We've all been defensive, and this horseman is nearly omnipresent when relationships are on the rocks. When we feel unjustly accused, we. Here's how you can handle criticism without getting defensive, using For example, if he tries afterward to tell me how my tardiness made him. Defensiveness in Relationships and Marriage “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail “, he talks about defensiveness as one of the For example.
Throw up a wall, rebut the statement, and accuse the other person of the same complaint. The sad thing is many of us react defensively without even thinking about it. This allows us to feel morally superior to the other person while simultaneously protecting our ego from the possibility that we may actually be incompetent or acting like a jerk. Unfortunately, defensive behavior creates a reciprocal cycle. One party acts defensively, which causes the other party to respond defensively, which in turn causes the first party to raise their defenses even higher, and so on and so on.
Defensive behavior can be a complex and murky issue. Beyond the mental and emotional factors, there are types of behaviors that cause people to respond defensively. Defensive communication expert Jack Gibbs outlines six behavioral categories that create defensive responses in people: Lack of accountability — Shifting blame, making excuses, and rationalizing behavior leads people to raise their defense levels.
Your partner is trying to convey some important information to you. They may not always communicate in the most constructive and responsible manner.
And you may not listen in the most constructive manner -- you may be quick to assume attack, especially in those areas where you feel vulnerable. From there, it may be much easier to hear what your partner is actually trying to say.Example of relationship defensiveness
Then reflect on these questions: The film explores love and commitment from many perspectives, with interviews of couples, individuals, and some well-known relationship experts and authors. You can view it at: Her clients appreciate her ability to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support in staying focused. Contact Shirley for a complimentary intro phone session. If you are experiencing a challenge or are eager to make some changes, explore how coaching works and how she can help.
Click on a link below or visit her website at http: Susan Johnson, states it makes sense scientifically that couples fight over silly things. Beneath the content of what partners say to one another in fights, each wants to be assured of their value in relation to the other. Partners are asking three core questions that connect to both our deepest yearnings and our deepest fears as human beings: Are you accessible when I try to reach out to you?
Will you be responsive to my needs? Are you engaged in this relationship? In other words, beneath the content of words spoken in fights, partners are looking for answers to questions of: Are you there for me? Are you emotionally present?
Do you see, value and love me? What does reactivity mean? It means some event or action has shaken our sense of self-worth or value in relation to our partner. When this happens, your thinking ability is automatically turned off, thus, your intelligence quotient drops several levels.
Situations such as these can harm your couple relationship, placing you in roles of combatants on opposing sides. The person you fear the most, in these moments, is often your life partner. After all, who has the ability to hurt you the most?
Defensiveness Is Killing Your Relationships – How To Recognize It and What To Do About It
And, when both you and your partner get triggered and defensive at the same time, no one is around to steer your ship to safe waters. Now, both of you talk to each other without your thinking brains engaged. Your subconscious mind, having no ability to do its own thinking, does not realize that its rescue efforts are serious interference!
Yet defensiveness greatly interferes with rapport and connection. Even a well meaning defensive response can quickly escalate into an intense battle in which the only shared experience is a competitive compulsion to prove one another wrong, or prove self right … about how unreasonable, hurtful or impossible the other is!
In other words, in protective mode you are each inclined to say and do things that — guess what — merely create more distance. Your subconscious mind is hardwired to give primacy to your drive to survive — and pushes aside your higher purpose drives to love and be loved. When your subconscious mind senses danger, distance is a solution that spells safety.