Leave Your Defense On the Field


Have you noticed that the more comfortable, confident, and sure of yourself you are about something, the more it doesnt matter what others do, think, or say? What I mean, is that when you are ok with your opinions, beliefs, desires, etcthe less you have to convince others that your point of view is correct. Live and Let Live comes to mind. When we are ok, I mean really ok, with how we live, what we think, what we believe, etcThe more we feel it is ok for others to do the same for themselves. I have been in a place before, where I felt I had to defend my opinions, my beliefs, and my views on something.

I felt I had to convince other people that I was right in order to really feel like I was right.

The fact that I had to defend it or try to make others see my side of things, made me feel like I really wasn‘t secure in my own views. The more defensive I became, the more I felt like I needed others to feel and believe the same thing I did in order to convince myself I was right. I somehow needed their approval.

When we need the approval of others, thats a clue that we really arent that secure with our view after all.

I see this all the time. People get defensive about which school is best, how to parent, fitness and health ideas, and especially about their particular religious and political beliefs. Healthy banter is just that: Healthy. If you are one who cannot and will not see anothers point of view, and you get extremely defensive about your stance on an issueyou need to ask yourself why. You need to go deep within your body and feel what emotions are trying to boil to the top. Yes, you can have conviction on an issuebut if you cannot see another persons point of view or their personal conviction on the same topic, then there is a deep control and ego problem at hand.

I am an observer of people, and I love to get into deep conversations with other people. I love to hear other peoples perspectives on the same topic. It opens my mind and allows me to grow. It is refreshing. Does it mean that my opinion changes? Not always. Yet, it does open my mind to another way of seeing something. It also, sometimes, lets me evolve and change my perspective on somethingwhich makes me more wise and worldly. That is how people grow.

If we all thought the same things and believed the same things and liked the same thingsoh what a boring world this would be.


In my daily observation of people, I have noticed that when people get defensive about a topic, their ego is totally involved. They are taking your difference of opinion on the same topic as a personal attack towards them. This reaction seems silly, especially if we look at it in an elementary example:

Billy likes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his lunch. Jane likes a tuna sandwich in her lunch. They get to talking one day and Billy tells Jane that he thinks tuna stinks and that PB&J is better.

If Jane were confident with her liking of tuna and secure enough in the fact that Billy prefers PB&J and that he is right, tuna does stinkshe would agree with Billy and still be ok with eating her yummy and stinky tuna sandwich, regardless of what Billy thinks.

On the other hand, if Jane were questioning if she should like tuna because Billy said it was stinky, she could easily get defensive. She would do this by either defending her tuna, It does not stink, Billy! or by questioning her own opinion about it and looking for someone to back her up.Hmmm, maybe Billy is right, I will ask Sally if she agrees with me or Billy. If Sally agrees with her, Jane and her ego can then go tell Billy that he is wrong because Sally agrees with her. If Sally does not agree with her, Jane and her ego will keep looking until she finds someone who will support her opinion.

Do you see how the ego is involved when we get defensive, and how the ego is not involved when we are ok with people believing and thinking differently than ourselves? I looked up the definition of defense and there was a psychological definition:

Defensive: Psychology – Constantly protecting oneself from criticism, exposure of one’s shortcomings, or other real or perceived threats to the ego.


Do you find yourself becoming defensive if someone has a difference of opinion or a different belief than you? Do you have a hard time seeing another point of view on topics because your heals are dug in so deeply? Do you hang around only people who have the same political and religious beliefs? Can you have genuinely healthy banter, or do you shut down if your views are questioned? Are you opinionated and critical of people who express different beliefs and opinions than you?

Take Action:
This week and moving forward, let
s digest this and do some self-evaluation. Lets try to open our minds and embrace and enjoy the differences in this world. Lets stop judging. Lets stop starting our own little wars. Lets check our egos and leave our defense on the field!

