From Harriet Lerner in
“The Dance of Anger”:
This is the who-started-it game – the search for a beginning of a sequence, where the aim is to proclaim which person is to blame for the behavior of both.
But we know that this interaction is really a circular dance in which the behavior of one partner maintains and provokes the behavior of the other.
The circular dance has no beginning and no end. In the final analysis, it matters little who started it. The question of greater significance is: “How do we break out of it?”