If you have trouble counterattacking I know your problem! Let's use the position below as a demonstration:
White to move
If white just defends the pawn with g3, he would't have much of an attack. But if white played Nf4 he would 1.protecting the pawn 2. attacking the queen 3. making way for the queen 4. threatening an unstoppable fork (notice: the queen cann't resume presure on the pawn on g2!)
So now you see, instead of making moves that's kind of a make-your-opponent-run-home-and-cry-like-a-baby type move, or you could make a passive move where your opponent has a good, attacking position. It's your choice.