The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:  Defensiveness

Continuing on with my series on Gottman’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse . . .

Defensiveness is when we feel the need to armor up and shield ourself from someone who is attacking us.  It’s a common response but one that can backfire when in conflict with our partner.

Why is that?

In a word, blame.  Instead of finding the grain of truth on what our partner is complaining about (or even criticizing about), we jump to blame.

It is at this point couples start the attack/defend dance, which usually doesn’t end well.

The Antidote to Defensiveness

As with all of the Four Horsemen, there are antidotes that can get your conflict discussions on the right track.

Watch this short video to learn more about how to manage defensiveness.










Mary Beth George
Mary Beth George is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Gottman Therapist, Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute and co-owner of Couples Counseling & Psychotherapy Associates. She is an empty nester with a passion for rescue dogs, traveling and spending time with people that make her laugh.