Some people put their guard up as soon as you walk in the room. If you’re always on the back foot, being defensive all the time, maybe it’s time to change…
Sometimes it’s fine if you’re being defensive – if you’re looking after a friend or sibling when they’re being attacked verbally for instance. But that’s a different meaning to the one we’re dealing with here.
Being defensive too often is something you can overcome if you put your mind to it.
Quite often we get defensive because our self confidence is at a low ebb. So we use our built in defense mechanisms to help protect ourselves.
The trouble is that these barriers we put up don’t necessarily help us. Short term they work like a charm. But longer term you’ll find people making excuses to avoid you. The negativity associated with being defensive is hard to work with and you’ll find others deciding they don’t want to be a part of it.
Start working on your self confidence. This could be as simple as not putting yourself down or apologizing at every available opportunity. It could also mean dressing up rather than down – dress to impress is actually a good technique here as it subconsciously lifts your self esteem.
Look up rather than down. This simple. seemingly dumb, technique works a treat.
Let minor criticisms wash over you
The nit-picky criticisms are often the ones that most get under our skin.
Get into the habit of turning them round or laughing at them. Put them in the past tense – that will help your subconscious deal with them easier – saying something like, “Yeah, that used to be me”. You’ll work out your own turn of phrase and it’s worth practising it and having more than one in your armory.
Take a deep breath
This gives you a brief time to gather your thoughts before you slip into your old habits of being defensive.
A nice, long, deep breath will help to calm you down. Several are even better but it looks a bit odd doing that kind of thing mid-conversation.
The relaxation that’s automatically caused by taking a deep breath will spread around your body and will help you to reduce your defensiveness.
Train yourself with hypnosis
Playing a hypnosis track that’s been specially written to rewire the way you think so that you become a less defensive person even without realizing it is dead easy.
It also works in a very high number of cases.
Hypnosis downloads are a cheap way to get a session with a highly qualified, professional hypnotist without costing an arm and a leg. They also have the advantage that you can replay them as often as you like – not easy to do with a face-to-face hypnosis session.