Do you find yourself getting defensive when you feel criticized? Interestingly, relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman found that defensiveness is one of what he calls the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” He found the four main risk factors for marriage to be patterns of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stone-walling. Defensiveness can feel natural…don’t we all deserve to explain our position? The problem with defensiveness is that, when fear and a desire to defend ourselves takes over, we stop being as receptive to others, their perceptions and feelings, and what will work for our relationships. Self Knowledge measures your level of connection to who you are, what you want, and what you need. The better you know and accept yourself as you are, the more likely you are to be honest with yourself and others about what works for you and what does not. The more grounded in a true knowledge of yourself you are, the more likely you are to be open to authentic feedback without defensiveness and reactivity. I know it’s a hard one, but it’s important to your personal and relationship well-being. Today’s challenge: don’t be so defensive darling!