serious young sportswoman standing in boxing defensive stance

Why so Defensive?

The biggest form of self-preservation is the act of being defensive. It’s one of the things we need to get rid of if we want to become Love. When we are defensive, we are perceiving an attack from another and preserve our innocence. That might not sound like a bad thing, but what we are really doing is shifting the blame to the other person. A good example of defensiveness is when we don’t meet the expectation of another person. Say for instance say that you had a work deadline that was missed. You might respond by saying the work would have been completed on time if you had more direction from your manager.

What to Do

The antidote to defensiveness would typically be to take responsibility, but I’m going to offer an alternative solution. It’s best to be a better person and apologize for the mistake, but it isn’t for what you think. Not because you did something wrong, but because what you’re defending yourself against doesn’t matter. Time, in this case, is an illusion. If we get caught up in things that aren’t real, we’re going to do nothing, but bring in stress.

By apologizing, we are owning up to disappointing our manager, but simultaneously forgiving the manager for being strict on something that makes no difference. In all honesty, deadlines are illusions. It really makes no difference when you turn anything in. These are just the stories we tell ourselves. Hopefully, by not reacting with defensiveness, you’re able to have a real conversation around the perceived issue. If the two of you are conscious enough, the hope is that the two realize that the reason behind the attack is based on nothingness.

Defensiveness is a hard habit to shake because we’ve used it for so long to well… defend ourselves. We used to defend ourselves to survive, but now, we are defending ourselves against our vulnerabilities. When we project onto others what’s being perceived as an attack against us, we are guarding our ego because we don’t know, or often forget about who we truly are.

The Problem with Being Defensive

Defensiveness becomes an issue because it feeds into our fear and insecurity. We’re like a turtle hiding in our shells as we attempt to defend ourselves. We only defend ourselves because we don’t like the idea of being powerless. Our ego doesn’t want someone to have power over us. So when it feels like we’re being attacked, we deflect. This is the true battle we are facing. It has nothing to do with time, or anything else worth arguing about.

We snap back because we are afraid of losing love or respect. In doing so we defend ourselves by trying to correct the perception of the person we are talking to rather than focusing on the issue at hand. This can lead to even further blaming and resentment. With our logical mind, we believe that spitting facts within the argument means that we couldn’t possibly be hurting someone else’s feelings.

One of the biggest reasons why we defend ourselves is not because we think we’re right, but because of the fear of being wrong. We’re afraid to be the thing we’re being accused of. Even if you did make a mistake, you are not that mistake. It makes sense to try to defend your identity. If you identify with your mistakes, there’s a big gap in the knowledge of who you are.