It's Time to Upgrade Your Definition of Sexy

When we're twenty-one, the only criterion that most of us have for defining whether someone is attractive or not is looks. It's an "If the exterior looks good, I want it" type of attitude.

However, once you get burned by that a time or two, it's time to consider adding a few more bullet points to the list of "must haves" and "must not haves." One giant relationship destroyer is defensiveness.

defensiveness

What's Wrong With Defensiveness?

Relationship expert, John Gottman, made a bold claim years ago. He said that he can tell within minutes whether a couple will "make it" or not. It all comes down to four things: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Here's how defensiveness destroys connection.

What triggers defensiveness is feeling judged or criticized. So, this brings 2 of the 4 relationship destroyers into a relationship. Yikes!
When we are defensive, we are listening to refute the argument. We're not listening to understand. This leads to feeling unheard. In my opinion, that is the number one relationship destroyer.
Being defensive is like putting a wall up. How connected does it feel when there is a wall between you and your buddy? Not really, right? 
The opposite of defensiveness is taking responsibility. This builds trust, skill, and character. Defensiveness blocks all that.
Problems don't get resolved. If my main goal is to blame the problem on you so I can feel comfortable, I'm not participating in resolving the issue. So quite often, the dynamics don't change. It's a pretty inefficient way to get temporary comfort.
Doling out blame is sitting in a victim's position. We have no power from here. You can't have healthy, dynamic relationships if you're powerless.
People leave to avoid being the scapegoat. Being judged and blamed hurts. Nobody wants to hurt, so most will eventually leave a relationship that reflects such a negative image of themselves back to them.
defensiveness

After a few rounds with defensiveness, you may find your definition of "attractive" changes. Perhaps it starts to include things like trustworthy, honest, dependable, kind, helpful, and responsible. Emotional and creative intelligence start to sky rocket up the list in order of importance.

If that's something you need help with, check out my online community and events where we cultivate that so we can be amazing people and partners.


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