That said, I want to say that we can all be defensive sometimes, especially when we feel our humanity or rights being trampled on. As women and minorities, I think Latinas are at increased risk of falling into the trap of defensiveness, precisely because there is a segment of our society that will marginalize and underestimate us because of nothing more than our sex or ethnicity. I also think that the overtly confrontational nature of some Latino cultures makes some of us at higher risk of alienating people in our careers or relationships in mainstream American culture, where the rules of conduct are different. This is why I think it’s so important for us to get a handle on our defense mechanisms, and learn healthy ways to manage our negative feelings in the face of criticism, injustice or other perceived attacks.
So, what’s a mami to do?