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all of which backfire.

None of the forms of defensiveness work.
The only thing that works is actual self defense.

Science has found 10 forms of abuse and defensiveness. They are:

1) abandonment (punishment for existing) causes pleasing
2) rejection (punishment for having needs) causes helplessness
3) contempt (punishment for ignorance) causes magical thinking
4) sarcasm (punishment for mistakes) causes worry
5) shaming (punishment for innocence) causes hiding
6) deprivation (punishment for hope) causes enduring
7) criticism (punishment for failures) causes selfishness
8) betrayal (punishment for trust) causes suspicion
9) control (punishment for independence) causes anger
10) melodrama (punishment for being real) causes melodrama

The 10 forms of defensiveness can be grouped into themes:

A) [joy related] Using manipulation to get help from others (rather than asking for it openly):
1) pleasing others
2) helplessness

B) [fear related] Trying to control the universe (rather than oneself):
3) magical thinking
4) worry

C) [sadness related] Withdrawing from others (rather than using self defense):
5) hiding
6) enduring
7) selfishness

D) [anger related] Trying to control others (rather than using assertiveness):
8) suspicion
9) anger
10) melodrama

More detail:
1) Pleasing others defends against abandonment (punishment for existing), loneliness, isolation, and lack of belonging.
What to do instead: Managing my needs means being aware of what I want and need, and taking action to get my needs met. Usually that means asking for what I want and being direct, and sometimes saying no to what I don't want. Nobody gets all their needs met all the time, but it's doable to get most of them met, most of the time. Sometimes in the course of being direct one gets attacked and needs self defense skills.
Counter measure: "Please ask for what you want, and claim your own rights and freedom."
Personality disorder: Dependant
Prevalence: 4% of Americans have the full-blown personality disorder, men and women do it equally

2) Frantic helplessness defends against rejection (punishment for having needs).
What to do instead: Becoming blameless means knowing it wasn't my fault, and I'll be OK even when I'm alone. It means doing self care, which includes arranging support and love for myself. It includes being able to let go, and to rejuvenate. It means looking for friends and lovers, and asking for what I want when I find them. It means taking charge of my needs and my life. It means humor, resilience, and no self pity.
Counter measure: "Please remember that you're strong and competent."
Personality disorder: Borderline
Prevalence: 2%, more frequent in women by 3 to 1
3) Magical thinking defends against helplessness and contempt (punishment for ignorance).
What to do instead: Being realistic means acting out of strategy rather than out of emotion, and basing your strategy on what's been demonstrated or can be demonstrated. It means taking action, being direct and assertive. It means expecting deceitfulness and using self defense cheerfully.
Counter measure: Ask for demonstrable thinking, and results.
Personality disorder: Schizotypal
Prevalence: 3%, more frequent in men by 3 to 1
4) Worry and perfectionism defend against sarcasm (punishment for mistakes).
What to do instead: Planning for mistakes means accepting that everyone makes mistakes, and they're steps to success. It means guessing that mistakes will happen all the time. They're not fatal, and in fact they are how we learn, so they're actually good things. It means not feeling guilty or ashamed or worthless when you make a mistake, and in fact feeling free to make mistakes aplenty as you make your way through this wonderful life.
Counter measure: "Please focus on one worry at a time, think it through, decide and move on."
Personality disorder: Obsessive compulsive
Prevalence: 1%, more frequent in men by 2 to 1
5) Hiding and avoidance defend against shaming and humiliation (punishment for innocence).
What to do instead: Becoming shameless means stopping blame of self or others, taking some physical martial arts training to become grounded, using assertiveness and self defense to make your personal world safe, expecting shaming by others and responding with self defense and humor.
Counter measure: Be safe by being blame-free, and invite them to come out and play.
Personality disorder: Avoidance
Prevalence: .75%, equal in men and women
6) Enduring, settling, and indifference defend against deprivation (punishment for hope), drudgery, boredom, and absence of caretaking.
What to do instead: Detachment is the opposite of indifference. It means acceptance of loss, and a self worth that's stable through any loss. It means healthy grieving, and emerging from grief. It means standing up for yourself, for your rights to exist and to fulfil your needs. It means not settling for unhappiness, or less than you want. It means hope and perseverence.
Counter measure: Instill hope, and teach them skills (grieving, self care, defense, hope).
Personality disorder: Schizoid
Prevalence: .5%, more frequent in men by 2 to 1
7) Selfishness defends against criticism (punishment for failure).
What to do instead: Using failures means regarding them as steps to success, and accepting that everyone needs help at times. It means being honorable while expecting deceit and being ready for it with self defense skills. It means managing your needs with humor, and unimportance in the warrior sense: humility. It means empathy and compassion.
Counter measure: "It's in your best interest to practice win-win."
Personality disorder: Narcissistic
Prevalence: .5%, more frequent in men by 2 to 1
8) Suspicion defends against betrayals and double binds (punishment for trust).
What to do instead: Defense against betrayal means reasonable suspicion, and self defense skills. It means relaxed alertness, the ability to switch in and out of warrior mode in a split second, and nonviolent but effective self defense. It means unimportance in the sense of not taking an attack personally, and having compassion for the attacker.
Counter measure: Making detailed agreements and keeping them.
Personality disorder: Paranoid
Prevalence: 1.5%, more frequent in men by 2 to 1
9) Shows of anger defend against control and enslavement (punishment for independence).
What to do instead: Claiming your freedom means having unshakeable self worth so that when someone tries to control you it's not personal. It means defending yourself from attempts to take away your freedom, and it means using negotiation with other free beings to get what you want. It means unimportance in the sense of not taking enslavement personally. It means expressing yourself, managing your needs and being resilient. Andf it means honoring other people's right to be free.
Counter measures: Stopping the abuse, labeling it, requesting respect. Time outs.
Personality disorder: Antisocial
Prevalence: 2%, more frequent in men by 3 to 1
10) Melodrama defends against melodrama (punishment for being real), excuses, explanations, and lack of follow through.
What to do instead: Assertiveness means being direct, asking for what I want and saying no to what I don't want. It means self defense with softness (especially abuse stopping), honor and reliability, flexibility, humor, the unimportance not to get caught up in the melodramas, innocence of heart, resilience, and compassion for the people still caught in melodrama.
Counter measure: Being real, telling the truth, and refusing to play. Block the excuses and explanations, and ask for follow through. Use time-outs of increasing length.
Personality disorder: Histrionic
Prevalence: 2.5%, equal in men and women

There are 2 kinds of personality disorders. High enough levels of stress create transient PDs, and the particular kind of stress elicits the particular kind of PD.
Long lasting PD is induced by stress and abuse in childhood. Kids find a way to defend themselves that works. Where people can get in trouble is that often what worked in childhood doesn't work so well as a grownup. The cure for this kind of trouble is developing high self worth, assertiveness and self defense skills, giving oneself more choices than one had as a child.

Download Defensiveness for IKWT.rtf