Defensiveness is a deterrent to productive communication. As soon as you get your hackles up, a new conversation begins — and this one is all about your reaction! The original topic is derailed.
As Debra Roberts, interpersonal communication author, writes in Inc., we can easily spot defensive reactions in others, but it can be harder to spot them in ourselves. We all wear emotional armor and often feel threatened when it is pierced.
Defensiveness is a form of self-protection that can present in many forms: Making excuses, ignoring or talking over the other person, criticizing the behavior of the other person, or becoming highly emotional.
To curtail defensive reactions:
What do you typically do when you start to feel defensive? If its an over-reaction, do you think you can break the cycle? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear about your experiences!
For more details on how to respond non-defensively to criticism, check out our BreakThrough Conflict curriculum.
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