In case you’re not, you should be aware of how defensiveness is destroying your marriage…
I would like some input in dealing with family communication, or lack thereof. When someone does something insulting, deceptive, etc. to upset me and/ or make me angry, the defense mechanism is to get angry at me-first- so I’m on the defensive. The usual responses range from, “I said I’m sorry”, “you’re not very forgiving”, “you’re being passive-aggressive.” In other words, if I dare to get upset at someone, at all, for their bad behavior, I’m in the wrong. Prayers, patience and striving to see the reason behind this lack of respect for me has not availed much over the years.
Dare 5’s timeliness isn’t lost on me when I received the above question from a reader over the weekend.
Heaven help us if we are the defensive ones.
If you’re communicating in a respectful way:
- asking permission before giving feedback
- showing appreciation
- giving compliments
- asking questions instead of being directive
- asking questions instead of being critical
- listening instead of judging
- assuming the best about someone
- being trustworthy
- honoring boundaries for yourself and the other person
- putting others needs before your own
- thinking of others instead of being selfish, etc.
If you’re doing all that already, know that sometimes people will still be defensive, so much so that they view a lot of things from a mindset of “they’re not on my side,” or even, “she’s out to get me,” and you can’t do anything about that.
The below are some articles that may help you, however, as you explore this topic. And I’d encourage you to take a few moments to determine whether YOU are the one who is defensive! A key thought you may have is that people in general aren’t as smart as you are, or you have to know everything, or be right. This attitude violates a number of scriptures, and is sin. Ouch. I know. Take it up with God, because only He can help.
And if you want to know how defensiveness is sinful behavior, check BackyardMissionary’s post.
Bottom line, his behavior is his behavior. You can’t do anything about it. You can only determine how you will respond. It’s wise to take care of yourself, and in the meantime, PAUSE before you respond – remember, defensiveness will often breed more defensiveness – and as all the research shows, it kills your marriage.
What about you? Are you the defensive one? If you’re not, how do you cope?
Looking forward to hearing from you today!
Love to you,
One more thing?
It’s not a small thing.
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