 'reading flow' to translate and decipher to see if it matched with my own experience. It may have been a combination of the three. The most useful part for me was around imposter syndrome and the concepts of not letting anyone make you feel like a fraud, but also not losing the feeling of fraudulence which is a by-product of the larger hierarchies and systems. Whatever the reason, it was a challenging read. There are some very clever and useful bits throughout, so I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Uma Dwivedi

    we all know how i feel about dr lerner by now, and this book is no different. i am what she calls an honest body, which is not a moral testimony so much as a description of the fact that lying (but not pretending) for me results in lots of nausea and extreme physical discomfort. pretending—the lying/pretending distinction is an interesting and important one—is more about the daily task of cohering to a persona that may not be entirely honest, whereas lying is more direct falsehood. we have diffe we all know how i feel about dr lerner by now, and this book is no different. i am what she calls an honest body, which is not a moral testimony so much as a description of the fact that lying (but not pretending) for me results in lots of nausea and extreme physical discomfort. pretending—the lying/pretending distinction is an interesting and important one—is more about the daily task of cohering to a persona that may not be entirely honest, whereas lying is more direct falsehood. we have different capabilities and tendencies regarding both (for example, i am a bad liar but a very good pretender) and these capabilities sink into the patterns of our relationships, establishing the dynamics we reinforce throughout our lives

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