What Is Defensiveness? How to Stop Getting Defensive
What Is Defensiveness?
Defensiveness can be both a feeling and behavior. The sentiment is typically elicited when you feel like someone is critical of you, resulting in shame, sadness, or anger.
In turn, behavior mainly results from the person’s intention, such as being sarcastic, being critical in return, or giving someone silent treatment.
Signs You Are Defensive
Defensive behavior can be challenging to recognize when it is coming from within. So let’s observe some of the common signs that you might be acting defensively.
When you feel criticized by others, do you interlock in any of the following behaviors? Read through the list & see if any matches with you:
- Stop listening to other people.
- Make solid excuses about whatever you are being criticized about and for.
- Blame the other people for what they are attacking you about and for.
- Accuse the other people of doing the same things.
- Try to justify your illogical actions and statements.
- Bring up past things that the other people did wrong and avoid talking about the current problems.
- Expect and ask the other person that they should not feel and think the way they do.
How to Be Less Defensive?
Are you wondering how to become less defensive? There are several strategies and coping techniques that you can employ to help you feel less defensive, which will result in you behaving less defensively. Below are excellent tips to get you started on a way toward becoming less defensive.
Become Conscious of Your Defensiveness
The 1st step to stopping your defensive behavior is to become aware of when it is occurring. It’s easy to avoid confronting your attitude or acknowledging that you are behaving defensively.
Validate Your Feelings
Once you notice when you become defensive, it’s essential to start validating your feelings when you are criticized. The small act of acknowledging that you feel hurt, ashamed, fearful, worried, or insecure can help to defuse the situation.
Avoid Acting on Your Feelings
As you validate your feelings of being badly or slightly hurt and feeling ashamed and show feeling toward yourself for how you think, you can also acknowledge that you don’t need to act upon the impulse to react defensively.
Decide to Align Yourself with Your Values
Is defensiveness matching how you wish to be as an individual? If not, it’s the right time to get clear on how you want to respond. When you observe yourself as becoming defensive, how would the best version of yourself manage the situation? If you are not sure about such things, use your journal to write out a list of things that you could do at the moment instead of acting out on your defensive feelings.
Below are some ideas of deeds that you could take that would stop you from acting defensively in your future life:
- Tell the other people how their remarks make you feel and why you feel hurt
- Behave a little bit assertively moreover ask for respect from the other person regardless of what objection they choose to offer
- Stay on the topic & discuss solutions to the problem rather than getting side-tracked
Anticipate When You seem to Become Defensive
Do you have a great idea of when you are most likely to become defensive? Perhaps it’s around a particular person or in a specific situation. The great thing that you can do is list the potential problems to cause you to become defensive.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
If there are specific issues and areas of life about which you are becoming more defensive, it may be helpful to do things that make you feel more confident or boost your self-esteem.
Visit and consult an experienced therapist
If you are fighting defensively and can’t seem to control it on your own, you may want to invest in therapy or counseling to work on the issue. It could be beneficial if you are experiencing defensiveness or any other problems, like mental exhaustion in your association.
You could even attend couples; counseling to manage your communication and relation as a strongly bonded couple.
Instead of reacting to your feelings of being hurt and feeling criticized, you should try taking responsibility for whatever portion you might be responsible for in the situation.
Enhance your Communication Skills
Another trick to managing defensiveness is to improve your communication skills. For example, if you know a particular topic always forces you to feel hurt or angry. Then, it is acceptable to tell the other person that you don’t want to discuss it unless the goal is finding a solution.