Listening without Defensiveness | Assertiveness Skills


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Improve your #listening skills and explore what triggers #defensiveness and #anger
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Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness. provides multimedia counselor education and CEUs for LPCs, LMHCs, LMFTs and LCSWs as well as addiction counselor precertification training and continuing education on many of the videos on this channel. Unlike other providers like CE4Less, AllCEUs includes a weekly LIVE Stream Webinar with your unlimited continuing education and professional development membership.
Listening Without Defensiveness
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP
Explore what causes defensiveness
Identify strategies to enhance assertiveness
All behavior has meaning
Defensiveness is a behavior that indicates a lack of a sense of safety
Prior learning of unsafeness in relationships (verbal or physical aggression, feeling invalidated)
Discussing triggering material
Defensiveness is a type of aggression (My thoughts and feelings matter. Yours do not)
Creating Safety
Enhance self esteem
Recognize the difference between criticism of you vs. your behaviors
Take what is useful and leave the rest
Be realistic…Nobody is liked by everybody, and nobody’s behaviors are liked by everybody all the time
Nurture multiple sources of support
Set and maintain boundaries: Physical, Affective & Cognitive, Environmental, Relational
Give the respect you expect to get.
Creating Safety
Try to be empathetic and curious
If you passionately disagree about something, what is informing their decisions? Yours? (politics, religion, healthcare, quality time…)
Explore alternate explanations why someone might be critical or short with you
Consider where it came from (well meaning constructive feedback vs. destructive feedback)
Evaluate your beliefs about what it means to be wrong, make a mistake or not be liked
Creating Safety
Think back and try to identify at least 10 times you have gotten defensive.
What was it about?
Why did you feel threatened?
Were you actually threatened in the present or were you projecting (Mom/Dad/Ex) or mind reading?
Are there any themes?
Listening and Hearing
Set ground rules
Stop mind reading
Stop projecting
One person and one thing at a time
Use objective language
Have a safe-word and de-escalation plan if you feel like you are getting defensive or being attacked

Listening and Hearing
Listen to hear and understand
Take a moment to breathe and reflect if you feel your stress level rising.
Validate their experience as theirs
When you are grounded, summarize and ask if what you heard was accurate
If the person says yes, then formulate a response using
I statements
I feel like my thoughts/feelings/experiences are being invalidated/trivialized when you say…
I feel anxious about sharing my thoughts with you because…
My anxiety gets triggered when you raise your voice…
Other Strategies
Find areas of agreement
Look for ways to collaborate instead of conflict
Create win-wins
Pick your battles (THINK)
Apologize when necessary

Engage the Executive Control Network
When the amygdala is triggered by a threat it frequently strengthens the connections with the default mode network and results in default (habitual) responding
Rehearsal / empty chair
Identifying and modifying schema (You sound just like my Dad/Mom/Ex) using BETA testing (Breathe, Evaluate, Think/Talk, Act)
Defensiveness is a way we protect ourselves from hurt or rejection
Defensiveness is an aggressive strategy which makes the other person also feel unsafe (and attacked)

Dr Dawn Elise Snipes provides training through that are helpful for ACA OPD, Counsellor OPD, OPD Points, LPC CEUs LMHC CEUs LCPC CEUs LSW CEUs LCSW CEUs LMFT CEUs CRC CEUs LADC CEUs CADC CEUs MAC CEUs MCAP CEUs NCC CEUS LCDC CEUs CPRS CEUs CTRS CEUs and HPCSA ACA NBCC counsellors

00:00 Why do I get defensive
02:10 7 ways to feel safer to reduce anger
21:05 listening and hearing the other person
34:15 Other cognitive behavioral strategies THINK
37:15 Reducing fear and automatic responding

seo grundlagen 2023



  1. This is deeper than it seems

  2. This presentation is 20 years late in my life. But better late than never. Thank you

  3. How'bout you an I make some beautiful babies together? Sorry I can't help myself, you look so good!

  4. 😁👍

  5. Doc Snipes, I somewhat got worried about you mentioning or "minimize" your son's natural tendency to be argumentative as "he's JUST not EMPATHIZING at ALL!" Don't you think EMPATHY should be taught by parents at an early age? EQ is just as important as IQ. THINK of what people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can do now and in the future. Observe other CEOs, Businessmen and leaders. They may be great analytical people, straight A students once but are they HUMANE in using their great analytical minds? Remember the CAPITOL incident? The shootings in Texas and in other schools and malls? This is just my opinion. EDUCATION without MORALS is DANGEROUS.

  6. thank you

  7. 36-42 wow and moooore

  8. Every person who needs this info won't seek it out.

  9. Doctor I am always fascinated about your thoughts and knowledge, lately I felt really something is wrong with me , I get attracted in romantic manner, I knew it is never going happen, due to i am from the UK and you are in US and you have a family and your husband might shoot me in head , but I can not keep it secret, I know I am wrong , you can delete this message after you read it . I know youtube is not tinder 🙂 there you have it , you are stunning ❤ and I wish you all the best .

  10. Thanks Doc!!! 🌞

  11. Being perpetually gaslighted after being tortured would do it. Unfortunately the 99.99% are the "topnarc's" flying monkeys when it comes to this specific thing.

  12. Yours are some of my favorite self help videos.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

    You are making a difference!

  13. I love the sound of your voice. It is very nice and pleasant.

  14. Be pretty amazing if there was a short, interactive, speech operated sort of 'role play' training that could give you a lot of repetition in gaining this skill.

