Defensiveness sends terrible signals. When you indulge in it, you’re likely to be seen as insecure, closed-minded and overly emotional. None of these labels is going to help you be successful or build stronger relationships.
Generally, when people talk about someone becoming defensive in the context of a conversation, they are meaning that that someone is engaging in emotionally defensive maneuvers designed to ward off their having to experience some unwanted feeling or admit responsibility for some disowned act.
People who are acting defensively are essentially trying to protect themselves from feeling a certain uncomfortable way, and from viewing themselves as a failure or otherwise in a negative light.
Being defensive is a sign that you’re in fight or flight mode, and that’s not a place where you can accomplish anything constructive. Learn to read your own signals so you can nip your defensive reaction in the bud. Suppress it with deep breaths, with listening and curiosity, and with demonstrations of accountability and willingness to learn.
In this week’s episode Jake gives us tidbits on how to get control of your defensiveness so that it will reduce your stress, improve the quality of conversations in your life, and ultimately improve your perceived value to areas in your life.
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