When I use sarcasm, I speak derisively and sarcastically about people and situations, cutting them down in the process. I imply that I know better than others.
Why do I do this?
By cutting others down and making fun of what they say, I make my own feelings of inadequacy less prominent.
What can I do?
To reduce my defensiveness, I must become aware of the behaviours i use when I am defensive. Often that’s enough for me to stop doing them. I can pay attention to my body. When my heart starts pounding, or my skin gets sweaty, or I notice tightness or a knot in my chest, stomach, shoulders or anywhere else, I ask myself if I am feeling threatened and getting defensive.
My body tells me the truth, even when my mind does not. I can also get help from others.
I can ask people to tell me if they see me using these behavior patterns, especially people I know well or have worked with for a period of time. We can even have an agreement that we tell each other.
When I am aware of my behavior, it is helpful for me to have some strategies to use to return to a non-defensive state.
I can slow down and focus on my breathing. I can also take a break from the situation and take time to think about what happened and what I would like to do differently.
By becoming more aware of what I do when I become defensive and what triggers my reactions, I can become more effective. Through the experience of The Human Element, I can understand my own behavior, motivations, and defensiveness and learn about how other people operate as well.