Monday, March 13, 2017

Nurturing Monday- The Mischief of Defensiveness

    If you criticize me my defenses will rise up.

  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

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.


  1. Great thoughts here! I find my initial response is often defensive but I know now that I need to step away and have some time and space to reflect I will respond more calmly. I haven't found a way to responding well without that time and space but I suppose it's at least helpful to recognise that I need it.

  2. I surely do think it is helpful to know what we need to remain calm and kind.

  3. I'm quick to be defensive. It's not a good trait to have.


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