Why defending yourself is a waste of time

| T A L K T H R O U G H I T | @inking_j

You've heard a rumour. It isn't true. Or maybe it is. But it's not the whole story. You have a story too. Is it time to set the record straight?

Live long enough and you're going to realise that you are not everybody's flavour. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to trust you. Not everyone is going to give you the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is going to care. Not everyone wants to believe in you.

This is reality.

Harsh, but reality nonetheless.


Bias is a part of life and its not going anywhere.


So? What are your options? You have plenty, but we all tend to want to defend ourselves. At least a little. However, when you indulge in defensiveness, you’re likely to be viewed as insecure, narrow-minded and too emotional. And none of these labels is going to help you in the long run. Defensiveness, overall sends really negative signals to those around you.


6 signals you might be giving off when being defensive.

1. Aggressive.

It is all too easy to come off as aggressive when you defend yourself. Recently, a finance broker that my company was dealing with did a really poor job when communicating with our mutual client. Instead of owning up to the mistake he became defensive. Unbeknown to him, the way he defended himself came across very aggressive and it almost lost him a major contract. Even a soft spoken individual can come across aggressive when they become defensive.

2. Guilty.

You may be completely in the right. BUT, when you defend yourself it unwittingly makes you seem wrong. Perhaps the psychology behind it is that an innocent person doesn't have any need to defend themselves. That's completely inaccurate. However, it just seems to be the way innocence and guilt can be viewed.

3. Dishonest.

Defensive behaviour can give off a signal of dishonesty. Again at our office there was a day that a client came into the building ranting and raving about an employee that worked there. That employee started off by interjecting and trying to defend themselves. For some reason he didn't come off well when he did that.

4. Insecure.

It is so difficult to not respond to false statements being made about you. To stay silent is incredibly challenging. But it does take a secure man or woman to just continue standing whilst having mud thrown at you. There is a 'time' for a statement however, the majority of the time... that 'time' will not be today. Social media is awful for this as we all carry in our pocket the ability to 'respond'. Don't respond. Be secure in who you are.

5. Immature.

It is very difficult to not come across as childish when you defend yourself. Petty and immature is how defensiveness can easily look. Using restraint is what an adult does. I have friends that enjoy getting into fights at bars. For some reason they look for it and often find it. Just a look or a nudge can set them off. At the core - it's really immature behaviour.

6. Self absorbed.

If you find yourself having conversations with yourself about what you wish you could say about yourself - then you are literally like everyone else around you! Only thing is... it is a tad narcissistic. Thinking about yourself is a preoccupation best tempered. Make efforts to be in the present moment rather than thinking about how your 'past self' is being perceived.


You can't please everyone. So, don't try. It's tempting to defend yourself but the consequences of doing so may be more damaging then the allegations or rumours in the first place. Just like a mosquito bite - you're better off leaving it alone than scratching that itch! Not everyone likes you? So be it.


If this has been helpful - forward this article on to someone today by using the links below or liking it! Peace out!

#livinginthepresent #dealingwiththepast #reputation #defensivebehaviour

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