Defensiveness In Communication

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Do you often feel like others don't understand you or misunderstand you? Do you wonder why others frequently respond negatively to you? Do you sometimes feel like others don't listen to you? Is this whole communication thing often frustrating?
Communication is our bridge to others. How well designed is your bridge? Do you think your bridge is a sturdy, stable one or one that needs some repair work? Or maybe you would like to do some major reconstruction? Communication includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. Words are just symbols we have created. Each of us may have a slightly different meaning we give to each symbol. This makes verbal communication challenging at times given that you know your intended message, yet the recipient
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Unfortunately this defensiveness seems to be present in far too many interactions. What comes to mind when you think of the word defensive? You may say, "defending myself." Or, "getting my point across."
Defensiveness is instinctual. In caveman days it was how they survived; the fight or flight reaction. When one felt in danger they would do one or the other to protect themselves. It was a matter of life or death. Animals have this same instinct. If you watch Animal Planet you will observe this behavior. When the animal is relaxed and feeling safe you will witness it playing etc. When the animal is aware of danger you will see it run, hide, attack or freeze.
I liken defensiveness to being reactive. As humans we often react before we think. This tends to produce a defensive response. While defensiveness is a knee jerk reaction to something we are uncomfortable with, it usually ends up causing more harm than good. One thing that sets us apart from the animals we see on Animal Planet is that as humans we have the ability to recognize this defensiveness; while it feels instinctual our brain has the ability to become aware of this instinct. This is one of the attributes that sets us apart. The problem is, most of us don't know how to do that, and many of us don't see a need for
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Taking ownership of your feelings and needs is critical to being the active director of your life. Clarity in your communication is also important. As part of directing your life it is important to be able to state your thoughts and feelings in the best way possible.
Learning to know what you think, feel, need, and want and then expressing it in a non-defensive way is great. Next your words and nonverbal messages need to be congruent. The person receiving your message is actually going to "hear" the nonverbal more than the verbal. Paying attention to this is critical.
Is your tone of voice matching the words coming out of your mouth? Since I am writing this it is hard to show tone of voice. This is the expression of the words. Do the words have sarcasm? Does your statement end with more of a question sound? Are your facial expressions and body posture matching your words? Are you saying something positive yet frowning or giving a disapproving look? Are you apologizing while looking the other way or shaking your head? Are your arms and legs crossed when saying a loving statement? Do you look distracted? What is the real message being sent by your
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