Ways to Communicate Effectively with a Defensive Partner

Ways to Communicate Effectively with a Defensive Partner
After experiencing pain from a partner, it's essential to sit them down and have a reasonable conversation to prevent a repeat of the pain. 

However, reaching a favorable conclusion with them may be difficult if they are quick to react to your words. 

Thus, you should learn to communicate effectively with a defensive partner if you want your relationship to emerge blissfully after every argument.

You can implement effective communication with your partner by collaborating with them to find a solution to the issue. 

For example, if they hurt you by making decisions without you, you can go straight to proffering solutions that involve them including you in their decision-making process.

Similarly, you can also try accommodating their reaction and forgoing the matter. 

Although this strategy is not sustainable because it will lead to you building resentment toward them, you can use it as a short-term solution till you can use a more effective strategy.

And if the heat from their reaction is too much, you can simply stay away from them temporarily. 

This strategy shows that you are willing to stay away till the emotions are calm, and both of you can handle the conversation without many emotional outbursts.

You can consider these ways to learn how to communicate effectively with a defensive partner:

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Collaborate With Them 

As a resolution mechanism, collaboration among partners works when they come together to solve their issues and get a win/win outcome. 

It's essential to initiate this method if you want to communicate effectively with a defensive partner.

To effect the collaboration, you should talk about the problems with your partner in a neutral tone. 

Then, you should talk about your feelings concerning the issues without making accusations against them.

Once you have highlighted your feelings about the issue, you should also listen to their thoughts about the whole matter. 

From their opinions, you will be able to identify their needs and relate them with yours.

Once you are done with that, both of you can brainstorm viable solutions that will get you your needs. 

Then, create a roadmap for achieving the solution so you can easily measure your progress. 

Accommodate Them 

The accommodating style of resolving issues stems from a peaceful mindset of ending fights. 

It involves accepting a loss in the argument even if you were at fault. If you want to communicate effectively with a defensive partner, you may try this method.

If you are willing to use this style, it can help preserve the longevity of your relationship because your partner will realize that you value the relationship over your hurt feelings. 

When a loving but defensive partner realizes this, they will change their negative traits and improve their positive ones.

Also, the style ensures that your conflict will end quickly, and there will be no further conflict. 

This outcome will occur since you are no more pushy about winning the argument; instead, you are focused on avoiding a fight.

However, as beneficial as this style may seem, it should not be used often. 

If you keep accommodating all your partner's excesses, they will begin to take you for granted and see you as a weak, dependent person who needs them. 

Walk Away from Them 

Sometimes, the best thing to do in a heated argument is to leave before it begins. 

Heated discussions are terrible and can cause fractures in relationships. 

To avoid these fractures and to communicate effectively with a defensive partner, it's vital that you learn how to walk away from an argument.

When you notice that you telling them of your feelings is about to cause a fight, you should realize that it's time to leave. 

Once you realize this, be sure to inform your partner that you need space to process things.

As you inform them, be sure to include a specific time and reason for which you want to be away. 

It may be 20, 30, or 40 minutes; just make sure to tell them. 

You should let them know you are coming back, so they will understand that you aren't backing out; instead, you want to calm down for a while before revisiting the issue.

After taking as long as you need to calm down, you should come back and handle the conversation more calmly. 

You may share what you meditated upon in the minutes of walking away, helping you show that you are intentional with your thoughts.

Compromise 

Depending on the situation that caused an argument between you both, a compromise can take different forms. 

Regardless of the form, a compromise will always involve reducing your needs to accommodate your partner's needs. 

Doing this can help you communicate effectively with a defensive partner.

If the situation that caused the argument was a choice of vacation spots, your compromise could take a writing-based form. 

In this form, since you can't agree on a particular vacation spot, both of you can write your best locations with their characteristics, then pick a neutral place with the combination of the best parts.

Furthermore, if your argument revolved around the division of house chores, you can solve the issue by compromising. 

You and your partner can write a list of your best and worst tasks and then compromise based on an exchange of chores.

You may experience an issue with spending time together and alone. 

One of you may be more solitary than the other, resulting in an argument about not trying to spend time.

You can compromise by reducing the number of time spent alone while also reducing the number of time needed together by the other person.

Frame the Conversation on Your Personal Experience 

Starting a conversation with a plan to accuse your partner and make them feel guilty is a bad idea generally. 

It's better to explain yourself to them based on how much you felt pained. 

Using this method can help you communicate effectively with a defensive partner.

Knowing that your partner is a defensive person that will twist your words, it's good to initiate your discussion by saying how bad you are feeling due to certain things. 

Try to avoid calling them out on how they caused it because it will lead to arguments.

After saying how hurt you feel, tell them what you want.

When you make requests, it's way better than accusing them since they will take it as an insult to their person.

Moreover, you should be sure to proffer ways they will go about making you feel better, so they won't complain that you are heaping negativity on them without offering solutions.

Conclusion

Being defensive about perceived allegations is natural for most people since we don't like to be the bad guy. 

But this usually leads to ineffective communication because the defensive person will likely not listen to what the hurt person is saying.

Therefore, if you want to communicate effectively with a defensive partner, you should try to collaborate with them, accommodate them, walk away from them, compromise, and frame the conversation on your personal experience.

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September 27th, 2022

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