#288- Defending Yourself is a Bottomless Pit

#288- Defending Yourself is a Bottomless Pit


#288- Defending Yourself is a Bottomless Pit

Defending yourself is reactionary; in response to a trigger. If someone pushes your emotional buttons you may respond with, “I did that because of X, Y, Z” or “That’s ridiculous, I would never say that.” You think you’re reacting to what someone else did or said, but you’re really reacting to something that already exists inside of you. Somewhere there is a belief that what they did or said has some validity, otherwise you wouldn’t react. Defending yourself gives the illusion of power, but really you’ve given it away because now you need to convince them of your story—the one you’re defending. If they don’t agree you get even angrier, leaving you in a bottomless pit of defensiveness. Defending yourself is heavy and a waste of time; there is no satisfactory ending.

If someone follows up on something you were supposed to do—at work or home—do you feel the need to come up with excuses? Maybe you were ABOUT to send that email or water the lawn, but instead of simply saying you haven’t done it yet, you snap back with all the reasons why it isn’t done. Defensiveness stems from negative beliefs: I’m not good enough, I’m always wrong, I’m lazy, I have no value, etc. If you’re on the other end of this and someone gets defensive about what you say, recognize you’ve probably triggered a deeply held belief and don’t take it personally. It’s not about you or even the situation. When you feel yourself getting defensive, stop the conversation because it’s not going to be productive. Instead, look inside and ask what negative belief is being triggered. Defending yourself is exhausting and goes nowhere. You will never win.


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