Responding Nondefensively

defensiveness can be defined as “…a protective reaction resulting from fear or a threat to one’s face or ego” (Andersen & Guerrero, 1989). Defensiveness is a behavior that obstructs effective communication and problem solving and often leads to relational problems.  One of the great challenges in our interpersonal relationships is responding in a nondefensive manner when we feel we have been criticized.  Read the following articles.

Responding to Criticism Without Being Defensive
How to Stop Being Defensive in Close Relationships
Don’t Be So Defensive!
Create nondefensive responses to the following criticisms posed by the person in parentheses:
1 You look terrible! (Spoken by your parent)
2 You are always late. (A coworker at the office)
3 Your work was not submitted on time. (A university professor)
4 You’re acting like a jerk. (Your significant other)
5 You’re a bad parent. (Your child)
6 What you said was really hurtful and unkind.    (A sibling or close relative)
Number your responses and be sure not only to include your nondefensive message, but also the strategy that you utilized