1. Think First - This can be costly, if you refuse to think first and just react. Not to mention that you will miss what the other person is trying to say. It might be helpful for you.
2. Humble Yourself - This is not about chiming in and proving your defiance. Everything does not require a reply, try staying quiet and absorb what is being said. This will help things run more smoothly.
3. Ask A Question - If something was said that offended you, in your mind, pause for a second before you assume and ask them what they meant to avoid taking anything the wrong way.
4. Don't Be Wrong & Strong - People can forgive you if you say sorry and admit you're wrong. What most people have a bigger problem with, is knowing you're wrong but you continue arguing like you were right anyway.
5. Communicate Carefully- Either they are a friend or foe; the important factor is not what others say, but how you respond. Always be alert of what you say and how you say it.
6. Listen Closely - It's not what you feel like hearing, it's what's being said. It's very tempting to cut someone off and argue your point instead. Ask yourself is this really about the principle or just not having your short comings revealed?
7. Admit It - This shows the other person that you are not in denial and admit to your defensive ways. Be careful to not just admit fault because it sounds good or to end the fight. The next time you do it again, they might not be so forgiving and lose confidence in your integrity or ability to change.
8. Be Aware Of Your Issues - Be proactive to ending the cycle of being defensive. Write it down everyday about your new promise to end this self - destructive habit. Replace what you will not do any longer, with what you will do in its place. Always keep it in the back of your mind your weakness of being defensive, so when you feel yourself in a similar situation, it will alarm you to think carefully and optimistically before you respond.
9. Avoid Using Sorry Often - If you make a mistake, that's OK. If you make the same mistake routinely, it will be difficult for anyone to believe you're sincere or that you comprehend how deeply your issues truly are.
10. Think Positively - If you do not think good about yourself, your mind will default to thinking negatively about everything. And when you speak negatively it will show that is the way you think of yourself on the inside.
11. Don't Try To Force Your Opinion on Others - You might instill fear or manipulation into others. However, the only one that will hurt the most is you.
12. Stop Worrying About Other People - If you continue to only worry about what part other people play, then you will never focus on the part you played and learn from it. Rather, you will keep making excuses, point blame and argue just to argue.
If you are lucky, someone who cares enough will point this out to you, so you can take the corrective steps to overcome being defensive. If you're wise, you won't wait any longer to start to change being defensive on your own.