The Defensive Pattern

The Defensive Pattern Self-Therapy JourneyThe Defensive Pattern is one of the patterns in the Conflict Dimension of the Pattern System. You can work on transforming it using Self-Therapy Journey. Click here for more information on this.

When a person challenges you, if you have a Defensive Pattern, you tend to defend yourself against their accusation instead of listening to what is important to them. Of course, if the person accuses you of something that isn’t true, it does make sense to straighten them out. However, if you come from a Defensive Pattern, you tend to assume that any accusation isn’t true or look for ways that it isn’t true rather than considering ways that it might be accurate.

Even more importantly, you don’t really take the person’s concerns seriously. It is most helpful to really hear the person and validate their feelings so they feel understood. Then, if necessary, you can explain the way they have misunderstood you and the way their accusation may be untrue. Because you have validated them first, they are much more likely to respond well to what you have to say.

If you have a Defensive Pattern, it may be very hard for you to admit your part in a problem that the person brings up. You may avoid looking at yourself and instead focus on defending yourself from criticism.

If the person is angry or harshly judgmental toward you, it does make sense for you to protect yourself from being treated this way. However, this is best done by setting limits on the person’s anger and judgment rather than by arguing that you haven’t done anything wrong. In addition, you may perceive someone as being very judgmental when they really aren’t because of your sensitivity to being criticized.