Posted by Jacinta Hin on September 6, 2007

Whenever I get defensive I know I am hitting on something I need to work on. It’s very likely something I don’t want to deal with. Probably something that requires me to face some harsh truths.

It almost always takes me by surprise. A casual comment, often well-meant, can trigger a huge offensive on my side. Before I know it I’m stuck in debate. I stop listening and become all left-brained in justifying my behavior.

I don’t get defensive that often, but when I do I become pretty annoying. I can see my counterpart retreat, yet I continue to aggressively plead my case, instantly turning a previously pleasant atmosphere into a tense one.

Self-defense is about denial and not the same as explaining oneself. The other day a good friend questioned my conduct. I disagreed and could calmly explain why my actions made sense to me in a way that changed his view. But when the same friend made a remark some weeks ago about something he saw me repeatedly do I became all wound up and defensive to a point where we had to change the subject.

I don’t enjoy defending myself. Mostly it leaves me feeling rather empty and out of tune. Self-defense, I realize, does not come from a place of empowerment and self-awareness. Only when I am prepared to face what is behind my defense and to address what I find, am I acting from my power and creating the clarity I need to understand my behavior.

In that sense those moments of self-defense are little treasures. They provide me with clues as to where I need to make changes. As long as I than act on those changes, I will be fine.


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1 Comment so far
  1. Emi January 8, 2008 2:19 am

    Your insight in self-defense was helpful for me too, for I have been struggling with my self-defense. It’s been one of my “big” ones I have hard time integrating into myself thus leading/enabling me to move to a next level of my personal journey.


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