This is something I’ve had to work really hard to change: Defensive Listening. It has been second nature for me to automatically see any critique or complaint, especially something from my former spouse, as a personal attack on my character. Like the spark of a fire, I would easily explode into defending myself, many times at the expense of someone else.
I read/listened to Brene Brown’s blog Recognizing Our Defensive Listening which made me dig a little deeper into learning about how to listen to understand instead of defending oneself.
I highly recommend taking the time to read these two articles:
How to Listen Without Getting Defensive by Kyle Benson
Non Defensive Listening: How to Listen to Understand by Naomi Arnold
“As Dr. David Schnarch puts it, “Emotionally committed relationships respond better when each partner controls, confronts, soothes, and mobilizes himself/herself. This is because the more partners can regulate their own emotions, the more stable the relationship becomes.”
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech that you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce.