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Defensiveness can ruin a relationship and keep us stuck: Here's how

By, Delhi
Nov 18, 2023 08:04 PM IST

From failing to be a good listener to not taking accountability for our actions, here are a few ways by which defensiveness can affect a relationship.

When we feel that we are under threat, we start to defend ourselves. However, if defensiveness becomes a part of the behavior pattern, it can affect a relationship. "Defensiveness is a common psychological defense mechanism that people use when they feel they are under some kind of interpersonal threat. However, when it comes to your partnership dynamic, defensiveness will sabotage connection every time, and will only serve to escalate conflict and leave you both from feeling safe. The negative impact of defensiveness extends beyond the destruction it can wreck on your relationships; defensiveness can keep you arrested in an emotionally immature version of yourself," wrote Therapist Jordan Dann. Here are a few ways by which defensiveness can ruin a relationship:

Defensiveness can ruin a relationship and keep us stuck: Here's how

ALSO READ: Reasons why we get defensive: Therapist explains

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Ability to listen: We fail to be a good listener to the partner because in the head, the defensiveness pushes us to build our own argument, often all the while not paying attention to the words being said. This can affect the relationship in the long run.

Connection with others: Defensiveness grows a wall around us, and it may make the partner feel that they are not able to reach us. This further affects the connection we have.

Emotional growth: When we connect with others, we initiate more emotional growth. With defensiveness, we can keep the criticism away, but we will also hinder our own growth.

Taking accountability: We fail to take responsibility for our own mistakes because we become too defensive about it. This further escalates conflict.

People start to leave: When people notice that we never take accountability for our actions, we start to be seen as an unsafe person. Hence, people choose to leave.

Bad modeling for children: When children see us being defensive all the time, they start to model their behaviors around it. This can set very bad examples for them.

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