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on the defensive

weary and ready to defend oneself. John goes on the defensive when his athletic ability is questioned. The child was on the defensive when questioned about cheating.
See also: defensive, on

on the defensive

Prepared for withstanding aggression or attack, as in The debate team's plan was to keep their opponents on the defensive, or This teacher put students on the defensive about their mistakes. [c. 1600]
See also: defensive, on

on/onto the deˈfensive

acting in a way that shows that you expect to be attacked or criticized; having to defend yourself: Their questions about the money put her on the defensive.Warnings of an enemy attack forced the troops onto the defensive. OPPOSITE: on the offensive
See also: defensive, on

on the defensive

Prepared to withstand or counter aggression or attack.
See also: defensive, on
References in periodicals archive ?
The world offers all of us many opportunities to practice defeating our defensiveness.
Defensiveness makes the problem worse by making it more personal.
2013) defines humility as a virtue characterized by the down-regulation of egoistic motives in favor of other-orientedness, as well as an accurate view of oneself Down-regulating egoistic motives should include forgoing defensiveness when confronted about one's beliefs, and being more other-oriented should translate to being less antagonistic toward the views of others that run counter to one's own views or beliefs.
In an effort to further understand the relationships between religious defensiveness and the other variables measured in this study, multiple regression analyses were performed.
Though Liverpool has agreed a plan in response to our report and the district auditor's report there's a sense that words may not turn into action because of some of the defensiveness of their response.
The task of discriminating between those female students with alcohol use problems and those whose use is benign may be challenging, however, because denial and defensiveness are defining characteristics of substance use disorders (Horrigan & Piazza, 1999; Piazza, Martin, & Dildine, 2000).
Due to the increased incidence of oral defensiveness in children with an ASD, plaque accumulation was high, at 85% for all groups studied.
In addition, oral defensiveness was scored using an 8-point ordinal scale that identified the level of cooperation exhibited during the oral assessment.
Evidence of acceptance of the ACOA phenomenon include specific approaches to the treatment of ACOA characteristics (Lewchanin & Sweeney, 1997; Mahon & Kempler, 1995) designed to address issues such as defensiveness, substance abuse, and codependence.
Each suggestion you make is met with defensiveness and a closed mind.
At the heart of this book is a powerful but more than slightly simplistic concept: companies that want to grow need to climb on a "blue train" of empowerment, enthusiasm and teamwork, and reject a "red train" of defensiveness, defeatism and stagnation.
It is argued in this paper that the difficulties associated with oral critiques can be overcome by using communication messages that are intended to reduce defensiveness and create supportiveness.
When you fail to do this, you commonly provoke defensiveness.
isolates the factors that tend to keep people from listening, and how to identify one's own tendencies to tune out what others are saying--from the "Me Too" syndrome that tends to tune out the speaker and refocus the conversation on the self, to learning how to be heard, to how counterproductive defensiveness can be (defending oneself signals that the time of listening to the speaker's concerns have ended).
In cases where the fit is not developed, the dark elements of the role identified by Levinson years ago are likely to emerge: unhealthy rivalries, defensiveness, over-control, rigidity, misconceptions and doubt.