Defensiveness is an instinctual and therefore natural response that is designed to preserve our personal reality (subjective reality). It is something that is necessary for our sanity and for our psychological integration. Defensiveness is therefore not something we should be ashamed of. So the next time someone calls you ‘ugly’, it is perfectly ok to be ‘defensive’ towards the statement as we reject or deny this alternate reality that another person is trying to insert in our consciousness.
Our personal reality is the sum total of our beliefs regarding everything about our existence. Be it from our cultural background, our biological make-up, or our cognitive perceptions; these components of experience are wrapped up in our conception which I now refer to as our personal reality.
This constructed reality reacts with external (objective) reality which then results to behavioural and psychological outputs. Pretty much the same model as how our personality reacts to stimuli which then produces behaviour. A sandbox then tapped with water (objective reality) can then be treated with disgust as some would be reminded of dung (subjective reality) or some, on the other hand, can react with delight and excitement as sand and water can remind them of their childhood experience of building sand castles by the beach.
Subjective reality is extremely personal and is therefore very sensitive to the person that any challenges to its integrity would be met by ‘defenses’. Be it from running away (denial) or through hostility (aggression), people would do everything to preserve how they see the world and their entire existence. (If you don’t believe me, try walking to the next guy and tell him that his religion is a lie and let’s see what happens) There is nothing wrong with this ‘defensiveness’ as we human beings possess this fundamental right of having our very own personal perceptions and realities.
Let no man therefore tell us how we should see things or how we should feel about things. Reality is for us to interpret individually and personally, especially among us adults. No one has the right to force a happy person to doubt their own happiness (or a sad person to doubt their sadness for that matter). Most of all, no one can claim that they know more about how a person feels more than the person that they are judging!
Defensiveness comes out from these self-righteous insensitive attacks from people whose main motive is nothing more than to control and dominate other people’s interpretation of reality. Truth is that these assailants will never ever know how others truly feel.
All I can say to the people who are being attacked is stop listening to their assailants. Stop giving weight to what they say about you because they will never ever know how you feel and how you should feel (I know sometimes they can appear as authorities and experts, but believe me, even the best of the best cannot know much). Believe yourself and stay true to what you know about yourself. This is your personal reality and it is yours to write, to protect, and to act on.
No one has the right to tell you how you should feel.
No one has the right to tell you how you shouldn’t feel.
No one has the right to change how you feel.
Your personal reality is yours.