Back when I was a cheerleader, we had a cheer that went, “Defense, do it, put your mind to it.” Lately I have been aware of how defensive we can be. Whether it’s my husband, colleague, family member, somebody I’m doing business with, or, of course, me, so often when we are told anything that can put us in a bad light, it seems our first reaction is defense. We really are putting our minds to it.
Why is it so hard for us to admit that we’ve done something wrong? My guess is it has something to do with how we view ourselves. And how our ego protects us, even when it has no business doing it. Being wrong makes us weak or stupid or not good enough. But, come on, I know personally I’m wrong easily five to 10 times a day. It’s often little stuff, but I’m becoming more aware of it, because I really need to check how I react to it.
I have too many people in my life who react way harshly if I tell them anything they don’t like to hear, even if, in the big scheme of things, what I’m noting is not that big of a deal. Things get blown so out of proportion, and it takes a minute to make things right again. It’s inefficient, it’s stressful, and it makes us bitter. Why do we want this in our lives???
If this is something you want out of your life as much as I do, then the first thing we have to do is be the model for others to follow. We cannot live the do-what-I-say-not-as-I-do method.
We have to start by not allowing ourselves to get defensive. It won’t be easy, but it will get better with practice. We start by acknowledging what the person is saying, and then honestly noting whether we believe it’s true or not. And if it’s not, then we need to show a pretty darn good reason why, and not something that is fabricated or exaggerated. It’s funny how simple it all seems, and yet it’s rarely the course we go. Which means we all have a lot of work to do.
Once we are used to reacting in a rational and logical way, then we can express to others how we need them to react to us. Hopefully our modeling and honesty will allow more people than not to react to us in the way we need. And maybe all our lives will be a little less stressful as a result.
#defense - 4 minutes ago