Defensiveness is a natural reaction
Defensiveness is a common reaction to feeling criticized, but it seldom leads to productive resolutions. If you’re the type of person who gets defensive easily, you may find yourself in many arguments that could have been avoided. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to stop being defensive and argumentative.
It’s a way to protect yourself
When you feel like you need to defend yourself, it’s usually because you’re under attack. Whether the attack is real or imagined, your first instinct is to put up your defenses and protect yourself.
While this may be a natural reaction, it’s not always the most effective way to handle a situation. When you’re defensive, you’re more likely to become argumentative and less likely to listen to what the other person says. This can lead to misunderstanding and conflict.
If you want to stop being defensive, you can do a few things. First, try to understand why you’re feeling defensive. What is it about the situation that makes you feel threatened? Once you know what’s triggering your defensive reaction, you can work on addressing those underlying issues.
At the moment, try to stay calm and avoid getting defensive. Take a step back from the situation and take a deep breath. Remind yourself that there’s no need to feel threatened or afraid. Listen to what the other person has to say with an open mind. If you can’t do this on your own, ask for help from a friend or therapist who can help you manage your reactions.
With practice, you can learn how to stop being defensive and argumentative. By understanding your triggers and reactions, you can start to manage them more productively.
It can be helpful in some situations
When someone feels like they are being attacked, it is only natural to want to defend oneself. Being defensive is a natural reaction that can help us feel safe and protect ourselves from harm.
When we are defensive, we are more likely to be argumentative and react to things instead of responding thoughtfully. However, being defensive can also be harmful. We may also miss opportunities to understand another person’s perspective or find common ground.
If you find yourself being defensive frequently, there are some things you can do to change this pattern. Here are some tips:
- What makes you feel like you need to defend yourself? Pay attention to your triggers. When you are aware of your triggers, you can start to catch yourself before you get defensive.
- Take a step back. Once you know your triggers, take a step back from the situation. This will help you avoid getting caught up in the moment and reacting impulsively.
- Breathe. Taking a few deep breaths can help you relax and clear your head so that you can respond more calmly and thoughtfully.
- Listen with an open mind. When we are defensive, we tend to focus on preparing our response instead of listening to what the other person is saying. If you can focus on understanding the other person’s perspective, it will be easier to find common ground and avoid getting into an argument.
- Use “I” statements. When you use “I” statements, you take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings instead of attacking or blaming the other person. For example, “I felt hurt when you said that” is better than “You’re such a jerk!”
- But it can also be harmful.
- In day-to-day interactions, it’s only natural to want to defend yourself and your point of view. After all, you are the expert on yourself, and no one knows what you’re thinking or feeling except for you, right? Well, not exactly. When you get too wrapped up in defending yourself, you may miss out on important information that could help you see the other person’s point of view.
- It can make you seem closed-minded.
- When you’re in an argument, it can be easy to hold on to your opinion so tightly that you don’t leave any room for compromise or growth. This not only WON’T help you win the argument, but it will also make you seem inflexible and close-minded. If you want to argue effectively, you need to be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. This doesn’t mean that you should change your position every time someone disagrees with you, but it does mean that you should be willing to listen to other points of view and consider them seriously.
- It can make you seem uncooperative.
- If you want to defuse a tense situation, avoid getting defensive. When you’re in an argument, it can be easy to see the other person as the enemy. But getting defensive won’t do either of you any favors. It can make you seem uncooperative and like you’re not open to hearing what the other person says.
Here are some tips:
-Try to see things from the other person’s perspective.
-Focus on understanding them rather than winning the argument.
-Don’t take things personally.
-Breathe deeply and count to 10 before you respond.
-Ask questions to clarify what the other person is saying.
-Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. For example, say, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings,” instead of, “You’re being too sensitive.”
So how can you stop being defensive?
It’s normal to feel the need to defend yourself when you think you’re being attacked. However, being defensive all the time can make you seem argumentative and closed-minded. If you want to stop being defensive, there are a few things you can do:
- Try to see things from the other person’s perspective.
- Be open-minded and willing to listen to the other person’s opinion.
- Try to stay calm and avoid getting defensive.
Be aware of your triggers
When you know what sets you off, you can begin to be more aware of your reaction and choose a different response.
Some common triggers are:
-Being accused of something.
-Being disagreed with.
-Not being given credit where you feel it’s due.
-Being told you’re wrong.
-People need to follow-People need to follow through on their commitments.
-People not doing things the way you want them to.
Try to take a step back and take a deep breath when you feel yourself getting defensive. It can be helpful to have a mantra or short phrase that you can repeat to yourself in these moments to help keep you grounded. Some examples are: “It’s okay,” “I can handle this,” or “I’m allowed to have my own opinion.”
Don’t take things personally
One of the most important things to remember when trying to defuse a defensive person is that it’s not about you. It doesn’t matter how rational or irrational their anger may be; it has everything to do with them and their issues, insecurities, and past experiences. When you can remember this, it becomes much easier to let their words and actions roll off your back without getting defensive yourself.
Here are some additional tips for how to deal with a defensive person:
-Try to understand where they are coming from.
-Empathize with them.
-Don’t take their behavior personally.
-Don’t get defensive yourself.
-Try to stay calm and constructive.
-Focus on the issue at hand, not on past issues.
-Encourage open communication.
-Listen more than you talk.
Practice active listening
When we feel defensive, we feel like we’re not being heard. Learning to listen to others actively can help defuse the situation and give you a better understanding of where the other person is coming from.
To actively listen, try to:
- Pay attention to what the other person is saying.
- Put aside your thoughts and feelings for a moment.
- Focus on trying to understand what the other person is trying to say.
- Ask questions if you need help understanding.
- Avoid interrupting or jumping to conclusions.
- Try to restate what the other person has said in your own words.