I did nothing wrong.
Defensiveness is often the go-to strategy when we are put on the spot. In all honesty, though, we would be more accurate saying I did mean nothing wrong, or even better My intentions were in the right place.
When somebody negatively reacts to something we did or said, something clicks in our mind that forces us to preserve our reputation. It is a natural mechanism, nothing easily preventable, but if you think about it, that “something” is assuming that: 1. we are infallible; 2. if we fail, we fail deeply, as a person, as a human being.
Both are false, of course. And so, next time you feel the urge to say I did nothing wrong, stop for a moment and try instead asking How did what I said felt?, or What can I do better next time?, or even How can I make this right?
It is only by avoiding to take things personally and by expressing a real interest in what the others feel and perceive that we can build strong relationships.
And become, little by little, an improved version of a human being.