I’ve seen an interesting pattern in recent weeks, by changing my behaviour and watching the behaviour of those around me. Those who things go well for, and those who things don’t go so well for. Seeing when things go well for me and when they don’t. The pattern? When people try to defend themselves, and when people don’t. To be clear, the context here is verbal defence, rather than physical defence! Life hasn’t got that crazy, not yet at least.
Some interesting things about the nature of defending, or justifying, oneself. Firstly, defending yourself often causes others to attack you more. However, when you turn the other cheek, not defending yourself leaves people nothing to punch against and often stops the attack and swiftens the move towards resolving the situation. That is much more productive that the escalating verbal spiral of each person just defending their position. People usually attack out of their own insecurity. Start by understanding that and arguments will become less frequent, successful resolutions more common.
The next time you are tempted to (verbally) defend yourself in a situation, don’t and see the difference. It is a great leadership skill.