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Unconsciously Defensive?

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  • #87227
    Janine
    Participant

    Last night I was talking to a friend of mine, and they pointed out how defensive I am in the majority of my responses. That was the first time someone brought it up with me, and I have been thinking about it since.. I wasn’t even aware that it was a pattern of mine. Reflecting on my past interactions, I noticed that I was frequently on defense, perceiving that everyone and everything around me was a potential threat. I feel like I could be an easy target. I feel like I have nothing protecting me. It bothers me how this is such an egotistical behavior.. I don’t want my encounters being this type of battle. I don’t see a reason for this behavior.. Any ideas on where to go from here?

    #87228
    jock
    Participant

    This might be termed hypervigilance, which means you are feeling unsafe and under potential threat of attack. Let me guess that it may have become habitual, so you just do it automatically.
    I’d say you need to unlearn the habit, if it is something you want to be rid of. Either through intense mindfulness or creating new neural pathways through NLP. So a counsellor might be the best bet to help you with it.

    #87230
    anita
    Participant

    Dear moonpedal:

    You found out then that you are often AFRAID, that you often perceive danger and that you are in the habit of defending yourself against real/ perceived danger. Now, notice this: you could feel empathy for yourself for being afraid as often as you are and for feeling you have to defend yourself so often. You could think: oh, poor me, I am afraid so often, what an uncomfortable way to live. What can I do to help myself?

    But instead you are going on an attack against yourself, negatively criticizing yourself, calling yourself “egotistical” for defending yourself. You call yourself Unreasonable (when you type that you don’t see a reason for you being defensive)

    No, no, no: you are not egotistical if what it means to you is something negative and you are not unreasonable. What can be more reasonable than rushing to defend yourself against a perceived attack?

    You asked where to go from here? One place, and one place only- self empathy. If you had a child that was afraid, would you tell the child: you are egotistical and unreasonable! Snap out of it- you have no reason to be afraid and when you are afraid you are unpleasant to look at or be around?

    Or would you gently approach the child, hug her, ask for her thoughts, talk to her in a calm way, a validating way?

    anita

    #87237
    Janine
    Participant

    I love this approach. I think we all forget how important it is to be gentle with our inner child.

    #87253
    Dernell
    Participant

    HI” I just want to start off by saying that I really appreciate” you all, it takes a lot of courage” to speak about things so deep within.

    I completely understand how you feel. I to have the same problem.

    From my childhood all the way to my adult stages, I’ve been in negative verbal battles with people that I love. Family/ friends/and work mates.

    Do to the fact that of my own ego” and of being hurt” by others. Some how down the line, without even knowing it, I became defensive”…

    Meaning ( I put a self block mentally )to protect” myself unconsciously against others.

    It might seem good at first, but the truth is, at least in my case, I push people that really care” about me away. It’s a giant sign waving at me, telling me to let go and stop being overly sensitive.”

    Two things that I didn’t know how to do”…. I come to find out, that with the practice of listening” to others first in a conversation before” I speak.” meaning ( really hearing and taking in what a person is saying before hand ). When I do this, I realized that there is no called for reason to be on the defensive” mode.

    Last I had to drop my ego.”
    Meaning ( let it go” ) even if someone is knocking you down verbally”. You still don’t have to react on it… You have the right to be upset or even hurt by what someone might say against you. But never” let it get to the point where it destroys your bubble.”
    Try to focus on thinking that no one can upset you but you! ( people will still be people ).
    Try to surround” yourself with people who genuinely care about you.”

    #87274
    Matt Micek
    Participant

    Hey there. Defensiveness is a natural, built-in human reaction. And like all of us you’re probably defensive more often than you’d find it suitable. In this case I’d like you to try and establish which parts of your personality bring up a feeling of insecurity inside you and which are the ones that you’re sure of. That’s because most of the time we get defensive because of 2 reasons: either our beliefs/convictions are challenged and we want to defend them, or our insecurities are brought up and we feel that others shouldn be aware of our shortcomings and we start defending ourselves for this reason. Realize that if you’re sure of something nobody can take that away from you, it’s what you know, it’s what you believe and it’s the best there is. On the other hand, if you’re insecure about something and you feel you should develop yourself in that field – treat this feeling as an invitation to develop yourself. Recognize your shortcoming and instead of trying to convince yourself and others that it isn-t there – embrace it and divide some energy to improving yourself in that field. I hope this was helpful 😉

    #87278
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear dernell:

    I read all your posts today. I believe this is your first day here posting? You have a lot to say.

    Welcome!
    anita

    #87293
    MichelleZ
    Participant

    When we are defensive, it’s because we are trying to protect ourselves from past pains. If the pain has not been properly healed, it will resurface in ways such as defense. I suggest sitting in quiet contemplation for a few minutes and asking yourself why you feel defensive, what of your past you are still holding on to. The first answer that comes up, sit with that for a few minutes. Probably someone or something was a catalyst to your hurt. Then ask yourself how you contributed to the situation becoming painful. Unless we were children and completely helpless, we also contribute to our situations. True healing begins with taking full responsibility for our actions (even if these actions were only 10% in the wrong). So realize where you could learn and grow from for yourself; to break away from patterns that are not serving you.

    Then release the situation and the other person. Acknowledge the lesson you learned. This awareness will help you not get in the same patterns for the future. Then release the other person of their wrong-doing. It’s not to say what they did is in the right. They can be wrong forever. But by releasing them, you actively choose to not be a part of their actions anymore. You release the toxicity of the situation and move on.

    This process will soften your defenses through time.

    I wish you the best on this journey. If you have further questions, you can reach me at info@MichelleZarrin.com

    The first step to anything is awareness, and you are now aware of your situation. The next step(s) is to begin to dissolve what you are not happy about.

    #87312
    Dernell
    Participant

    THANK YOU”
    ANITA

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