We are all well drilled in playing the forward defence, playing it to prevent the bowler from taking a wicket. In fact, it's a lot more useful than that.
Playing defensively spans everything from "none shall pass" drop to the feet, through to a defensive push that is designed to score runs. It's a shot with nuance that requires skill and practice to get right. ANd if you do it will increase your strike rate!
So, it's time to give the forward defence the time and respect it deserves and learn to play with both soft and hard hards to make more of those balls you can't smash.