Defensive behaviour

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to go on the defensive all the time and make their problems about you?

Defensive behaviour is a pattern that is repeated and from my experience, it’s usually done by people who have a problem with themselves. Defensive behaviour temporarily makes us feel better about ourselves. Invariably it can put us in a very awkward place and in some circumstances, can make us look and feel less credible.

I believe that with personal growth, we’re less likely to use this kind of behaviour and more likely to be tolerant of ourselves and therefore tolerant of other people. Sadly, that’s not always the case. We’re also likely to have more time to listen and accept what other people say and are less likely to ‘fly off the handle’ at every little thing.

The good thing is that being defensive is a persistently bad habit that can be easily remedied. I think we know if we go on the defensive, but most of us will probably choose to ignore it, or won’t agree because we see someone else as the problem and not us.

So how can you stop being defensive?

It may help if we let someone close to us tell us when we’re doing it, so that we can begin to change the way we think and the way we speak. Usually something happens prior to us going on the defensive, which is why some of us end up going down that route.

Taking responsibility for what we say and how we say it, is the first step to changing defensive behaviour. Sometimes when someone says something to us, it’s usually to help or make what we do better, therefore perhaps we should take what’s said in the manner it’s suggested, unless of course the tone is wrong.

What we say should always be constructive, rather than something that could be perceived as critical. That is something I would advocate every time.


11 Oct, 2011

8 thoughts on “Defensive behaviour

  1. As I am sure most of us do, I recognise this behaviour.

    I’m lucky in that I have someone to point it out to me, so I can change the pattern before things get problematic 🙂

    1. I am sure like you; most of us have will have someone who can point out this kind of behavior. I’m pleased you recognise the behavior, as recognising this behavior is half the battle; the other half is changing it.

      Thank you for being so honest.

  2. What you mentioned here can be applied to a lot of other self-changes as well. Most people when they get rushed and hurried emotions don’t take the time to decipher what they mean.

    I think that’s helpful in more ways then one.

    1. You are right, of course there are many other emotions that can trigger off defensive behavior; brought about by not having time to think, but I believe any emotions we have should be dealt with in a way that is both appropriate and acceptable; whether we have time to think them through or not.

    1. Thanks for being so honest Lisa. I am sure we all recognise this kind of behavior, whether we use it now or not.

      I am pleased you’ve managed to calm down a little bit.

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