Communication: Why You Shouldn’t Defend Yourself

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Communication- Why You Shouldn_t Defend Yourself
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If you don’t want to get roped into an argument, then the easiest solution is to not defend yourself. I know it sounds crazy and counter to what we might initially feel, but it’s true. What happens when someone backs you into a corner and you don’t feel like arguing?

The first thing you might say, “I don’t want to argue, okay. Just stop.” Do they stop? It makes it worse. They then might throw whatever baggage you have to get you upset. Do you defend yourself? Do you let them get under your skin? Is it easy for people to piss you off? Hey, some accusations might be partly true or all of it might be true. The truth can hurt. Sure. But, what if you want to get passed the past? It isn’t easy to do so if you are confronted by it and reminded of it. If you’ve moved on and healed but the person confronting you hasn’t or won’t. That’s where the confrontation usually begins. It can be that some people in our lives stubbornly refuse to let things go. No matter how miserable it makes them and others.

Forgiveness isn’t freely given, which is okay because we can’t control other people. Forgiveness is a choice not something forced on someone. You might not be able to do anything about someone else’s lack of forgiveness. Even if there was no one to blame. But, as humans we want to blame someone don’t we? We want to find someone to take the fall. There is a time when defending yourself is necessary. There is a time when you have to stand up for yourself. Then there are days, when you realize time is too valuable to have to explain yourself or prove yourself.

We are all on different journeys. Some of us choose to work on ourselves. Other people might be on a path where they haven’t gotten where we are yet. Should we sit there and defend every accusation with an accusation of our own? If you’re a lawyer, you might already be forming an argument against my advice. Some people want to argue and get into it. For a long time I felt the natural urge to defend myself against attacks. It’s fight or flight. But then, I learned it’s better to listen and then let it go. It’s better to know when you need to defend yourself and when to simply drop it.

Some of us are more confrontational than others. I don’t mean passivism is the solution because it can often lead to passive aggressive behavior. What would it be like if we simply respected each other’s opinions, regardless of what they are and just listened? If we listen more, show empathy, and speak less then we find that there isn’t a need to get so defensive.


The Bottom Line:

I am a firm believer in the old cliché “pick your battles.” Is it worth all the headache of “getting into it” with your opponent? Is it worth getting out the gloves? Is it worth all the rehashing? We take things to heart and we take things personally, but often an overly confrontational person has anger built up from a history of unprocessed emotions.

It’s not your fault.

Someone else’s baggage doesn’t need to be our own. They can defend themselves all they want and attempt to hurt you with your past. But, you don’t have to absorb it. Let those that try your nerves carry their own baggage, leave it with them and don’t pick it up. If we sit long enough with a negative individual, we find ourselves becoming sucked in to their negativity.

Personally, I say there is no need to defend yourself because it can often be a huge waste of precious time. Sometimes, it’s much better to say nothing at all and simply walk away.



Stephen Covey



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42 thoughts on “Communication: Why You Shouldn’t Defend Yourself

    boundlessblessingsblog said:
    May 1, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    Great words of encouragement and inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 1, 2017 at 1:00 PM

      Awe boundlessblessings thank you. It’s hard to “turn the other cheek” but when we see angry people are just wounded souls. We recognize that they are just hurting. We can better empathize and realize that we don’t have to get sucked into a big debate. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        boundlessblessingsblog said:
        May 1, 2017 at 7:37 PM

        Yes absolutely true and agree totally with your words.

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        May 2, 2017 at 7:24 PM

        It isn’t easy, I still work on having mastery over my emotions. Especially if speaking to an irrationally angry individual. It’s best to not try and rationalize with someone who is unbendable. There are plenty of people that can have healthy, even lively discussions. But then, we run across those occasions when you just know that it will end in a huge feud. That’s when you have to just let it go. We need to walk away when we discern that the person is just not willing to have a calm, adult discussion.

        Thanks for your feedback. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        boundlessblessingsblog said:
        May 2, 2017 at 9:41 PM

        Yes absolutely agree totally with your words Sonya. It is good when people listen to you but when someone does not want it is best to let go and just lead your life.

