get defensive (about something)

"Getting defensive" means acting like someone is emotionally attacking you. Here are a few examples of people "getting defensive":

  • You are eating dinner at your sister's house, and you put some extra salt on your food. She says, "What, is my cooking not good enough for you?"
  • You give some suggestions to your employee about how to organize her e-mail better. She argues back against every point that you make, and seems upset about it.

This phrase appears in these lessons: