Why is this harmful to Relationships?
- Defensiveness discourages honest communication between partners.
- Issues are never resolved. Instead they get re-cycled year after year.
- Defensive partners often play the victim role in relationships because they don’t want to accept any of the responsibility for their contribution to a problem or issue.
- Defensive partners are unable to accept influence from you. They fight you instead of listening to what you are saying which might improve things. They “fight you” by denying what you are saying as true, attacking you personally for bringing up the subject, minimizing its importance, diminish you for bringing it up, and use other immature tactics to cope with what you are saying.
- Defensive people always have their radar turned on to detect disrespect. They are very fragile and tuned into anything that they can interpret as a “slight” or criticism against them. They cannot tolerate being wrong or being accused of making a mistake or being inadequate in any way. This makes it very difficult to have a relaxed relationship with them