defensive people

How to deal with defensive people

Defensive people often tend to be argumentative. As a result, many of them are not open to views that contradict their own. They are likely to shut the doors on anyone who does not agree with them. As a result, this can hamper relationships. Here’s a guide to dealing with defensive individuals.

Defensive people can be dealt with patience

Dr Kedar Tilwe, consultant psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund and Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi feels to counter defensive individuals it’s important to change tracks. Here’s how to go about it…

  • Making yourself understood in a firm but non-argumentative way

Get your message across in a conversation in a non-threatening and calm manner. This requires patience, practice and persistence in equal measure. Avoid getting defensive or becoming hostile when confronted.

  • Use an even tone

Don’t increase the tone of your voice to drown the other person out as it can be perceived as a threat. Instead use a firm and even tone.

  • Focus on the messageĀ 

Streamline the conversation, and don’t stray from the topic. Stick with the message you want to deliver to the other person.

  • Use logic and focus on solutions rather than the problems

Put forth your logic and try to have an alternative solution ready for any issue which crops up.

  • Let the other person know that they are being heard

Actively listen to what the person is saying, and acknowledge their opinions while trying to find a common path.

  • Get a mutual friend to be a confidant

If the conversation has the potential of turning hostile; try having it in the presence of a mutual confidant or a counsellor.

Key to dealing with such people is to take control back

Defensive individuals like to be in control of a situation or conversation. They play the victim and seek sympathy from others. Hence, it’s important to hear them out, and make your point heard without getting into an argument. Keep your cool and back off if you feel the conversation is headed south. Take a break and come back with a fresh perspective and try to resolve things using a logical approach and an even but firm tone.