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Negative Self-Talk Eliminator


Try Not To Get Defensive

Part 6 of 14 from Communication Essentials

(continued from last week…)

Who has the Concern?

Relationship communication tip number five is that we need to focus on the person who is having the concern whether that is you or whether that is them. If it’s you, you need to slow down and take the time, organize your thoughts, find if this is an appropriate time and then communicate effectively.

But if they have a concern – if your partner accuses you of something, if they get upset by something you’ve done, we often automatically become defensive and feel like we have to explain our side of it. This is how we see it. This is why we did what we did. This is how come things are the way they are now.

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Even though this seems reasonable, it’s actually a defense mechanism and in many cases is unnecessary and truly can be counter productive. When your partner confronts you on an issue, keep your focus on your partner not on your defensiveness.

Keep your focus on your partner’s feelings, on what they’re experiencing, on what they have noticed. Whether it’s wholly true or not, there’s probably some grain of truth to it and so you need to make sure you’re getting their perspective.

Treat your own defensiveness as a separate issue and allow your partner to tell you what’s going on – from their perspective. You don’t automatically have to fix it. You don’t automatically have to justify your position or you we did what you did. Sometimes we do make mistakes.

Taking the time to let the other person get out what’s going on will give you insights. If you can truly just listen to them, focus on them to see if there’s that grain of truth inside that can benefit you and the relationship. Listen. Ask questions. Get as clear as you can about what’s really happened with your mate or with that other person.

You often will find the problem is not really just yours and you can’t completely resolve it, that sometimes the situation is also something that happened but it’s also the perspective that triggered an emotion or a feeling in the other person.

You both can work on this and resolve it but it takes dropping your defenses a bit, backing off and letting them get clear about what’s going on with them and their perspective.

Whether you’re responsible for what happened and the issue or not, you need to listen and allow them to express both the thoughts and the feelings behind it.

Defensiveness arises from insecurity. It distracts us from the real issue and in many cases gets in our way. Don’t get defensive. Allow things to come out. Let the issue surface and make sure you’re getting the content and the grain of truth inside of it.

(to be continued…)

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