-- “The importance of being EGO?”
This page will attempt to help you with questions like: What do I do about feeling defensive? What should I think about it? What does it mean? (Quick answer: feeling defensiveness is simply an innocent misunderstanding of how life works -- that what happens on the outside of you is more important than what happens on the inside. And it isn’t. Far from it!…)
Another three minute guide to a common thought/feeling (a la The 3 Principles).
My Thoughts About Feeling Defensive
Oh boy, have I misunderstood (and not listened to) my defensiveness over the years. Either I haven’t noticed the tightness in my body, or how I close down to the world. Or I have noticed it, and I’ve felt completely ‘pointy-finger outwards’ justified:
- I have thought it was about the unfairness of what someone said about me
- I have thought it was about the ‘dangers’ of being misunderstood
- I have thought it was about fighting for my honour…
And, really, all it was about was someone thinking something different to me -- and me not liking that.
And, via the wonders of being human human -- the wonders of The Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought in action -- I got to create all manner of ‘unpleasant’ feelings, reactions and even bodily ill-health, all from essentially not liking what someone else thinks.
And, forgive me for stating the obvious here, but it’s not my job to like what other people think. My job, if you want to call it that, is to simply be okay with my experience of myself, my experience of what I think.
Feeling Defensive: I Am A Work In Progress…
Please know that I am very much a work-in-progress in seeing how my defensiveness gets triggered. I am very much a work-in-progress in knowing where to look (Inside) when it does. If there was one feeling I have most difficulty noticing, then, it would be this one: defensiveness.
Seeing my defensiveness in action, so to speak, has thus been one of the joys of my life since the summer of 2015, I guess.
Example. I have long been told (by those really speaking about themselves*) that:
- I do not like being criticised
I also don’t like being told who I am -- the type of man that I am. I don’t like being misunderstood. And I don’t like feeling another person’s hostility towards me.
The fact is, a person is completely at liberty to tell me who (they think) I am. They are at liberty to misunderstand (or understand) me. And they are at liberty to be hostile, too. And I do not need to feel defensive, because THIS IS ABOUT THEM, NOT ME! (Oops, I didn’t mean to shout.)
Is this making sense?
Defence is the First Form of Attack!
* IMPORTANT TIP: Any form of attack -- and defensiveness is one of many forms of attack, make no mistakes -- is about the person attacking, and not the person being attacked. Any person at peace with themselves simply does not need find it necessary to attack, they just don’t. Repeat: any form of attack is about the person attacking and not the person being attacked.
Or, as Wayne Dyer so wonderfully and wisely put it:
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours
(And I’m going to softly suggest that the word ‘karma’, here, should be replaced with ‘relationship with self’.)
I can’t tell you how revelationary this understanding of my defensiveness is, to me. It’s early days for this particular recidivist, but it’s only going to completely change how I interact with other people forever (especially women, and especially romantically)…
About Feeling Defensive -- The Inside-Out Understanding
Put simply, defensiveness is a particularly un-useful reaction to a thought.
That thought could be, “They’re laughing at me”, “Why don’t they understand?”, or [Insert horrible criticism about you here] etc.
It really doesn’t matter what the thoughts are, nor does it really matter what the feelings are either. You are simply not enjoying your experience is all -- your body is tightening, shrinking, and you’re wanting to be small; you’re closing down, to the world, but especially to yourself.
You have now entered the world of posture or collapse (as explained, beautifully, by Tad Hargraves) -- but composure is where it’s at.
But it’s okay, everything is okay, IF you notice it -- if you notice your defensiveness (or if others notice it, and there’s space for them to show it to you).
Defensiveness is, again, just another form of feedback -- another way of letting you know that something you believe is untrue (e.g. that you have to like what other people think -- you don’t).
Is any of this making sense?
Transformative coaching is ALL about thinking -- not what you think, but that you think. Understanding that you think, that you make up meanings to your thinking all of the time, is just about the most liberating thing there is going.
About Feeling Defensive -- Video
Here’s what I was inspired to share in a video I recorded in October, 2015:
What Are YOU Thinking?
Is this making sense to you? Either the words I’ve shared, or the 3 minute hero video I recorded. Do you agree or disagree about my thoughts about feeling defensive -- I’d love to know!…
"Leave everything undefined, including yourself. Befriend uncertainty. Fall in love with mystery. Kneel at the altar of not knowing. Give your questions time to breathe. The answers will find you." – Jeff Foster
Explore what happens to your problems when you leave yourself 'undefined'...
(1-2-1 transformative coaching conversations are a powerful way to explore the human condition. First conversation always free.)