One of the fastest ways to create distance and resentment in a relationship, or at work, is to defend yourself. It takes humility to stop defending yourself and it’s often incredibly hard! Today’s episode has great tips for becoming more aware and letting go of defensiveness.
There’s something we do in relationships that wreaks havoc on a connection — romantic or work.
It quickly shatters trust and makes passion fizzle!
I’ll cut to the chase because it’s too important to beat around the bush…
I’m talking about defensiveness.
Defensiveness is one of the most powerful ways we stop love from growing and connection from deepening.
How often do you get defensive?
If you’re honest with yourself, do you have a clear understanding of how you protect your heart, try to prove your goodness and attempt to be right?
Some defenses are blatant:
My unfortunate go-to is to respond with a “Well you…” when someone tells me they don’t like something I’ve done. Then I don’t have to feel the pain of having let someone down.
Others defenses are more subtle:
I remember a relationship years ago where I told my partner I was upset about how he’d handled a situation.
He started beating himself up so badly that while it was a sort of apology, he got so lost in his own downward spiral of shame he wasn’t even with me. While he was beating himself up he was also defending against listening to me.
Defensiveness erodes trust, connection and passion. And fast!
On today’s Man Alive podcast I was joined by coach and yoga teacher, David Schlussel, to look at how you can be less defensive and even welcome intense and emotional communication.
In this conversation we discussed:
- Some of the most common defensive reactions that amp up conflict (We suggest you stop doing these!)
- The best and worst places to have your attention in the midst of a conflict
- How to validate your partner’s perspective without letting someone walk all over you
- A way to help your partner go from angry to relieved, which means you can then be heard
- The type of apology that actually doesn’t work
The more I continue my personal and spiritual work, the more I understand that we don’t need to defend ourselves. Letting go of defenses is an act of self-love and allows us to be closer to others.
May you enjoy the journey of letting down your guard and realizing there’s nothing to prove!
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David Schlussel is a yoga teacher, life coach, husband, and father. David’s classes are a flowing celebration of our bodies, designed to exercise, educate, integrate, delight, challenge and recharge. He is known for his warm approachability, contagious curiosity, gentle and liberating hands on adjustments, facilitating healing of old injuries, and offering concepts that support his students both on the mat and in their daily life.
David began his exploration of yoga with Ashtanga, where he learned the benefit of regular consistent practice. He continued his training by studying Dynamic Yoga, where he discovered the deeper strengths available through activating along the muscular and energetic pathways of the body, and where he developed his passion for yoga philosophy. He is currently inspired by Anusara Yoga, which has infused his practice and teaching with an empowering understanding of alignment, therapeutics, and fun.
David’s classes are a flowing celebration of our bodies, designed to exercise, educate, integrate, delight, challenge and recharge. He is known for his warm approachability, contagious curiosity, gentle and liberating hands on adjustments, facilitating healing of old injuries, and offering concepts that support his students both on the mat and in their daily life.