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-What do anger, resentment, and rage look like in codependents?

-How does our guilt, shame, and embarrassment about our anger help us maintain our unhealthy relationships?

-Why we need to stop asking questions like “What’s the point of being angry?” and instead get curious about our anger as a signal that something is amiss!

Welcome to episode 88! This week, I’m taking a deep dive into ANGER, RESENTMENT, and CODEPENDENT RAGE. But Marissa, if I’m pleasing, placating, and problem-solving for others all the time, how can I be angry? Buckle up, buttercup: when we spend all our time dedicating ourselves to others and neglecting our thoughts, feelings, and needs, resentment is guaranteed to build. We will be discussing resentment and rage with the help of Dr. Harriet Lerner, PhD through her work The Dance of Anger.. I’ll describe observations Dr. Lerner has made, connect them to our codependency, and then share an anecdote of my own seething resentment that turned into rage to help you reflect on this topic in your own life. It’s a must-listen!

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The Dance of Anger by Dr. Harriet Lerner, Phd:
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I introduce you to the work of Dr. Harriet Lerner and her book, The Dance of Anger.

I expand on three observations Dr. Lerner discusses in her book:

Women have long been discouraged from the awareness and forthright expression of anger.
If women repress and suppress their anger, they stay in place.
Women learn to fear their anger for two reasons: 1) it brings about the disapproval of others and 2) it necessitates change.
I then share 2-ish anecdotes from when I 1) got angry at my dad and 2) raged at my dad.
In her book, Dr. Lerner encourages the reader to reflect on the following 7 questions:
What am I really angry about?
What is the problem, and whose problem is it?
How can I sort out who is responsible for hat?
How can I learn to express my anger in a way that will not leave me feeling helpless and powerless?
When I’m angry, how can I clearly communicate my position without becoming defensive or attacking?
What risks and losses might I face if I become clearer and more assertive?
If getting angry is not working for me, what can I do differently?
We conclude with me answering the questions in the frame of mind I was in post-rage and ways I could have addressed problems with my dad back then.

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If you’re needing more than just these episodes to combat codependency in your life, here are some additional resources:
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