Does your partner get super defensive when an issue arises in your relationship? That puts a major strain on your relationship and makes dealing with disagreements or issues all the harder or it may even lead to you leaving them unresolved altogether. I have a better way to deal with it. Read on for the questions that may help you deal with a defensive partner.
1. Does your partner look guilty?
A lot of times, people have an unexpected and extreme reaction to an issue when they know that they are the one to blame. This could be because they feel bad about it because they do not want to admit that you are right and they are wrong, or maybe a little bit of both. Recognize that this is not something you can fix for them and that you may need to take a step back and give them room to get over it.
2. Is it the real issue?
Are you sure that being defensive is the real issue here or does he actually have an anger problem? Sometimes they can look the same at first, but if anger is the true underlying cause for the defensiveness, you could have a much bigger problem to address and one that you may need help with. It may be best to end the relationship for your own safety.
3. Are you part of the problem?
This is one of the most crucial questions to ask yourself when dealing with a defensive partner. Maybe part of the issue is the way that you are approaching your partner. Try to see it from their point of view.
Do you come across as judgmental? Angry? Accusatory? How would you respond if someone came at you in the same manner? If you see that there is room for adjustment, make the change and see if it helps.
4. Are you choosing your time wisely?
Sometimes it is not just about what you say, but when you choose to say it. There is definitely a time for everything and it is important that you make sure you’re choosing a good time to address issues. Avoid bringing up problems when they are already angry, stressed, or tired.
5. What is the goal?
When you have an issue to work through, it sometimes helps to know what the ultimate goal is. What needs to happen for both of you to be happy? Is there a way to come to an agreement or should you agree to disagree? Sometimes it is best to walk away from an issue until you can see the desired outcome more clearly.
6. What are you trying to say?
A surefire way to make someone defensive is to say the wrong thing or come across harshly. Think through what you are trying to say and rehearse it before you approach your partner. Speak calmly and slowly and try to not let your emotions get in the way. Maybe your defensive partner is not defensive at all.
7. Whose side are you on?
Hopefully, the answer to that is that you are on your partner’s side, or in other words that you are on the same team. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and try to not get offended so easily.
Ultimately, remember that fighting for each other and with each other is not always the same thing. Keep in mind that you both are only human and in the end, you would want your defensive partner to forgive you for your faults as well.