What makes you get defensive? What are the areas of your life in which you do not open yourself up for criticism?
Defensiveness usually stems from a lack of confidence, but it doesn’t always show up as aggression or lashing out. When we feel insecure, we may worry about losing status or favor or power, and thus clutch tightly to whatever we can grasp. We begin to think only of ourselves, and we fail to support and lift up others. We become self-centered.
Making an honest and candid practice of regularly examining what makes us defensive is a good way to uncover areas of weakness and vulnerability that we have kept sheltered and protected.
And once you find those areas, you must expose them so they can be healed. Hiding these vulnerabilities does not make them go away, it simply means they flare up later, and probably in ways that are unhealthy.
It will take courage to face areas of weakness, but this way you at least choose to face them on your own terms.