Being defensive is a sign that you’re in fight or flight mode, and that’s not a place where you can accomplish anything constructive. Getting control of your defensiveness will reduce your stress and improve the quality of conversations with your husband, as well as others in your life.
Do you notice the following when you’re in conflict with someone?
1. The voice in my head runs through a list of reasons why negative feedback isn’t true.
2. I start talking quickly and run through a series of points without taking a breath.
3. I stop listening to what the person is saying.
4. I find justifications for my actions that have nothing to do with my capability or the effort I put in (“You didn’t give me enough time,” “Khadija didn’t send me his stuff”).
5. My heart starts to race when I get feedback.
6. I begin my response to feedback with the word but.
7. I respond to a criticism about my actions with a criticism about someone else’s actions (“Her roast chicken was worse than mine!”).
8. I use sarcasm to deflect the feedback or laugh at another’s expense.
9. I cross my arms and close my body off to the person providing feedback.
10. I smile and nod in hopes that the person will stop.
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