Not long ago a friend of mine called me in a panic because his girlfriend was angry with him and stormed off, got in her car and drove home. He wanted to know what he should do because he felt really bad.
I told him he needed to apologise.
It seems so simple right?
But men can be stubborn and proud creatures.
I instructed him to call her as soon as he gets off the phone and tell her the following:
“I apologise for [inset specific thing you did]. I realise that by doing this I made you feel [insert emotion]. What can I do to make things right?”
At the time of this conversation I was in a busy bar and when I got off the phone a gentleman said to me “Great advice, I’ll use that one next time.”
Understanding women, and how to apologise
When a woman is mad at you or upset with you, you have to figure out what it is that is making her feel upset.
What action (or inaction) did you take to make her feel this way?
You probably wont need to figure it out; it’s most likely she’ll tell you.
Next put yourself in her shoes and try to see things from her perspective.
Then apologise, but not by saying “sorry”. Identify the specific things you did and tell her you know what they are.
You don’t want to stop there either. Once you’ve apologised you also have to show that you will remedy the situation. If you don’t know how, ask her.
It’s really that simple and yet it’s also extremely effective.
You’re not just saying sorry. Anyone can say sorry. You need to acknowledge the exact actions you took and make an offer to solve the problem.
Here’s a real-world example:
“I’m sorry I’ve been quiet lately and I realise that by doing so I’ve made you feel neglected. I’ve had a lot on my plate and it has nothing to do with our relationship. I’ll call you tonight and will make more of an effort to check in with you from now on.”
Women want to be understood
All women want is to be understood. We want to be listened to. We want to feel loved and protected.
And when we talk about our problems we aren’t necessarily looking for advice on what we should do either. Sometimes all we’re looking for is someone to nod, to listen, to comfort us and tell us everything is going to be OK.
I would also recommend trying to understand a woman’s main worries. For example, I’ve had times in my life where I’ve been really worried about money.
When you don’t have any money, you become very terrified of unexpected costs. Situations that wouldn’t usually be much of a big deal can become really stressful.
I’ve found myself getting upset over things like unexpected parking tickets or lost items because I simply couldn’t afford it. If I had the money I wouldn’t give it a moment’s thought. I’d just pay the fine or buy a replacement.
Sometimes, all I wanted was to hear the words, “I’m sorry that sucks, don’t worry about it, I’ll help you cover the costs.” Because that’s the kind of thing I would do if the roles were reversed.
Never underestimate the importance of listening and understanding her.
Many women do lots of mundane tasks every day. They cook the dinner, they pick up your dirty underwear from the floor, they drop off the kids at school. They do these tasks silently and unnoticed without asking for any reward or any type of praise.
Often a woman will say something like “Can you not leave the towels on the floor?” and the guy continues to leave the towels on the floor. And the woman feels like she is just not being listened to.
Sometimes a guy will do one of these tasks, once in a blue moon, and then say; “Look honey, I cleaned. Did you notice?”
And the woman thinks, “But I do this every day!”
Now imagine if you just clean the house so it is spotless. And then your girlfriend comes home after a stressful day and you just say absolutely nothing at all. You don’t ask for praise or acknowledgment. You just silently sit there and ask he how her day was.
Let me tell you this. She will notice without you saying a word. And she will appreciate it far more.
So my top relationship advice for men: just listen more. Make an effort to understand her more and your relationship will be better for it.