At one point or another, all girlfriends become angry. When they are angry, it is often difficult to listen to them but so easy to tune them out or blame them for the way they are behaving. However, it is incredibly important to the relationship with them that they be heard and understood – even when they’re angry. Here are some ideas to help make sure they are heard:
Consider if your girlfriend is angry with you, or just angry
There is a huge difference between yelling at someone, and yelling to them. When women become upset, their feelings are expressed in their tone of voice. This can come across as though she is yelling at you, when she is really only trying to tell you why she is angry about something else.
However, when you react in anger to her tone of voice, the situation changes so that now she really is angry at you. Thus begins another argument. Next time, instead of reacting in anger, consider if she is yelling at you, or just to you.
Listen to your girlfriend’s words, not her tone
This tip plays in to the first one. Essentially, listening to her words instead of her tone is how you can determine if she is angry with you or with someone or something else. Once you know that she is not angry with you, it immediately becomes much easier to sympathize with your girlfriend and continue to hear her out. Listening to her words rather than her tone is a great way to ensure that you don’t take her anger personally when it is not truly directed at you.
Do not criticize your girlfriend
When your girlfriend is already upset, the last thing you should want to do is upset her more. Criticizing her in the middle of her angry moment is a great way to do exactly that. Rather than trying to tell her she’s wrong while she’s upset, just listen to her. Let her get out all the things that she needs to say. Be a sounding board for her, not a teacher. We all say things in anger that we don’t mean, but sometimes it’s therapeutic for us to be able to say them. Wait until she is finished before trying to give her any feedback of substance.
Let your girlfriend know you care in a meaningful way
There are times when people are listening to a speech that they don’t necessarily want to hear, when they feel themselves slipping in to the “nod and smile” routine. Their minds zone out, and they stop really hearing what’s being said.
Needless to say, this is a very bad idea when listening to an angry girlfriend. She wants to be heard, not tuned out. The vacant nodding and smiling are more likely to make her even angrier than anything else. They’ll also turn her anger on to you, which is not what you’re going for. To prevent yourself from zoning out, consider what she may not be saying outright: “I’m hurt. I really need some comfort and to feel like I matter.”
Do not try to fix your girlfriend
Many people have this habit of hearing a problem and immediately trying to fix it. They think of it as being proactive. Unfortunately, when dealing with an angry girlfriend, this will just make her feel like she is not okay, or not capable of fixing the problem herself. She doesn’t need to be treated as though she is inept – she often just needs a friend – somebody to sympathize with her and hear her grievances.
It is natural to have feelings, so don’t tell her she’s wrong for being upset. Remember that she’s not taking any action at this point other than talking to you. Don’t assume that every single thing she says in anger is going to be played out later in her day. For the moment, just let her vent.
These tips may not sound easy, but they do work. A pleasant side-effect of listening to your girlfriend when she is angry is that most times she will become less angry as she is heard and feels cared about. Her tone will soften, her demeanor will soften, and her anger will be replaced with comfort and happiness, knowing that she has been heard. Next time your girlfriend is angry, look at it as an opportunity to gain greater closeness in your relationship. Who doesn’t want that?