What Is Being Defensive Mean?


Someone on the defensive is concerned with justifying their actions or words.

They have a defensive attitude as they try to protect themselves.

If you know that to defend is to protect, you have an idea what defensive means.

When a person is acting defensive, they’re trying to protect or justify themselves.

What does it mean when someone is defensive?

Answer: Generally, when people talk about someone becoming defensive in the context of a conversation, they are meaning that that someone is engaging in emotionally defensive maneuvers designed to ward off their having to experience some unwanted feeling or admit responsibility for some disowned act.

How do I stop being defensive?

Stop Being So Defensive!

  • Name it. Defensiveness is that immediate kneejerk, “But, But…But…” response and a heightened sense of tension that may be activated when our partner says, “We have to talk.”
  • Breathe.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t listen when you can’t.
  • Ask for specifics.
  • Find something to agree with.
  • Apologize for your part.
  • No buts.

Why do I react defensively?

People react defensively because they anticipate or perceive a threat in their environment, not usually because they’re just wanting to be difficult. Unfortunately, defensive behavior creates a reciprocal cycle.

How can I communicate without being defensive?

Below are a few ways to communicate well without being defensive.

6 Ways To Communicate Without Being Defensive

  1. Be Secure In Who You Are.
  2. Stop Retaliating & Genuinely Listen.
  3. Use “I” Statements.
  4. Think Long-Term Instead Of Short-Term.
  5. Learn How To Receive Criticism.

What does defensive behavior mean?

Defensive behavior is defined as that behavior which occurs when an individual perceives threat or anticipates threat in the group. The person who behaves defensively, even though he or she also gives some attention to the common task, devotes an appreciable portion of energy to defending himself or herself.

What is defensive attitude?

n an attitude of defensiveness (especially in the phrase `on the defensive’) Synonyms: defensive Type of: attitude, mental attitude. a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways.

How do you respond to criticism without being defensive?

6 Tips For Taking Criticism Gracefully

  • Listen. The first response most of us have when it comes to even the best intended criticism is to become defensive.
  • Ask questions. To grow, you want to make sure you fully understand the person criticizing you.
  • Respond.
  • Accentuate the positive.
  • Own it.
  • Write it down.
  • Do something nice for yourself.

What is defensiveness in communication?

Defensive communication happens when a message triggers a sense of threat, and therefore defensiveness, on the part of the listener. Defensive communication involves not only the actual verbal message, but also body language, tone of voice and perceived meaning and intention as well.

How do you accept criticism without being defensive?

14 Ways to Accept Criticism Without Being Defensive

  1. Actively Listen. Active listening means that you’re really hearing the feedback rather than just waiting for your turn to speak.
  2. Ask Questions.
  3. Understand Why Feedback is Important.
  4. Take Note.
  5. Follow Up.
  6. Understand the Other Person’s Point of View.
  7. Get in front of it.
  8. Surround Yourself with Frank People.

What is a defensive personality?

A defensive personality is a symptom of brokenness. It’s a person deeply afraid that the words of another might steal their self-worth and affirm their fear of rejection. A defensive person is someone who can’t take another blow at their inner-value.

How can I stop being so sensitive?

By following these simple strategies:

  • Honor your sensitivity.
  • Step back.
  • Block it out.
  • Tone it down.
  • Reduce extraneous stimulation by saying no to things you don’t have to do or that you just don’t want to do.
  • Make sure you’ve had enough sleep, or take a nap, before facing a situation that will be highly stimulating.

How can I be honest without being rude?

Here are 9 key tips on how to be honest with someone:

  1. Look at the situation from their perspective before you do anything.
  2. Ask yourself if this is something that really needs to be said.
  3. Choose your words carefully – say it to yourself before you say it out-loud.
  4. Don’t insult, blame, exaggerate, or be judgmental.