Overcoming Defensiveness for Better Wellbeing

Hello everyone! I'm Kelly Michailidis, and today, I want to talk about the transformative power of saying sorry and the importance of overcoming defensiveness. Apologizing is more than just a social nicety—it's a crucial aspect of emotional wellness that can significantly impact our mental health and relationships. Let's explore why it's essential to overcome defensiveness and embrace the power of a sincere apology.

The Challenge of Defensiveness

It's natural to feel defensive when we're confronted with our mistakes. Our instinct is to protect ourselves and our self-image. However, this defensiveness can prevent us from acknowledging our faults and making amends. Over time, it can erode trust and damage relationships.

The Emotional Impact of Apologies

Apologizing can be a powerful emotional release for both the giver and the receiver. It acknowledges a mistake, shows empathy, and fosters emotional healing. When we apologize, we take responsibility for our actions, which can reduce feelings of guilt and shame. For the person receiving the apology, it can validate their feelings and promote forgiveness.

Strengthening Relationships

Healthy relationships are built on trust and communication. Apologies play a crucial role in maintaining and repairing trust when it has been damaged. By saying sorry, we show that we value the relationship and are committed to making amends. This can lead to stronger, more resilient relationships.

Reducing Stress

Holding onto guilt or unresolved conflict can be a significant source of stress. Apologizing can alleviate this stress by addressing the issue head-on. It can clear the air, reduce tension, and create a sense of closure. According to a study on apologies, expressing regret and making amends can lower stress levels and improve overall mental health.

Promoting Emotional Healing

Apologies can be a crucial step in the healing process. They can help to mend emotional wounds and foster a sense of understanding and compassion. This can be particularly important in situations where there has been significant hurt or betrayal. By saying sorry, we can begin to rebuild trust and move forward.

Tips for Overcoming Defensiveness and Apologizing Sincerely

Overcoming defensiveness and making a sincere apology can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you through the process:

  • Pause and Reflect: Take a moment to calm down and reflect on the situation before responding.
  • Acknowledge the Hurt: Clearly state what you are apologizing for and acknowledge the impact of your actions.
  • Express Regret: Show genuine remorse for your actions and the pain they caused.
  • Take Responsibility: Own up to your actions without making excuses or shifting blame.
  • Offer Amends: Ask how you can make things right and take steps to do so.
  • Commit to Change: Promise to learn from the mistake and avoid repeating it in the future.

The Power of Forgiveness

Just as important as saying sorry is the act of forgiveness. Forgiving others can free us from anger and resentment, promoting our own emotional wellbeing. It's important to remember that forgiveness is a personal process and doesn't necessarily mean forgetting or condoning the hurtful behavior. Rather, it's about releasing the hold that the negative emotions have on us.


The power of saying sorry extends far beyond the immediate act of apologizing. By overcoming defensiveness, we can enhance our wellbeing, strengthen our relationships, reduce stress, and promote emotional healing. Embracing the power of apology helps us foster a more compassionate and understanding world.

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for more updates from me, Kelly Michailidis. 😊

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