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How To Take Yourself Out Of Defence (And Back Into Connection) | BABH-S1Ep39

season 1 Jun 23, 2020

EPISODE 39: How To Take Yourself Out Of Defence (And Back Into Connection)

Have you ever been in a situation where you get triggered and become defensive?

That defensiveness seems to take over and the situation gets worse. Good communication goes down the pan, things spiral out of control, feelings get hurt and all there seems to be is pain and disconnection...

Well, the good news is: There ARE ways to break that cycle.

You can shift your state and come back to connection with the minimum of pain and relational damage and this episode will show you how.

In this episode:

  • What is 'triggering' and 'defence' in terms of relationship
  • Discover where defensive behaviours come from so you can be more understanding of yourself and others
  • Hear some examples of defensive behaviours so you can know how to recognise them in yourself
  • I share a personal story about how my "I am Iron Man" defence got triggered and how I brought myself out of it
  • An important distinction for abusive situations
  • My 3 step approach to take yourself out of defence and back into connection
  • Intentional techniques that support the 3 step approach
  • What to do when you can't seem to let down your defences

Click that play button and let me know how this episode impacts you!


Defence & Survival Strategies

Going into 'defence' mode is usually as a result of being 'triggered'

Defence creates walls of separation from yourself and others. Our defence strategies and what triggers them is generally learned and conditioned from childhood and/or previous relationship experiences. They are strategies designed to avoid pain, but usually cause pain by the time we are adults looking to experience mature relationship.

Examples of how defence strategies can manifest:

  • Shut down/withdrawal
  • Anger/blame
  • Playing the victim

3 Step Approach to Taking Yourself Out of Defence

DISTINCTION: This may not be appropriate in abusive situations

STEP 1: Awareness

  • No awareness = no choice = continued defence and escalation likely
  • Get to know your defence triggers and responses
  • Get to know your awareness triggers (what jolts you into awareness)
  • Acknowledging your defensiveness is not the same as beating yourself up for them (See episode 6)

STEP 2: Decision & Intention

  • Fundamentally you need to make a decision to let go(See episode 5)
  • Ask yourself "What do I really want?"
  • Are you willing to let go? Sometimes pride can get in the way (See episode 38)

STEP 3: Intentional Techniques

If steps 1 & 2 don't automatically bring your defences down, then use an intentional technique like NPA. You can use NPA in the heat of the moment by saying it in your head. You can either let out the yucky stuff (defensiveness) or let in the yummy stuff (what you really want)... or both!

Download The NPA Process free HERE

Other 'heat of the moment' approaches:

  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Do a grounding exercise
  • Some kind of pattern interrupt

Sometimes you may need to step away to cool off. This gives time to use intentional techniques, including those mentioned but also others that may take more time, for example: 

Other useful modalities:

What To Do When You Can't Seem To Let Down Your Defences

Sometimes we all need help and doing 'self-work' isn't the wisest choice. In that case get some professional support to let go of whatever deeper issues are keeping the issues hooked in.

See my 1:1 Session info


1:1 Sessions with Joel 👆🏻

Click image to get The NPA Process Sheet for free 👆🏻


The dark side of pride in Episode 38 👇🏻

Making the decision to let go in Episode 5 👇🏻

Beating yourself up vs. acknowledging your crappy behaviours in, Episode 6 👇🏻

How to really listen and the impacts of labelling in, Episode 8 👇🏻

Self forgiveness in, Episode 36 👇🏻



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