All of us at some point have responded by putting ourselves on the defensive in a given situation. True suffering begins when this internal tension becomes chronic. Being in a position of defense already says everything for itself. It means you have a vision of a world map in which you must protect yourself from others.
However, it is exhausting to live relationships from this perspective, simply because dialogue does not flow when you analyze reality from the filter of distrust. When you are at this point, you get used to observing possible second interpretations in the intentions of others. In this Transkerja.com article we will answer your question "Why am I always on the defensive?" so you can know the answer.
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5 reasons why you are on the defensiveWhat is the cause of being defensive? Here are five possible situations:
- You go through a bad time and you feel hurt. Your mood manifests in your own reactions to others. Anger combined with frustration is a manifestation of pain. A person can become defensive when he feels unfairly treated by life at a particular time because of an injury. For example, lack of love or loneliness.
- You have felt questioned for a long time. Whether in your personal life or in the professional plane, you have lived through a period in which a person has observed your actions with a magnifying glass and has corrected you on a recurring basis. In this context, this reaction becomes a defense mechanism against that attitude of an external agent that judges you.
- Insecurity. Actually, you know that the other person is right in what you suggest with good intention, however, for some reason, you refuse to observe the reality of that statement and you put yourself on the defensive because that external truth confronts the image of your own perception. For example, a person who lives a sentimental self-deception can become defensive when his immediate surroundings recommend him to turn the page but the protagonist refuses to do so.
- You feel that others do not understand you. However, in addition, you also idealize the lives of others. You are very aware of your own difficulties but you forget that each person lives with their own limits. From this role of inequality, you put yourself on the defensive before those that you consider that, no matter how much they think they have empathy with you, they cannot take care of what is happening to you.
- You are saturated with advice and all you want is to have your own space and not receive information that is more external because your mind is saturated with receiving suggestions that you have not asked for.
How to know if you are defensive
- You get excited easily when a person asks you a question about your life unexpectedly or when you share some assessment that affects you in some way. At that moment, you feel that a tension is born within you. In addition, in the face of this intense tension, you do not even concentrate on listening assertively to the other. In reality, you put yourself on the defensive when what affects you is your own interpretation of what the other person wanted to express.
- You feel that you have to justify yourself in those situations in which you have reacted defensively. Maybe you realize that your internal reaction has been disproportionate, however, you try to excuse yourself for it. That is, you conclude that you really had reasons to react in that way because you have observed a negative intention in the other person.
- You behave as if you had a cuirass on. It marks a barrier in your relationships with others and it is difficult for you to show you’re most affective and vulnerable side. You prefer to mark distance and not let others go beyond that core.
- You think too much. You lose a lot of time going around situations that, possibly, do not have a greater background. However, you take any comments personally. In addition, for that reason, any opinion affects you as such. In fact, you realize that you worry too much about the image that other people have of you. Otherwise, you would not spend so much energy defending yourself when you do not even need to.
- A person who becomes defensive reacts with little receptivity to constructive criticism, a suggestion or advice. Act as if offended in this situation. In this way, anger is a habitual component of your mood.
How to stop being defensiveNow that you know why you are always on the defensive, here we are going to give you some tips to avoid this situation. They are the following:
- Correct your own insecurity. That is, the cause of this discomfort is not external, but internal. If you really were sure of yourself, you would not give so much importance to the opinion of other people. In addition, most importantly, you would use other arguments to express your judgment in these situations.
- Breathe deeply, count to five and try to observe the situation from a distance to respond to the conversation with greater perspective. It is quite possible that, after having acted under the impulse of emotion, you regret having done so and do not feel good about yourself. Therefore, observe how being defensive produces consequences that negatively affect you and your well-being. From the observation of these episodes, try to correct the dynamics of this sequence that you already know by heart.
- Act with maturity before life. Stop blaming others for their own frustrations. Alternatively, stop evading your own responsibility when you look for constant excuses through the psychological game "yes, but". That is, the one who is on the defensive, always finds a "but" that limits him. For example, when a person complains about a certain situation in his life, and his interlocutor offers possible solutions or alternatives, he will respond with messages that follow the "yes ... but" scheme in a clear example that, in reality, he is not going to do nothing but make excuses.
- Take that weight off because you do not have the need to defend yourself constantly. Simply, face personal relationships, solve conflicts from the perspective of opportunity and remember that there is no single way to interpret reality. You do not need to prove that you are always right.
Those people who are in this situation live their lives immersed in a constant struggle. That is exhausting. Trust that people express themselves from the good intention, although sometimes, they can hurt your sensibility. However, when you put yourself on the defensive, you close doors instead of opening them.