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In Part 3 of this series, we are talking about defensiveness.
You know what being defensive means? It is when you tell the back story about something, make excuses, live in the past, and cause more and more frustration in your relationships.
That is pretty unhealthy.
To get out of the habit of defensiveness, you have to stay focused on staying in the present. That is the only way to not let the differences you might have with someone else define your relationship.
You see, being defensive is a way you keep yourself in a rut. Many times you are defensive because you want to resolve an issue.
Well, guess what? Some issues are not resolvable . . . Really.
If you have a friend that your spouse does not like, it is very possible that your spouse will never like that friend. It's not resolvable. If you want to keep being friends with the person, the more defensive you get, the more your spouse is going to think you are choosing the friend over your spouse.
That wouldn't be the case now would it?
So instead of trying to "resolve" the issue, then make what is called a "repair attempt". John Gottman, Ph.D. talks a lot about repair attempts in his book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work". If you are looking for a book to read that will help you in your relationships, Dr. Gottman's is a good one. A repair attempt prevents negativity from getting out of control. It stops unhealthy behaviors, like defensiveness, from defining your relationships.
Want to know how to stop being defensive? Here is the video that I have on my YouTube channel FletcherPhDTV that will tell you the two things you can do instead of being defensive. Now that is a healthy habit.
I hope you are enjoying this series on Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I love it when you write comments and I promise I will comment back.
Watch for the last in the series next Friday.