If you haven’t noticed, I use female pronouns a heck of a lot. I enjoy writing “her” rather than “him.”
My latest newsletter, yet again, referenced “her.”
And it made “D” mad.
Here’s What Captain “D” Wrote (Saying “Captain D” Is Defensive, Of Course)
“Well, since promoting “her” seems to be the message you are constantly preoccupied with, anything else you say gets sublimated to its glaring recurrence.
Perhaps if you relaxed the need to make politically-correct revisions, an effective point could emerge unfettered.
Gender equality is already apparent to the folks who’d read your stuff.”
Oh No, You Didn’t!
My first response to this email? For about twenty seconds after reading it, I thought: “What an arsehole! It’s obviously him who has the problem, not me.”
Uh oh, flashing red lights! Warning sirens! “Danger Will Robinson!”
We All Get Defensive And We Always Feel Justified When We Do It
Defensiveness reared its ugly head and does what it always does – made the supposed source of an unpleasant experience wrong and to blame for my displeasure.
Defensiveness has two primary forms:
- Your defensiveness can use attacking strategies to make you right and “it” wrong. Examples include getting angry, casting blame, turning the tables, scoffing, and interrupting.
- Your defensiveness can use withdrawing techniques to make you right and “it” wrong. Examples include the silent treatment, denying, withholding, brooding, and sneering.
No matter the form, however, defensiveness always means one thing: you’re not being completely emotionally honest.
Defensiveness Doesn’t Mean You’re Wrong, It Means You Need To Offender to Be Wrong
Defensiveness doesn’t mean that you’re “wrong” nor does it mean that the other person, place, or thing hasn’t truly done something rude, hurtful, or inappropriate. But it does mean that you’re pretending that you feel differently than you really do. With that email, for example, if I truly felt “D” was completely off-base, I wouldn’t have felt angry and called names to make “D” wrong.”
The reason to share about defensiveness, though, isn’t to reveal yet another thing I do that limits me. Yes, defensiveness limits me (and you) when it runs wild, unchecked. But the beautiful thing about understanding what defensiveness is all about is now you can use it as a very valuable tool to assist your game of “Grow a Greater You.”
Once you notice defensiveness in any form, all you have to do is enact the simple remedy: get completely honest and acknowledge that you feel and/or believe somethings along the same lines that you’re getting defensive about.
All you have to do, in other words, any time you notice defensiveness is quit pretending you don’t feel (at least a bit) that way yourself. Or that you don’t really know (at least a bit) that what you’re hearing and/or learning is true.
Hold Me Back, I’m About to Go Off On This Second-Grader!
If you’re having any trouble with this concept, imagine a five-year-old telling you that your haircut looks horrible. That’s rude and obnoxious. But would you actually argue with the little guy? Of course not! You know your hair looks just fine and, even if you have any doubts, you’re certainly not going to re-evaluate it based upon the opinion of a little boy!
But if you got in his cherubic little face and yelled, spit flying willy-nilly, “Well screw you, you little jerk! Your hair looks like your mom cut it by putting a cereal bowl on top of your head!”? That’s defensiveness and it means the tiny dude must’ve struck a chord by saying something you’re pretending you don’t agree with.
Defensiveness Reminds You Of the Only Question You Ever Need to Ask Yourself
So now, whenever you realize you’re defensive, simply stop and ask yourself, “What am I not being honest about here?” And remember that being “right” is of little value for growing your pleasing life experiences while playing “Grow a Greater You.” In fact, totally forget about being “right” – it’s completely overrated.
Your only question, from now on, should be, “Is this serving me?” As in, “Is this leading me toward the outcome(s) I truly desire?” And being completely honest, even if only with yourself, always serves you in that manner.
After Defensiveness Alerted Me To My Dishonesty, I Was Able to Resolve That
My response to “D’s” email after noticing my defensiveness? Only a week ago, I was sharing some of my new book I’m writing. My wife told me that I ought to use a male protagonist because I always used a female. People might be getting tired of it, she offered.
Ironically, I noticed defensiveness right after my wife told me that too. So I stopped and realized that I had no strategy for using female pronouns except that I enjoyed the iconoclasm of avoiding “he” and “him.” My wife was right; there is no need for me to always use female pronouns and it might actually annoy someone. So why do it?
I changed the protagonist in my new book to a male. And felt good about it.
Reading “D’s” email struck a nerve for a moment, until I remembered that the solution was as simple as it always is: get completely honest. Within a moment of getting honest and admitting, to myself, that I actually agreed with the general idea of the email, I was able to craft an authentic response which conveyed my appreciation for the honesty and the food for thought.
Resolving Defensiveness Actually Turns You Into What You Were Pretending to Be
You see, the second-greatest irony is that defensiveness is all about pretending to feel, or be, something we don’t, or are not. And if we didn’t really feel that way, we would never need to be defensive about it in the first place. And the greatest irony is that getting honest about the thing we were being defensive about immediately and authentically turns us into the very thing we were pretending to feel, or be, in the first place.
So add defensiveness awareness to your “Grow a Greater You” toolbox. And take advantage of each opportunity it offers you to be completely honest and take yet one more step toward truly holding the beliefs that will finally create the reflections you’ve so longed for.
And stay tuned to this website for more tips and techniques for using new paradigms from quantum physics to align your beliefs and desires, manifesting your most important ones…