Defensiveness is mischievous in the sense that it plays havoc with our ability to hear and understand. If I am to nurture a heartfelt apology or become a heartfelt apologizer I know I need to develop some resilience in combating the armor I put on when I hear critical comments from others.
I didn't realize that in defensive mode I am primarily listening to inaccurate and exaggerated information to fight back with a rebuttal. This limits my ability to understand. It is alright to stop the conversation and explain that I need time and space to be receptive.
"I want to listen. I want to hear. I care deeply about what you are saying. I see you are hurting. Here is what I am going to need to be able to hear you."
Another day, another venue, after a potty break, whatever I need to let down the shield that is blocking my understanding.
"Defensiveness is the arch enemy of listening.
Defensiveness is the arch enemy of connection and intimacy.
It's impossible to give an apology if we can't move
out of the defensiveness."
These learning notes are from the class Heartfelt: A Course on the Power of Apologizing on Courageworks.com
This month I am nurturing the ability to give and own a heartfelt apology.
To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.