I don’t think I understand defensiveness very well. I’m looking for reading material or thinking directions I haven’t considered or anything else that might help.
When I was replying to anon’s 1st and 2nd post, I was reminded of previous times I reacted badly to anon (e.g., 1, 2), so I paid attention to my emotions / reaction. I didn’t feel emotional or notice a physiological response (like, I didn’t feel that I was getting worked up). In hindsight I’d describe the feeling more like overconfident and dismissive. I thought that, b/c I didn’t feel worked up, I wasn’t being defensive.
Aside: One thing I did choose to do was not reply to everything, tho I think I still replied to too much. WRT a conversation tree, I contributed a lot to the width of it when replying to anon.
Over the past few days I’ve thought about this and searched curi.us and FIGG archives for “defensiveness”. One thing that stood out to me, from: https://curi.us/2075-atlas-shrugged-theme-dont-overreach#9581:
I’d considered (before finding the above) that mb there was a problem with how I was replying in general that meant I replied in a defensive way by default, even if I didn’t feel like I was particularly emotional. Mb part of that is the common idea that you shouldn’t break up a response into like 5 posts (each of which is focused) but you should reply once to many things – Discourse encourages this by default, for example. It’s common elsewhere, too, like reddit, less wrong, etc. I think working on that is something that might help me, but it’s something I can do in parallel to understanding defensiveness – which I think I should do anyway.
Cartman’s quote above makes sense to me though; being unaware of stuff going on (or aware that certain things like anger aren’t going on) doesn’t mean that I’m not responding defensively to something. IDK if this counts as fooling oneself, but either way I think it’s bad if that sort of reaction is my default (regardless of whether I’m emotional or not at the time).
I think part of the problem might be the way I approach conversations when I think the other person is wrong (like, when I’m unconvinced). I’m not sure I know how to respond in a way that doesn’t come off as defensive, even if I’m not emotional. I expect that sometimes I’ll be mistaken in that (thinking the other person is wrong) and sometimes I won’t be, so mb the thing I should focus on is learning a method to find out which one of those situations is actually the case (or some combination).