Normally, we get a first-hand look at defensiveness when we’re fighting or when you’re given a critique. You can stop yourself in the moment, but it’ll be easier if you know it’s coming and how to deal with it.
You get defensive sometimes, and many of your problems with other people being defensive are your own fault. It’s an uncomfortable truth and you’ve probably denied it in your head already, but you don’t have to.
Everyone, even sexperts (me included), trained psychologists and the POTUS get defensive sometimes.
Defensiveness is just our way of stopping others from hurting our feelings or to throw our pain on their shoulders. Being honest about their insecurities will go a long way to seeing how they make you defensive and less open to other people, ideas and experiences. In other words, stop lying, own your shit and you’ll be less of an asshole.
Now, let’s talk about owning your shit. This is probably the hardest part of dealing with your defensiveness. It’s one thing to say to yourself that you’re defensive; it’s another to put that information out into the world. If you’re insecure about having insecurities, you’re damn sure not going to want to wear them on your forehead. But that’s where you’ll have to put them.
Say to yourself, out loud, all your fears. Write them down. Send a tweet. Make a vine. Sing it in a song. It doesn’t matter, just get them out of your head and into the real world.
If you can get the insecurities out of your head, you’ll learn that just putting them out into the world doesn’t make you weak. It’ll also give you a chance to see if you can actually take someone seeing you as you are. You’d be surprised how much people will like you when you admit to being imperfect.
When I do it, I like to say it where someone else will hear it but maybe not immediately. I’m notorious for putting up an honest ass Facebook status. I also like doing it via podcasts and blog posts like this one. In fact, here’s an insecurity of mine:
I’m terrified after writing nearly 2,500 words on defensiveness in three days, I’m going to put it out and everyone will hate it.
As I wrote that, my heart raced, I held my breath and tapped away. At the end of the sentence, I let out a breath of relief.
Seeing those words in front of me made me realize how stupid that is. Someone is going to like these blogs, even if it’s just my mommy and Bubby. I’m sure some of the 300k people who will visit LTASEX this year might find it helpful, too.
Being able to work through that will make it easier for me to deal with critiques, experiment with new ideas and be more honest about my securities in the future. Practicing techniques like that will help you critique yourself and become less defensive when others poke and prod at you. It also will help you recognize when others are being defensive and give you practice at dealing with this monster.
If you haven’t gathered by now, the key to dealing with defensiveness is honesty. When no one knows your secrets, keeping it secret is what you’ll spend your time on. When everyone – or just your diary – knows, you can spend more time dealing with insecurities and less time pretending like you’re fine.
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