Because Together is Better,

Comments

  1. Good article. 100% agree.

  2. Soooo needed this!! Thanks for the post! Everyone should read this!!

  3. Excellent post Deanna. Tonight I heard someone say something her Dad always told her & he siblings as children “different is not bad, it’s just different”.

  4. I can’t stand when people tell me “you don’t need to defend yourself” wait, I just stated my opinion and you got aggressive defending yourself…how does that make me defensive 😉

    • Yvonne, you make a great point…if people come at you like that, you will not feel safe to open up and share your opinions with them. -Deanna

  5. I love this post! SO very true! My favorite quote was, “When we need the approval of others, that‘s a clue that we really aren‘t that secure with our view after all.” I am going to share this with my high school students this week:) They could benefit from this one:) Thanks:)

  6. One of the toughest, but best, life lessons I learned.

  7. Diane Morrison says:

    I LOVE tuna. AND PB&J!

  8. So true! I think often times people are trying to justify or defend past actions when they get defensive. Differences of opinion are healthy. When people take it personally I think it is because they are not comfortable with the way they act or think. Agreed!!

  9. Veronica says:

    Great words to live by! Great post. I try to have confidence in everything I do!

  10. Great article Deanna!!!! There is a very real insecurity and self-image issue in people who struggle to be right. Ego issues can be defense mechanism buried in the subconscious that are trying to protect the ego driven person from getting hurt again. Until someone becomes aware of how they are interacting with people, they will resist advice, opinions, or the views of others.

  11. I wish I could read the top image

  12. lol, this is so true. I see it all the time in two very hot debates, homeschooling and breastfeeding

  13. Yay i love this one!!! How true this all is….i too LOVE deep conversations with people. It facinates me to hear how others think and get a glimpse of their views. Indeed the world would be so boring with all the same beliefs and opinions. A great example too is to take a real good look at the person you decided to share your life with and all those “differences” couples have. ITS ALL PERSPECTIVE! Those differences make every relationship colorful and alive… I am now embracing those differences instead of arming for battle! Thanks D- GREAT INSIGHT!!!!

    • You are right Gina! It is perspective! Our differences can breed anger and resentment or open us up to a colorful and alive relationship! Thank you for your comment and insight! -Deanna

  14. This was a great article… It is funny how people get so defensive..

  15. This article is so helpful to me. I believe you are right, and will be thinking about it a lot! Thank you so much!

  16. Good observation!

  17. We can all learn something from this!! It can be a difficult thing to do when your core convictions are being challenged, because that’s when your emotions become involved. Sometimes a passionate response can be taken as defensive. And an apathetic response can be taken as passive aggressive. Hmmmm…interesting psychology!

  18. Very good observation. A lot of people are very defensive. You often find out that they are insecure about themselves and their beliefs. You can have a difference of opinion. It doesn’t make one person right and the other wrong.

  19. Our differences are what add texture to our lives

    Yvonne Brown

  20. I used to be a lot more defensive. Age helps that attitude I think !

  21. I catch myself a lot of times trying to defend myself or the things I stand for. If somebody f. ex. critizises itWorks, I try my best to defend everything they stand for…. Sometimes it is maybe best just to say: “I respect your opinion on this” instead defending it

    • Caolin, I like your thought abut a healthier response. To respect someone’s opinion is a stand-up and mature thing to be able to do. Not many people can say that and mean it! -Deanna

  22. I totally do this! I want to convince others that I’m right…I always have to remind myself to be a good listener instead of a good convincer! I also need to remind myself that if I’m “convincing” someone I’m right, then I’m also telling them that thry’re “wrong”. Probably doesn’t feel good!

    Thanks for the reminder to be open minded & learn from others!

    • Thank you Brini for your input and your transparency. It is hard to admit we do something that is not very attractive. Keep listening! 🙂 -Deanna

  23. I have to agree.. We become defensive when our ego is in check… i try to curb that, but sometimes it feels personal..

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