Protecting someone can be quite honorable. We do this so that they do not get harmed. Or so they don’t get embarrassed by others. They may have flaws that you don’t want others to see. This person did something that no one should ever know.
While honorable, I find that always protecting someone has two detrimental aspects to it. The first is that it becomes more difficult for the person you are protecting to change and grow. Whatever causes them to do something that you need to protect never gets challenged by honest feedback.
Persons who are always protected become weaker because they have a limited amount of experience at adapting to their environment by learning. We all make mistakes and do dumb things. But we have a self-awareness, that develops over time, that the things we did wrong were both dumb and mistakes and not repeat them.
The second more damaging aspect of protecting someone, is that our ego offers the protection so that our choices in life are never challenged by our own selves. What I mean by this is that we unintentionally defend a life choice by avoiding the feedback necessary to become more self-aware and reflective of what we are doing.
We weaken ourselves in the process by limiting who we can become. We settle for less because we make our choice right by defending the other person. Instead of confronting the aspects that are wrong with our choice, we simply ignore them so that we don’t have to face the uncertainty and hard work of understanding different choices that could improve our situation.
Protecting someone deafens us to what others tell us could be viable alternatives. Other different points of view simply become noise that we never explore and dismiss the fact that they are truly viable.
Honest discussion with ourselves and those we protect takes courage. It’s hard. I admit it. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try for just once, we and they might listen and reflect, making tomorrow much better than today.