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Standing Up For Yourself Vs Being Defensive
In today’s world, there is an ever-growing awareness of the importance of self-advocacy and self-esteem.
Being able to stand up for yourself, while also knowing when and how to do so, is an important part of personal growth. It’s easy to get caught up in our emotions and become defensive when faced with difficult situations, but it’s important to recognize the difference between standing up for yourself and becoming defensive.
In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between the two and explore how to create a healthy balance of standing up for yourself while also avoiding defensive behavior.
The difference between standing up for yourself VS being defensive
In order to effectively stand up for yourself without appearing defensive, it is important to be mindful of the difference between the two.
When being defensive, the goal is to protect oneself from criticism or from feeling vulnerable. This often involves an aggressive stance and may cause arguing and defensiveness.
Standing up for oneself involves assertively expressing oneself without an attack on anyone else. This can involve calmly presenting your viewpoint or simply setting boundaries.
Understanding the distinction between being defensive and standing up for yourself is key to effectively communicating in challenging situations.
Knowing your boundaries and asserting them
Boundaries are essential to assertive communication. When we know our boundaries, we can communicate with clarity and confidence. Knowing our boundaries means understanding our limits and feeling comfortable communicating them.
This can be as simple as knowing our own comfort level for engaging in tough conversations or setting limits for workload or expectations.
Our boundaries also include being clear on our values and beliefs and speaking up when we feel our values are being violated. When we are clear about our boundaries, we can communicate with respect, integrity, and honesty.
Choosing to stay calm and focused
When confronted with a challenging situation, one of the most important skills to cultivate is the ability to remain calm and focused.
Keeping your composure allows you to think more clearly and respond appropriately. It prevents you from getting overly defensive and making a situation worse.
Practicing deep breathing or positive self-talk are two effective techniques to help you stay grounded and in control.
Understanding the other person’s perspective
Understanding the other person’s perspective is key to successful communication. When engaging in a tough conversation, it is important to be open-minded and try to see the other person’s point of view.
Doing so can help foster understanding and respect for one another, even if disagreements remain.
It is also important to remember that just as you’re entitled to your perspective, the other person is, too. Respectful dialogue will help you both reach a resolution.
Reflect and respond thoughtfully
It can be tempting to respond immediately to a situation in which you are feeling defensive. However, it is important to take the time to reflect on the situation and respond thoughtfully.
Step back and consider what is happening and why you are feeling defensive. Consider what the other person is trying to say, and think about how you can express your feelings in a way that is constructive and non-confrontational.
Reflecting on the situation will help you defuse it, and it can even help to build better communication between you and the other person.
Standing up for yourself is essential to having healthy relationships. It allows you to be assertive constructively and express your opinions and feelings without being defensive.
It allows you to take ownership of your actions and be accountable for your words and actions. It also ensures that your needs and wants are met without hurting the other person.
Being defensive, however, is more damaging and can negatively impact your relationships and self-esteem.
Further Reading: You may also like our post on Types and Examples of Defensive Behavior