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Body language is a powerful tool that can reveal the true intentions and emotions of a person. As humans, we use body language to communicate and decode the emotions of others.
When someone is feeling defensive, their body language often reflects this.
Defensive body language is a sign of insecurity, anxiety and fear of conflict. It can be difficult for someone to hide these emotions with their body language, as it can be a telltale sign of their true feelings.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of the body language of someone who is feeling defensive, to better understand their underlying thoughts and feelings.
In this blog post, we will explore the body language of someone who is feeling defensive, how to identify it and what steps we can take to better understand their feelings.
1. Crossing arms and legs
Crossing of arms and legs can be a sign of your of a partner being defensive and trying to protect themselves or to create a physical barrier against you.
It could also be a sign of discomfort, such as when someone doesn’t feel comfortable or safe discussing a certain topic.
It’s important to be aware of this body language and how it could be affecting the conversation.
If you notice your partner crossing their arms or legs, try to create a safe and open space so that your partner can feel comfortable to open up.
2. Refusing to make eye contact
Another important body language of being defensive is refusing to make eye contact. This can be a sign that your partner is feeling shame, guilt, or simply uncomfortable in the current situation.
It is usually an unconscious response and can be a signal for you to take a step back, give them some space, and provide reassurance.
Refusing to make eye contact can also be a sign that your partner is trying to avoid any kind of confrontation.
It is important to be aware of this body language, so that you can gently reassure them and help the conversation move forward.
3. Pointing fingers
Pointing fingers is a common body language of being defensive. This occurs when one partner is feeling defensive and is pointing out the faults in the other.
It is a sign that the partner is trying to shift the blame away from themselves and onto the other. This behavior can be very damaging to a relationship, as it shows a lack of accountability and can lead to feelings of resentment.
To prevent this type of behavior, it is important to be open and honest about the issues in the relationship and to take responsibility for one’s own actions. This can help to foster a healthier, more trusting relationship.
4. Leaning away from the person speaking
When a person is feeling defensive, they may lean away from their partner or the person speaking. This can be a sign that they are feeling uncomfortable and are trying to create a physical barrier between themselves and the other person.
It could also be a sign of disengagement, as the person is displaying a lack of interest in the conversation.
This type of body language suggests that the person is not open to further discussion and may prepare to end the conversation.
5. Speaking in a raised voice
One of the classic body language signs of being defensive is speaking in a raised voice. When a person feels threatened or is trying to protect themselves, they may raise the volume of their voice in order to appear more powerful.
It’s important to remember that raising your voice does not mean you are automatically being defensive, but it can be a telltale sign a partner is feeling anxious or threatened.
If you notice your partner speaking in a raised voice, it’s important to check in with them in a calm and non-confrontational manner to find out what’s really going on.
6. Avoiding discussion of the topic
When discussing a sensitive topic, it is important to be mindful of the body language of being defensive.
If a partner is being defensive, they may display signs of discomfort and avoidance. This may include avoiding eye contact, crossing their arms and legs, or turning away.
It is best to avoid discussion of the topic until they have calmed down and are ready to engage in a constructive dialogue.
7. Excessive use of negative words
When a person is being defensive, they often use excessive negative words and phrases to express themselves.
Negative words can be an indicator of a person’s inner doubts and anxieties. If a partner is being defensive, this type of negative language can be a sign that they are feeling under attack and are trying to protect themselves.
To help defuse the defensive behavior, try to use positive language and focus on understanding the person’s feelings rather than challenging them.
This can help to create a more positive environment and encourage open communication.
8. Aggressive hand gestures
Aggressive hand gestures are a common body language of being defensive. They are an attempt to assert dominance or control over a situation. They often accompany raised voices and are used to intimidate the other person.
Examples of aggressive hand gestures include pointing, stabbing with a finger, clenching fists, and pounding a fist into the palm of the other hand.
These gestures sometimes show a partner’s feeling of being defensive, and it is important to recognize them so you can address the source of the defensive behavior.
A person’s body language can often tell you if they are feeling defensive or threatened.
If a person is responding to your words or actions with crossed arms, furrowed brows, or even a slumped posture, it’s likely that they are feeling defensive.
Being aware of these body language cues can help you identify when someone is feeling defensive and allow you to adjust your approach to ensure that everyone feels heard and respected.