Today, I want to talk about the voice mask of defense. Voice masks is a unique concept of mine. It is something that I hear. I hear certain sounds and I can identify with how they are processed subconsciously. That's my body of work.
Voice mask of defense is something that I just recently had with someone in a group that I formed. It was a course testing group. And I've heard it all the time. I hear it all the time. And it is the voice mask of defense. It's very similar to needing to prove, but defense is saying “I know”, needing to prove is saying that ‘I know everything. I’ve been there. I've done it.” I always use the example of my brother and the story about Italy and how he said, “Oh, don't go to Italy. I know all about Italy” and he'd never been. Defense is the ego. Defense is feeling inferior, and here's the thing;
All masks are about insecurity. We are insecure about something that comes from a driver and we put something in place. We put this mask in place because we think it will cover up whatever we're trying to cover up and that it will get us what we want. So, defense is very much a repellent and I'll be totally honest with you, defense exhausts me. It's an area that I struggle with because I find it very disrespectful and a lot of people do. And the interesting thing about this mask is that everybody hears it. Everybody sees it. A lot of times, people can't identify people-pleasing. And a lot of times people can't identify needing to prove.
Needing to prove is very often initially perceived as confidence. And then it moves into obnoxiousness. But the initial reaction and perception, especially from somebody that is more insecure or has lower self-worth, is that they're confident. They're really good. And then they get repelled and turned off and find that ‘needing to prove’ mask exhausting and obnoxious.
Defense is almost the same thing. Defense is very much about saying “I cannot be wrong. I cannot take responsibility. I cannot under any circumstances let you know that I feel inferior in any way, which means I cannot let you feel superior in any way.” Now that's kind of crazy because I don't feel superior in any way, but I know what I'm talking about in my area of expertise. I don't know a whole lot about anything else though. I don't say that I'm not smart anymore because I, that's not a story I'm going to buy into. But I don't know a lot about anything other than voice. I don't know how to cook. I don't know much about math. I don't know science.
I have stayed in this lane and I don't feel superior on any level. I think that there are people in this field that probably know more than me. But what happens in the mask of defense is even if I'm teaching, the other person puts up this mask of defense, whether they know what I'm talking about or not, but they want to create the perception that they already know and they already do. They already do it. They already know it. I just had such a great example of this the other day.
I can't even remember was sharing this with me. I would imagine it's somebody that I'm working with. It was this scenario where someone had asked the person I was talking to a question and my person answered the question and the other person said, “I already knew that.” And my person said, “well, why does this person have to even go there? If they already knew, why did they ask?” And I said, “well, it sounds like a mask of defense to me because they have a driver that says, ‘don't let people know that you don't know everything’.”
Let people know you are protected. If you let people know that you already know everything and you push back on what they have to say to you. “Oh, I already know. Yeah. I already know that.” An example from my work and I don't see it a lot, but I do see it sometimes and it's a form of resistance. The mask of defense is a form of resistance and it will come in my work in a scenario like this; somebody will ask a question. It's very similar to the story I just gave you. “Well, how do I create vocal variety with a script?”
Needing to prove is the showboater, the loud one, the bragger. I think it's a braggart. Defense is saying “I don't know, but as soon as you teach me, I'm going to lead you to believe that I do and that I'm borderline offended that you assumed I didn't know” when I never assumed that at all. It's a huge repellent and here's the thing, this comes from an inferiority thing and the insecurity that comes from a driver that says you're supposed to know everything
Even more so, this is a story that's linked to the mask of defense. If you don't know everything, people are going to think you're inferior. That is that thing of “ I'm trying to control what you think of me”, or “I've already decided what you think of me and I've already decided that if you answer me and I didn't know the answer to that, that you think I'm stupid and I'm going to retaliate with a defense of I already know.” And there's going to be a little attitude in there, like a persona or a perception of “you've just insulted me.” And it's all a defense because they didn't know to begin with, but there's no humility.
The mask of defense, not only is it coming from a place of insecurity, but it's coming from a place of no humility and an inability to take responsibility for one's feelings. The blame falls into this one. I used to struggle with this all the time when I was in my early twenties.
I was raised as a victim. Nothing was my fault. I have regrets over things that I said. This why the restraint of pen and tongue is so important. I have regrets over things that I said when I was in my early twenties, being defensive from being a victim from an inability to take responsibility for my actions and not wanting to look bad and not wanting to look like I didn't know what I was talking about.
