Criticism, obstacles, rejection, and uncertainty are the four big offenses. We usually defend against one or more of these all the time. But this constant defensiveness wastes energy and leaves us less effective with a lower buzz.
Of course, we can make a choice not to defend. We first recognize that, despite our life-long habit, there is nothing we need to do at the moment. Instead, we wait with quiet anticipation. Soon, the perceived criticism, obstacles, rejection, and uncertainty will dissolve.
In its place, if we pay attention, we will see that it had nothing to do with us: it is the other person’s issue and defensiveness. If we keep waiting, doing nothing, it will all dissolve for the other person, too. Do this live in a meeting or phone call and watch for the mini interpersonal miracles to follow. Seriously.
In your corner,
PS: Because when we stop, they stop.