Obviously, when you react this way you are being controlled by your ego-mind, your are not mindful. And so when you are then accused of being defensive, you say that you aren’t being defensive. “I’m just trying to explain my actions or statements.” But you are being defensive. And the emotion of the situation ratchets up.
I speak from self-experience. This has been an ongoing issue in the relationship with my partner. If he gets upset and places some blame on me, I get defensive, and that just makes matters worse.
What’s disappointing is that despite my meditating on these situations after they occur, and my having become aware of various things that have helped me act not from my ego-mind but from my heart and thus avoiding hurtful situations, I have never grasped what I did this morning when I meditated. And that is that I am programmed to be defensive and I didn’t even realize it when I was called on it.
My intent for the future is that when I am accused or blamed for something, it will be a red flag. I will stop, breathe, and connect with my true Buddha self. I will then not respond defensively but will either say, “I’m sorry,” if thats appropriate (which is generally the case) or I will respond in some other appropriate way.
I once heard a well-known psychologist who wrote about the inner child say that our inner child is alive and well in us at this moment, and that it controls what we do. It is the avatar of our ego-mind. And since most of our inner children are wounded, not healed, when two adults fight what we see and hear are two inner children, not adults, fighting with each other.
I think that that aptly describes what happens when my partner and I get in a row. The points my partner makes are always real and valid. It’s the emotion that arises that becomes out of control and damaging. It would be great if neither of us were controlled by our inner child, or if our inner child was fully healed. But at least if I can control my response by being present, in touch with my true self, then my partner’s emotional reaction will be defused.