  15. Doc Snipes, will you marry me? JK. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. 😊

  16. Thanks!

  17. As an agreeable person, I so much appreciate this material. I wish I would have learned it before today 2022. 🙏💝👍🙌🌟🌱🌷

  18. Amazing presentation, and great channel.

  19. i think the Kassandra V

  20. When you say..".i feel frustrated when…." and the other person says " I am sorry you feel frustrated when….but frankly I don't care ..What do you say next???

  21. Very very useful. Good to know all this.

  22. This is possible to do only from one side. If the other person is not on board then I find myself being in an exchange that is not reciprocal and still don't feel good at the end if it.

  23. Unfortunately it would trigger my rejection response if my fiance told me they're my friends and you don't have to hang out with us, but they are my friends. Please educate me on How do I process that .and how to not get triggered. Thanks, BTW I am seeing a therapist. I do appreciate you and what you are doing 😊

  24. Hot got teacher! I could really use a class or two.

  25. Thank you so much for this course. Really taught me a lot. Being defensive is one of my biggest flaws.

  26. This is highly speaking to the feminine demographic

  27. 🧡🧡🧡

  28. Thank you for all your wonderful videos

  29. So much great info. I didn't know that this is natural for introvert to process the info later to be able to talk about it. I thought that I am not smart enough and not eloquent enough to do it right away in the moment. Thank you!

  30. would smash but not sure that is what this video should be making me think about 🤔

  31. I also have a very logical son (an engineer) who likes to 'debate' and be the devil's advocate. I love him very much but unfortunately I find it exhausting (anyone would), it has the effect of constantly invalidating my point of view, it s a sort of passive aggression. I just let it drift over me (no point in taking it personally) but it diminishes the richness of our relationship. The wonderful thing is that I feel so grounded in myself (in part thanks to Donnelly) I am able to let it go. I just tell myself with a smile: "Life will teach him..!"

  32. When I come across as being defensive, it's usually because a person is pointing out my behavior, which was a reaction to their behavior, and they are not seeing the error in their own ways . This is very triggering for me.. And it pisses me off to no end when someone can't see their own part in the argument or disagreement. I have no problem apologizing for my faults , but I can't be the only one willing to apologize. I'm always being told that I'm being defensive. But honestly I feel like I have a right to stand up for myself and defend myself when someone has mistreated me.

    So I would like to know how you would suggest handling that?

    You have a lot of great suggestions that I will take into account when it comes to future conversations. But I really would like to know how you would suggest handling the above situation. It would be incredibly helpful for me right now in my life since it feels like my whole world is Crashing Down.

  33. What if you're obeying all the rules but someone just doesn't give a shit about you, but you have to deal with them anyway? Lol.

  34. I love that you have CEUs!! Thanks Dr.

  35. Thank you!!! So helpful

  36. I have all this good things in my life a good church I pray everyday to keep me my family safe from danger i do get over welcomed with my kids I try not be this over bearing parent but they growing up I Don t want nobody to hurt them they young dont understand everything ia m defensive because everything that happen to me in 4 years I fought hard I know I need be careful calm just relax and focous on good in life I can t find good man all the same taken ia m not same women to give up anything fast get used again its procress I know I might never find a real one soul searching

  37. Unlimited CEUs for $59 at Based on this channel's videos and the proceeds support our continued mission to make these resources available.

  38. What many don't recognize is that "the box" we've been taught to live in includes a model for the denial of responsibility and accountability for our actions. Most models of religious belief defer to extrinsic control of events, rather than intrinsic responsibility and the acknowledgement that personal choices have personal consequences. The common belief in "God's will" (insert your favorite deity *here*) and "fate" defer and deflect responsibility which becomes life long behavioral dysfunction.

  39. What this lady is saying is so true

  40. Wow thank you this is based on so much I’m my spiritual journey and on my embark have come across that this is something have been unaware of

  41. You're such a great teacher. I literally found this video right after a situation of defensiveness!

  42. ❤️❤️

  43. I have been battling this for 40 years, you've literally just made this clear for me, now I can be less defensive and listen more. I am so thankful for you and your video. <3

  44. Can we get a copy of the powerpoint somewhere?

  45. Where I struggle is that one particular person in my life has given me many reasons to go on the defence in the past – so it’s often something I automatically do with him now, frequently. Even more confusing is when I feel I have every right to be defensive, he tells me he did nothing to warrant it. So am I being hyper-defensive or is he trying to gaslight me??

  46. Real gut laughing. 24:30. As well, (Unrelated) Don't tell the narcissist what you're feeling. They'll use it as a weapon. Copy/Paste it in your mind. Doc Snipes seems to enlighten me with new knowledge to the point that I'm memorizing key positions and terms as she speaks. Increasing the playback speed helps me because she know where she's going and she share tons of pertinent information. Thanks Doc. Thanks Crew. Thanks Husband. Thanks Family and Subscribers. Thumbs Up.

  47. superb material

  48. Know that disagreements stem from different views that are absolute at times (black or white beliefs). The sooner you realize everyone has both good and bad behaviors the quicker you will have acceptance and forgiveness and openness to OPTIONS. Options represent the grey area in life. Nothing is truly absolute. Everything is complex and no one has a cookie cutter solution to everything.

  49. I don't know why but this video made me cry a lot. You really hit the nail on the head. I have some soul searching to do.


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