The behaviour of others – children, peers, bosses – can trigger us to enter a defensive mode projecting righteous indignation or poor me victimhood. It also makes us less able to respond in a smart way.

Can you press the pause button? Recognise the unpleasant physical sensations, feelings and thoughts. Take a moment to process these before taking whatever next step you were planning. Put simply it’s about responding versus reacting.

What triggers you into defensive mode? Create a rolling list and the next time you notice yourself reacting call them out. Hello “I do everything in this house”. Morning “I don’t get the credit I deserve at work”. Greetings “I am worried about finances”. With the trigger in context pressing pause is easier.

*These words were produced for our Advent Calendar in December 2020.