        Liked by 1 person

    Sadaf Siddiqi said:
    May 1, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

    Jainey said:
    May 1, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    This is great! Best piece of inspiration I’ve seen today!!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 1, 2017 at 10:23 AM

      Jainey, thank you for saying that! I try to inspire and I write these things based on personal experience. Much ❤ hope you have a fantastic Monday!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        May 1, 2017 at 11:03 AM

        Mission Accomplished. Have a great Monday. ❤️​❤️​❤️​

        And yes – too much love. 😜😜😍 😍

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        May 1, 2017 at 12:58 PM

        ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    hintsoflifesite said:
    May 1, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    ‘But often an overly confrontational person has anger built up from a history of unprocessed emotions.’ This is absolutely true! Great read, thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 1, 2017 at 10:26 AM

      Hintoflifesite, thank you for stopping by. I’d love to check out your site and also comment. I’m always about reciprocity. I agree, coming from someone who was always angry. I used to be “that person” and or the one on the receiving end. I’ve learned being in both positions that the person lashing out has a bunch of unprocessed emotions. Things they haven’t dealt with, but need to. So, now I try be more empathetic and not take it personally. We must conclude which battle is worth our defensiveness. Thanks again for your insight! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        hintsoflifesite said:
        May 2, 2017 at 6:25 AM

        Your most welcome. Stay calm, stay happy is my mantra! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        May 2, 2017 at 11:51 AM

        Same here, you just feel way better when you’re calm. Calmer heads always prevail.

        Liked by 1 person

    AlifyaLifestyle said:
    May 1, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    It’s like they say, silence speaks louder than words. Loved reading through this!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 1, 2017 at 12:58 PM

      Thank you, yeah sometimes saying nothing at all is enough.

      Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        May 1, 2017 at 1:13 PM

        What about when you witness a case of bullying?
        Just a by-the-way question.

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        May 1, 2017 at 1:23 PM

        That’s a good point. I think those are one of those moments when you have to intervene for that person and also stand up for yourself.

        I’m watching that new Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why” and I so far I think it touches on Social media bullying…cyber bullying via sharing inappropriate images of someone and also rumors. I’m not done with the series and only watched the first episode. But, bullying has gotten bigger now especially with Social Media. It’s hard to know how to stop it. I think people have to speak up for sure at that point. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        May 1, 2017 at 1:28 PM

        Yeah. I’ve heard of that series. Just not yet gotten the chance to watch it. But I’ll try to check it out. I’m really interested in knowing what it has to say concerning all those aspects of bullying.

        And yeah. You’re right. The platform of bullying is expanding at an alarming rate and its effects (i tried to touch on that a bit in my most recent post) are worsening. But the problem is less and less people are willing to speak up. 😐

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        May 1, 2017 at 1:35 PM

        It’s true and the show touches on the fact that everyone said nothing. At least that is what I got out of the first episode. This particular post is for those in your lives where you’ve rehashed the same argument and apologized and tried to move on and leave it behind. But the other person might not want to let it go. It’s sort of like an ongoing punishment. Even if it’s not your fault.

        In the situation about bullying…you definitely have to speak up. Which makes me inspired now! I think my next post will be on Bullying when you should speak up. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!!!

        Definitely check out the show. Have you heard of the psychologists who want the show band off Netflix? It’s quite interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        May 1, 2017 at 1:43 PM

        Yes I did. It’s true?
        I see.
        Ummm.. you’re welcome? 😀
        My post on bullying was inspired by a movie as well 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        May 1, 2017 at 2:03 PM

        Oh, you just posted one too! I didn’t know. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        May 1, 2017 at 2:17 PM

        😀 😀 No pressure. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    StoriLines said:
    May 1, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    Well written. This is something I’m trying to work on, especially with my husband. But I am a lawyer (a criminal defense lawyer at that) so defenses and responses are always clicking off in my brain as the other person is talking. Its a difficult habit to turn off.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 1, 2017 at 1:12 PM

      Ha ha…I bet in personal life, it can be a challenge to turn off. I love law and wish I went into law just so that I could be great at writing crime/law drama type of novels.

