I’m told I can be a bossy pants. I don’t mean to be and when people ask for advice, I find it hard to sit idle. It’s so ingrained in my personality that some of my friends call me “Julie McCoy” after the cruise director on The Love Boat, and often look to me to make social plans.
I’ve also been told I can be defensive. I’m a smart woman yet at 53 years old I admit I don’t fully know how my defensiveness manifests itself or how to fix it. I am flawed, and I’m working on it every day. And I need help.
Change is hard and it’s important to surround yourself with a supportive circle as well as ask for help. That is NOT a flaw. We are human and all need help sometimes. And we all need to give it sometimes too. How can we help those around us grow? How can we channel frustration to inspire change and get the results we want and need?
I’ve been reading up on it and there’s no easy answer.
In my case of defensiveness, I don’t know how I do it, or what I say that makes me come across as defensive. I also don’t know how to fix it. Maybe that is defensiveness at its core?!
I’ve educated myself and practice and embrace “yes and-ing” and active listening regularly. Yet I still get called out for being defensive so I’m clearly not doing enough.
Ironically, in asking for help I fear that will be further proof that I am defensive! You can see the vicious cycle I’ve created. Oh, how I long to better understand and see what I do, how I could do it differently and be schooled on how to not do it.
Have you ever called someone out for something out of frustration? It’s understandable and it is NOT up to you to “fix” someone. But if he or she is especially important to you, can I humbly suggest you take a moment to teach? To use curious and constructive language and offer help? It may work better than you think.
If addressing your own flaws, it’s a great time to exhibit self-compassion. You likely mean well. How can you look at your flaw objectively and begin to shift your behavior without being judgmental or mean to yourself? Being open minded is key to success.
Help others by posting examples of how you’ve overcome a flaw.
This is a lifelong journey and through small changes you will get there.
As for me, feel free to offer suggestions on how to overcome my defensiveness. I’m all ears. Are you?
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
Speaking of exhibiting self-compassion, the next Montauk Retreat will be all about it. Move over icky self-sabotage, it’s time to awaken the voice of self-compassion and unleash your confidence. May 31-June 2.