Although it's not useful to drown in despair, it's also not useful to keep a 'positive attitude' when this means concealing or denying real emotions.— Harriet Lerner
The most revealing Harriet Lerner quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
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.
We cannot make another person change his or her steps to an old dance, but if we change our own steps, the dance no longer can continue in the same predictable pattern.
Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.
Keep in mind that the tendency to be judgmental - toward yourself or another person - is a good barometer of how anxious or stressed out you are. Judging others is simply the flip side of judging yourself.
Being who we are requires that we can talk openly about things that are important to us, that we take a clear position on where we stand on important emotional issues, and that we clarify the limits of what is acceptable and tolerable to us in a relationship.
An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences, sacrifices, or betrays the self and each party expresses strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way.
Whole-hearted listening is the greatest spiritual gift you can give to the other person.
In long-term relationships ... we are called upon to navigate that delicate balance between separateness and connectedness ... we confront the challenge of sustaining both--without losing either.
Through words we come to know the other person--and to be known.
This knowing is at the heart of our deepest longings for intimacy and connection with others. How relationships unfold with the most important people in our lives depends on courage and clarity in finding voice.
Many people value criticism in the early stage of a relationship, but become allergic to it over time. Remember this: No one can survive in a marriage (at least not happily) if they feel more judged than admired. Your partner won't make use of your constructive criticism if there's not a surrounding climate of admiration and respect.
The miracle is that your children will love you with all your imperfections if you can do the same for them.
The rush of sexual attraction can act like a drug and blur our capacity for clear thinking. This can lead us to distance ourselves from our friends or even abandon our life plan for someone who couldn't otherwise be relied on to water our plants and feed our cat.
Love alone is never a good enough reason to marry.
It is not fear that stops you from doing the brave and true thing in your daily life. Rather, the problem is avoidance. You want to feel comfortable so you avoid doing or saying the thing that will evoke fear and other difficult emotions. Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run but, it will never make you less afraid.
Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to.
Anxiety is extremely contagious, but so is calm.
We need to hear the sound of our voice for what we think and need.
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.
Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.
Don't count on the power of your love or your nagging to create something that wasn't there to begin with.
Pretending can be a bold form of experimentation and inventiveness.
In pretending joy or happiness, we may discover or enhance our capacity for it.
Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan.
But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.
Wherever you find a wife and mother-in-law slugging it out, you'll find a son who's not speaking up to either his mother or his wife.
The term girl not only serves to avoid certain anxiety-arousing connotations inherent in the word woman regarding aggression, sexuality, and reproduction, it also serves to impart a tone of frivolousness and lack of seriousness to ambitious, intellectual, and competitive striving that women may pursue.
The more we seek exclusivity in friendship, the more it becomes obligatory and the less likely it is to fulfill the wonderful vision of what true friendship can be.
Every time I open Facebook, I see a post with something like, "We must forgive or be prisoners of our own bitterness and hate." People think that forgiveness is all-or-nothing, but this myth hurts people. You can forgive 10, 97, or 14 percent. Forgiveness is complicated.
It's true that over-apologizing interrupts the flow of conversation and irritates the person who has to stop and offer reassurance, like, "No, it's fine, don't worry about it." But far greater than the challenge of toning down unnecessary "sorrys" is offering an apology when one is due.
Feeling inadequate is an occupational hazard of motherhood.
It is an act of courage to acknowledge our own uncertainty and sit with it for a while.
Telling a true story about personal experience is not just a matter of being oneself, or even or finding oneself. It is also a matter of choosing oneself.
Your children are not little mirrors reflecting back the good or bad job you've done.
The strongest relationships are between two people who can live without each other but don't want to.
My debt to feminism is simply incalculable.
Feminism allowed me to see past a 'reality' that I had once taken as a given. It helped me to pay attention to countless voices, my own included, that I had been taught 'don't count.' Feminism allows me to maintain hope.
Women are raised to be the nurturers and steadiers of rocked boats, to hold relationships in place as if our lives depended on it. But it shores up your own dignity and integrity if you're able to say, "There are a million things I love about you, and I want our relationship to continue. I forgive you 95 percent, but not this 5 percent."
Before modern feminism, stories of female ambition were silenced or erased;
even now, they are told with apology ("Yes, it's a great honor to be a Nobel Prize laureate, but really, what I love best is staying home and being a mother to Kevin and Annie").
We all fear change, even as we seek it.
As long as we can feel hope, there is hope.
The happiest people are focused on living their own life (not someone else's) as well as possible.
Fear has never helped anybody make good choices. It leads to clinging when we should be walking.
Believing that all women should want to be mothers makes about as much sense as believing that all men should want to be engineers.
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.
Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to stop trying to be helpful.
Women ... 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.
People marry with a deep longing that their partner will tend to their wounds, not throw salt in them. Honor your partner's vulnerability.
It's a cliché, but also a deep truth (as cliché's tend to be), that you can't love another person very well if you don't love yourself.
the body, seeking truth, sends a signal.
But decoding it, interpreting its meaning, and knowing how to proceed from there is another matter entirely.
As many have observed, it is easy to tell a lie, but it is almost impossible to tell only one.
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.
We commonly confuse closeness with sameness and view intimacy as the merging of two separate I's into one worldview.