      The great thing is- you recognize your habit and you stop yourself. Yay for you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    YellowCable said:
    May 1, 2017 at 4:43 PM

    Great advise. I completely agree, “listen and let go” and “pick your battle”.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 1, 2017 at 6:47 PM

      YellowCable, I know…I agree that those 2 things sort of sum things up. It doesn’t mean that we never get into a confrontation. It just means we pick what’s most important and what to just drop. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    tiredmindtypingfingers said:
    May 1, 2017 at 8:40 PM

    Great post! I think “picking your battles” is so important.

    Liked by 1 person

    Shiva Malekopmath said:
    May 2, 2017 at 12:55 AM

    There is a limit to everything and when it crosses it loses its charm.
    So, you are absolutely right in being negative or silent.
    No single word at all…
    That itself is the Communication.👍👌👏
    Shiva

    Liked by 1 person

    John said:
    May 2, 2017 at 3:49 AM

    I have to say the title of this post drew my curiosity, as I was unsure what you might have to say. I think, when you are talking about a verbal fight between individuals, which has nothing to do with fact and everything to do with emotion, then not defending/walking away is probably right as folks in that situation are prone to saying regrettable things in the name of hurting/winning. If you are talking about arguing with someone about a viewpoint, but the one or both parties are unwilling to reach compromise, then walking away/not defending/not attacking is right too as there is no point in the discussion at that stage (it becomes option one, a war of emotions). If it is about differing viewpoints and folks actually are behaving reasonably, willing to seek concensus, then I think deffending your position (with fact/reason) is fine. You did say pick your battles, I think I am agreeing with that.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 2, 2017 at 7:11 PM

      Hello John,

      You make great points and you seem to have a good gauge on how to address each situation. It takes discernment and an ability to read situations and the person well.

      I’ve seen 2 rational adults talk about the most challenging topics- politics and religion. Some people can have decent discussions on topics and be okay with it. Other times, you have 2 people go at each other only to run into circles. It can even get physical. I mean, people shoot each other over a parking space or someone cutting them off while driving.

      When you’ve apologized for something you’ve done, even if you’re being the “bigger person” and it wasn’t your fault. If the person still wants to pick a fight with you. You can tell. You can tell if someone just wants to go at it. Some people are just confrontational to the point where they go at it with anyone. At that point, you’re right, you have to just walk away. Saying nothing at all might save you a ton of time and wasted energy. I do believe in not dusting everything under the rug. But, discussing issues openly when both parties can be civil and discuss issues without anger.

      Thank you John for your insightful comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    Samantha said:
    May 2, 2017 at 5:54 AM

    Here I am with my non-violent communication again (but I swear it works!), but NC says there’s several ways of dealing with an argument, the two best ways being empathic towards the other person’s feelings and needs or being empathic to your own feelings and needs. I suppose you just summed that up in your article 🙂 Pick your battles never ceases to be good advice: sometimes you need to choose your own needs over someone else’s, especially in arguments that seemingly only cause energy and leave you with nothing in return. As long as you know your own truth, what does it matter what others think of you?

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 2, 2017 at 11:56 AM

      You are correct, if you’ve already gone over stuff and it’s a repeat argument. The best thing you can do is listen and be empathetic. But at the end of the day, you simply put up your boundary. You have to either cut the listening short if that person keeps going on and on.

      You have to then choose your own sanity and walk away. Some people will be happy that you listened and drop it, while others won’t stop and won’t let go. At this point, less is more.

      You simply walk away with your own truth. If you try to hit them back with your own accusations, the throwing around of words will never end. Time is just too short and there’s not enough Tylenol to go around. I like to avoid unnecessary head aches.

      Thanks for your awesome input! Much ❤ to you. Hope you're having a fantastic Tuesday!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    Ipuna Black said:
    May 2, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    I’ve noticed that less is more. Worry about the things you can control. Spend your energy on more positive situations if you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    SonniQ said:
    May 4, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    So true so true. It is hard to hold or tongues especially when we feel justified. But you’re right, pickyour battles. You’ll be happier.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      May 4, 2017 at 5:01 PM

      Exactly, sometimes we just have to do the opposite of what we would ordinarily do.

      Like

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