It's about defense. It’s about controlling the outcome and looking good or creating a perception of looking good and having no humility to admit when we're wrong or we didn't know because we've created a driver and a belief that if we don't know, then we're inferior. The mask of defense is very much about inferiority versus superiority. And that idea that if you know something that I feel like I should know, then you must think you're superior is coming from an internal driver that says they are superior and that's just not true. But it's a huge mask. It's a huge mask of an inability to take responsibility. And let me tell you, it's a turnoff big time, but the biggest problem, as I've already mentioned is that everybody sees it. Everybody sees it. I remember doing a group this summer and I had someone in that group with a mask of defense. And it was a really big group.
It wasn't one of my typical groups. It was something different. And there was somebody in there with a mask of defense and a mask of needing to prove, but a mask of defense. They would ask a question and every time I answered, they would say they already knew, almost as if they were insulted and very much wanted to make it clear that they felt like I didn't know what I was talking about. In this particular scenario, I didn't address it because that’s not what the program was about.
It was something different. And a couple of sessions went by and then I had a conversation with someone that was in that group and they said, “Oh my gosh, I just can't even believe how that person spoke to you. It was so disrespectful.” And I said, “well, it was just defense.” It was just defense because this person believed that he had to be right which was his need to prove and he also believed that if he asked a question and I knew the answer that surely I must be thinking “what an idiot” and that's where defense comes in. This belief, this driver that we're supposed to know and that the other person thinks we're inferior if we don't,
Passive aggressiveness can be very close to defense. It's getting the last word. It's very much getting the last word. “That's not what I meant. Well, I already knew that. I know that. I'm already doing that”. Then why did you ask? I don't know if this is you or if this reminds you of somebody you know. I'm telling you how great I am. So, needing to prove isn't always negative. It's not always a negative tone. It can be perceived as a helpful tone or a confident tone. Defense is the idea that “you have just offended me. How dare you answer that question and talk to me as if I don't know what I'm talking about?” when they ask the question.
Defense is a refusal to take responsibility. Defense is ego and lack of humility. If you get defensive or if you feel like you're being attacked, sometimes you are be being attacked. I'm saying look within and see if you're being attacked. Are you putting up a defense to try to control the outcome to try to control our perception? And you're putting it in your tone because if you are a promise you, you are not winning friends and influence in people of all the masks.
Defense is one of the biggest turnoffs. And in this recent group, I could tell that everybody in the room saw and heard exactly what was happening. So, if this is you, I want you to look within and I want you to see what it is you believe about not knowing the answer or somebody else knowing an answer to something.
How is that a negative reflection of you? Because that's going to lead you to your driver. What did you have to defend growing up? What did you have to defend with a boss? What did you have to defend that somehow got linked to the idea that you don't know anything or you don't know what you're talking about? It created a mask of protection that makes you feel better because that mask of defense makes you feel you know what you're talking about, even though you feel insecure. It's not real.
What solves this problem is to get okay with humility and realizing that not knowing everything is not a reflection of anything negative. I don't know a whole lot of anything other than voice. That does not diminish my worth.
I have to be willing to learn. I have to be willing to receive criticism. I have to be willing to receive feedback and I am. The person with the defense mask cannot. And if that is you, you need to look at why. Why are you taking that as a personal attack and how in the world do you ever think having a defensive tone is ever going to get you what you want? It's not. It is a 100% repellent and we hear it from the first word you speak defensively.
If this is your mask, you'll never have inner freedom and you might not ever get to the level of success you want. You won't have the connections; you won't have the relationships and it's all because of a voice mask. So, if this is you, I highly encourage you to look within and look at the stories that you've written around people knowing more, or your interpretation of you knowing less. That's where you want to start because that's where the problem is and that's what put the habit in place.
But I'm going to tell you, that is a raw emotion that the listener subconscious is going to reject vehemently. It's no reflection on you that you don't know everything. It's okay if other people know more or know something that you don't know. It doesn't mean you’re not good at something. People with a defensive mask are probably all or nothing thinkers or black and white thinkers as well. And my question is why does it have to be all or nothing? Why does it have to be one or the other? It doesn't.
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