I know when I was younger I was often told I was being defensive. I guess at that time in my life, I felt a need to protect myself. I could feel like the ice queen, I fended people off so much. It certainly kept people at a distance, and mostly I wasn't very approachable.
But I have learnt that defences aren’t bad,
Let’s face it they keep us safe at times when we feel vulnerable. Some people use them intuitively without realising they are there. I certainly didn't back then.
My life changed when I started taking note of my defences.
Now, I really embrace them, because I've got to know them together with the sensations in my body.
I often feel myself getting hot, especially my face, and then the fluttering in my stomach starts like there is an invasion of butterflies in the there.
At that time I really do have to pay attention, because at that point as my body stiffens and my voice can change (I unconsciously put on my telephone voice!) because I feel under attack.
I ask myself why I feel this way and whether I need to protect myself. Because I have got to know my defences, those familiar signs, I am more able to make choices at that point.
Do I need to protect myself, and from what exactly?
Has someone has said something that has resulting in me feeling threatened?
Am I in a situation where I feel I’m not good enough (I do know to compare ourselves to others is harmful, but I haven’t got to that point in my reasoning yet!)
Maybe I’m picking up on the other person's emotions.
Perhaps I am in a threatening situation and I need to retreat – fast!
Making friends with my Defences allows me to make choices
At this point, I can evaluate the situation, and make a choice. Do I leave the situation, or do I need to take a few deep breaths and centre myself? Putting on my ‘telephone voice’ and responding to someone that way might just be the best option.
By understanding my defences, I feel much more in control and I have taken my power and acted in my best interests. Instead of reacting, sometimes inappropriately.
People have all kinds of defences, some cry, others get angry, or withdraw completely. Each of those, usually used out of awareness signal ‘ KEEP AWAY’.
So instead of feeling at the mercy of your defences and feeling bad about them, get to know them. They really are your friend, but not always the most helpful one at times.
Do your defences get in your way? If, so, get in touch and we can have a chat about how I may be able to help - firstname.lastname@example.org