Defense mechanisms protect us. Fortresses isolate us. And far too often we begin with the former and end up constructing the latter― Craig D. Lounsbrough
Do you know someone everyone loves to hate? That person who can cause everyone to stop or change a conversation when they enter the room. That one person who can dampen any mood and kill your hopes faster than a chicken hawk can grab a chicken or a mongoose can run across the road (a Jamaican thing people). This person you may have heard referred to in passing or in a conversation you were a part of as being, “difficult to deal with” “party killer”, the B word, “can’t stand her or him” “disagreeable” and the list is endless and can be very nasty. For some of us there is a secret pleasure in tearing down that person (often times behind their backs), “because they deserve it”. And even if we do not contribute to the tear-down we support it vocally or silently; after all they deserve it for being so hard to get along with.
I am also sure that many of us will never see ourselves as being difficult to deal with in a way that can lead people to want to bring us down a size or two. But we may be surprised. The point is this, there are people who are always on the defensive and come across as truly difficult to be around or to have a conversation with. They don’t take criticism well because their ego is hanging by a thread and they try to mask their vulnerability behind a defensive attitude and a “heart of steel”. Many do not stop to consider that there could be a really sad story behind this vexation of a person, because it’s simpler often times to condemn (especially with the right encouragement), than to empathize and be a little more willing to look beyond the image they try to project.
There are many little events that add up to the big picture of who you become. Some of which can be so traumatic that if left unchecked lead to highly dysfunctional individuals – because trust me we are all a little or a lot dysfunctional – and be more enemy than friend. So maybe we need to be a little less harsh with our critique of the one or more persons who rub us the wrong way and get our defenses up. That person who always seems ready for a fight in the face even of a compliment. Maybe it is that they actually need a friend instead of an adversary; a hand up instead of a slap down.