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You may think that being quick to defend yourself is a good thing, but the reality is, that's not always true. People who grow up loved and supported generally don't get defensive unless they feel threatened. They stand up for themselves in life when the need arises, but they don't get defensive because the world they see is one where they have a safe place and trust that they can go their own way.
This does not mean that the securely attached person will not suffer or fail because they will; It's just that when that happens, they don't stumble. But when a child's emotional needs are not metchildhood, they are likely to develop an insecure styleAdjunct.
Adults also have attachment styles, and three types of insecure attachment have been described: dismissive-avoidant, fearful-avoidant, andfearful-busy. All three of these styles involve a high level of defense, some more subtle than obvious.
The dismissive-avoidant person has a high opinion of himself and a low opinion of others. She prioritizes defending herself because she doesn't really want to be in deep relationships; She is an "easy" girl when it comes to hookups. (Yes, people who are highnarcissisticTraits have this attachment style; They are well armored and very defensive.)
The fearful avoidant, on the other hand, thinks poorly of himself and thinks highly of others; In a way, she's the girl who looks longingly at the baked goods in the window, but she's too scared to want one. Your defense has to do with it.timeget hurt and be abandoned.
It is the third type of insecure attachment style, anxious-busy, in which the defensive is on steroids and tends to create all kinds of drama, much of it destructive to relationships. The person with this attachment style wants and needs to be in a relationship, but has no sense of boundaries; Overpowered by her fears, she is constantly on the lookout for signs that she is about to be betrayed or abandoned. But those fears don't make her a permanent puddle; Instead, they galvanize her defenses andthat.
Former friends, lovers, and spouses are likely to describe their relationship with her as perpetually volatile and more roller coaster than roller coaster. As exhausted as she is with her own caution and defense, it's exhausting to be around her. In fact, researchers have pointed out that your constant worry about the state of your relationship turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy; Many partners are tired of the drama. (See my book for more informationdetox daughter.)
6 Signs Defensiveness Is Overwhelming You
Of course, we all need to protect ourselves on some level and see ourselves as worthy of protection. Defending yourself, as well as your interests and those close to you, is part of the spectrum of human interactions, and we are programmed to respond in times of physical danger. Ancestors aside, it is true that being able to hold your own psychologically and emotionally is obviously a very good thing, especially when you are being treated unfairly, insulted or teased.
But there's a big difference between being sensible when defending yourself and overreacting to almost every situation and sign. If you are wondering about your behavior or realizing that your upbringing has shaped you in less than positive ways, think about how often you find yourself in the following difficult situations.
1. You're always looking for signs of foreclosure.One woman wrote the following:
"I payAttentionto order invitations, also in the office or with my friends. Will I be invited to the first, second or last wave? My best friend convinced me to go there.therapyafter freaking out about not being invited to the bachelorette party first. She withered me saying "I thought you would know you were invited". To be honest, she didn't even cross my mind."
That sounds funny, but it's not if you're subconsciously always "chasing rejection."
Imagine yourself in the following situations and think about how you would react.
- You're somewhere you don't feel comfortable and you're listeningRir. Do you think it's about you?
- Your friend is going somewhere with a mutual friend and you weren't invited. Do you immediately feel rejected and defensive? Or do you just deal with it, or if it bothers you, ask your friend why you didn't get an invite?
- They called someone and left two messages and no answer. Do you assume the worst and start to worry about what you did to upset or offend him?
Unfortunately, that childhood feeling of not belonging can become a can you use unconsciously in adulthood.
2. Your first instinct isdistrustsomeone's motives.Do you always assume that someone is trying to take advantage of you? Do you scrutinize advances or even friendly gestures because your first thought is that the person is just being nice to get the upper hand? People who grew up in homes where there was always something in return, or where it was always clear that love had to be earned, often see ulterior motives where there are none.
When someone apologizes to you, can you accept it and move on, or do you hunker down defensively? Sometimes the effects of childhood creep into the little details of life.
3. You interpret the ambiguity in situations and then you become obsessed with them.Many insecure and anxious people are often triggered by signs and gestures that they are not even aware of. Let's say he's always nervous around big meetings, but his job requires him to attend some, and this time he sees a colleague with someone he doesn't know and approaches him.
Just before saying hello, your colleague turns around and walks in the other direction with your interlocutor. Is he offended or does he assume that his colleague has intruded so much on the conversation that he didn't even realize he was there? Be honest about how he would react.
the same way you doperformanceDo you fill in the blanks when someone doesn't respond with as much enthusiasm or sincerity as you hoped? Or is it vaguely responsive to the plans you suggested for a meeting? Again, this could be another sign that your busy and anxious attitude is getting in the way.
4. You do not fully trust your own feelings and thoughts, but you continue to act on them.It's not uncommon, but it's also the worst possible place to be: unsure of yourself and your answers, but moving on nonetheless. People whose needs were not met in childhood tend to have deficitsemotional intelligence- Being overwhelmed by negativity, unable to calm down, having difficulty naming your feelings, and this contributes to your emotional volatility.
If you feel stimulated, you may want to use the technique I describe indetox daughterthat a therapist taught me years ago and that I callfuses version Escuchar.If you feel yourself starting to react, give yourself a mental break.fuses
Then walk away from the interaction or situation andLook fordo it as dispassionately as possible; Ask yourself if you are reacting to what is happening or if you are unconsciously reacting to an old trigger. So youEscucharmaking sure you hear the person clearly and not read anything into it. Take a step back and make sure you are fully grounded in the present tense before you speak or act; Doing this consciously and intentionally will short your volatility.
5. You never feel completely safe, but you always get defensive.Can a friend, lover, or even spouse reassure you, or do you always feel like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop? In my book, I tell the story of Mike and Susan, whose relationship was ruined forever because she was never sure that he loved her, that he loved her.
But what she couldn't live with was the constant drumbeat of his insecurity and the way she reacted when she panicked because he didn't love her. He was tired of her calling him literally dozens of times when she warned him that he would be involved in business meetings, or how she would freak out if he didn't return her messages right away. As expected, he wanted more peace and quiet in her life and he left.
Has this happened to you? Has your constant worry and need for validation alienated your friends and lovers?
6. Deep down, your defenses are being fed by a torrent of negative thoughts.You may feel that self-defense makes you stronger, especially when aroused by justified anger, but the sad truth is that your behavior is driven by reactivity. Your own feelings of worthlessness andpityand fear of exclusion are the drivers of their behavior and a pronounced lack of self-confidenceSelf-esteem. This is an important thing to remember.
Healing childhood wounds is difficult, but possible. If your defensiveness is getting in the way, now is the time to address it. working withgiftedThe therapist is the best way.
The ideas in this post were taken from my book,Daughter Detox: Recover From A Loving Mother And Get Your Life Back.
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