Why are you defensive?Jan 24, 2023
Defensiveness can mean you’re avoiding feelings of hurt or rejection
Do you often find you’re defensive in relationships? This can manifest in a number of ways, such as feeling like you have to constantly justify your actions or decisions, feeling like you’re always walking on eggshells around certain people, or feeling like you’re constantly being judged or criticized.
And when you’re feeling like this, what do you do? You react by going on the defense to protect yourself.
But did you know that by being defensive, you give your power away to others? Why might we do this? Several reasons. And as you might suspect, often, deep rooted reasons.
Low self-confidence: Defensiveness often arises in us when we feel insecure or inadequate.
When we don’t trust ourselves and our own judgment, we can become overly reliant on the opinions and approval of others. This can lead us to behaving defensively as we constantly try to prove ourselves to others.
If you’re constantly on the defensive in relationships, reflect on whether you may be lacking confidence or doubting your abilities.
Fear of rejection: Worrying about being rejected or abandoned by the other person can also subconsciously put us on the defense, as we try to protect ourselves from potential hurt.
Past hurt: Similarly, defensiveness can also stem from past hurt or trauma we’ve experienced.
If you’ve been hurt in past relationships, you may be carrying that hurt with you into current relationships, putting you in a protective (defensive) mode to avoid similar pain in the future.
This can make it difficult for you to trust others and open up in new relationships.
Remember that many of these patterns are subconscious. If you find yourself constantly defensive in your relationships, the best way to identify the underlying fears and beliefs is to explore further through self awareness and reflection.
Doing so can help you work through them using open and constructive communication and setting healthy boundaries so that you can reclaim your power and build and maintain healthy relationships, rather than reacting defensively.