Asperger’s is pretty darn synonymous with shutdown, meltdowns, and retreating into one’s self. When I figured out why this was happening to me, it changed everything. Literally.
I went from having panic attacks, huge amounts of anxiety, weeks of depression and generally an unpleasant time…. To being happy, relaxed and enjoying life. I was finally able to stop defending and let down my guard. It was the singular greatest discovery of my life.
We call it “Defense Mode”. It’s a state where you walk around in near 24/7 fight & flight, scared of pretty much everything, always retreated, and constantly trying to defend (hence the name).
When you are in Defense Mode, most of the time you get a monotone voice, tunnel vision, sticky/obsessive thoughts, and to the outside world it looks like you are heavily retreated into yourself. Because, well, you are.
80% of your daily energy is spent on defending, building up walls & barriers and fighting the outside world. Thus you only have 20% of your energy for all the daily tasks to do.
So a lot gets dropped. When I was in Defense Mode, I was in my room a lot of the time, playing video games and being in my own world. It sucks. A lot. For everyone.
But it doesn’t need to be at maximum suckiness all of the time. Here are 3 things you can do to help it suck less.
But first, take a deep breath and feel your body. You are here. You are capable. You are whole. We believe in you.
#1 – Deep Listening
This means not talking (or thinking about what you are going to say) and simply listening to the other person. Connect with them. Validate them. Empathize with them. But don’t try to FIX.
#2 – Understand Defense Mode
Knowing what to expect, what to be worried about, and what to ignore is paramount if you are to engage in this work. I’ve seen it literally THOUSANDS of times when people come to us with a problem, only for us to say that the “problem” is a completely normal part of getting out of Defense Mode.
Speaking of which, if you’d like me to show you exactly what to expect, how Defense Mode works, and how to help someone get out of Defense Mode, join me for an upcoming webinar on getting “Out of Defense Mode”.
#3 – Build Trust
Trust is built through interaction that is: Recurring, Intimate, Positive & Non-Threatening.
You’ll need all 4 elements in there to make it work. The more that you engage in interaction with whoever or whatever you are attempting to build trust with (a person, your feelings, an environment), and the more you have ALL 4 of those ingredients in said interaction, the quicker you will build trust.
If you would like more information about Defense Mode, I highly recommend you sign up for our Defense Mode webinar, or purchase our Deep Into Defense Mode course.