What to Do When Your Girlfriend is Mad at You?

A mad girlfriend is difficult to handle, especially if you said or did something to make her feel that way. 

However, if you’re aware of the issue, you can calmly get to the bottom of it with the help of the soft approach.

Things get more challenging if your girlfriend acts childish, gets mad at you based on her thoughts, not your actions, and displays controlling behavior.

If that happens, then you have no choice but to put the hard approach into play. 

Either way, try to maintain a positive attitude and take the right steps to get things back on track with her.

After all, not all conflict is bad. Here’s what Kathryn Ely, MA, LPC said about it:

“Conflict and discussion, if handled in a mature manner, is necessary for relationships to grow deeper and stronger by developing healthy boundaries.” 

In other words, your girlfriend being mad at you can turn out to be a good thing. Although definitely not pleasant, it can be a constructive experience.

Let’s get into the details!

What to Do When Your Girlfriend is Mad at You

Step A: The Soft Approach

1. Give her space

Immediately after your girlfriend gets mad, she needs a little space from you. She needs to process her emotions and calm down.

Any attempt to force her to talk about what happened will fail because of what she’s feeling. Not to mention that it’s not recommended either.

You see, when you annoy her, offend her, or hurt her, her mind becomes clouded. So, she can’t hear you out and she most probably doesn’t want to either.

Depending on how serious things are, she might need space from you for a few minutes, or maybe days.

What’s more, if you start explaining yourself or apologizing right away, chances are she’ll think you’re insincere and you’d say anything to fix what happened.

Meanwhile, you should also reflect on the situation.

2. Stay calm and listen

When she’s ready to talk, make sure you’re also ready to listen.

A good boyfriend always avoids…

  • … raising his voice 
  • … interrupting her
  • … blaming her
  • … getting mad as well

What matters most now is to let her vent and explain why she got mad at you (even if you already know what you did wrong).

In this regard, there could be countless reasons. Maybe you didn’t meet her expectations or you neglected her.

Or maybe there’s a misunderstanding between the two of you due to miscommunication.

Whatever it is, listen to what she wants to tell you. Listen attentively and don’t think about what to say next. Try to absorb the info you get from her.

Also, do what’s best for the two of you, and don’t get defensive. If you do, you’ll probably end up arguing or fighting again.

3. Put yourself in her shoes

All my life I’ve been hearing that men lack empathy. I don’t think that’s true. 

What does it really mean to be empathic?

It means to put yourself in another person’s shoes. To be more precise, it means to imagine you are your girlfriend and look at things from her point of view.

Otherwise, it’s unlikely to understand her perspective. So, put your ego aside for a minute and try to figure out where she’s coming from.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say making plans is important for your girlfriend. However, they’re not important for you. You’re what they call a “go-with-the-flow guy”.

Naturally, you don’t understand how it is to be anxious or her need to make plans. You react as if her problem isn’t serious.

But if you imagine being her, you’ll see why it matters – This is empathy.

4. Admit when you’re wrong

I have a million-dollar question for you: 

Is it right to ignore your girlfriend’s supposed need to make plans just because you don’t care about making plans?

No, of course not! So what should you say? 

“I can see where you’re coming from. I am used to not making plans and I didn’t consider your need. I was wrong to do so. ”

In the example above, I used “I” statements. Why?

American therapist and writer Harville Hendrix explains why:

“When we use ‘I’ statements, we express our emotions and needs directly, which can prevent misunderstandings and defensiveness in relationships.”

She won’t think you’re blaming her and besides that, she’ll see you’re serious about fixing things with her. 

5. Apologize to her

After you admit you were wrong, it’s time to apologize to her

As discussed in a conflict management article, an apology can be a powerful catalyst for conflict resolution and it should include the following:

Begin by saying “I’m sorry.” Saying sorry is essential. Your GF needs to hear it. She also needs to see that you understand what you did wrong.

That’s why mentioning exactly what you did wrong is a must. At this point, you should try to explain yourself. But whatever you do, don’t make excuses. 

What’s more, a good apology should also come with an assurance, such as telling her you won’t ever do it again and asking her how to make it up to her.

Of course, for the apology to work and lead to forgiveness, you must be 100% honest. 

According to a study done by Wen Jie Jin, Sang Hee Park, and Joonha Park, a sincere apology has a powerful impact. It can actually alleviate numerous negative consequences.

As for forgiveness, it can relieve negative feelings. This means you should pursue it whenever you make a mistake.

6. Give her a tight hug

The next step in your approach is based on another scientific fact: hugging acts as a buffer in interpersonal conflicts

In 2018, Michael L. M. Murphy. Denise Janicki-Deverts and Sheldon Cohen conducted a study in which they discovered that people who get hugged on days with conflict experienced fewer negative feelings compared to those who don’t get hugged.

What’s more, they also concluded that hugs have a long-lasting impact on a person’s emotional well-being. As you probably know, physical affection stimulates the brain to produce oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a feel-good chemical that enhances bonding and closeness between two people.

Simply put, the effects of hugging your girlfriend are positive and could help her forgive you more easily.

So, if you want to make your girlfriend happy then GO HUG HER.

7. Reassure her of your love

A simple mistake can make your GF doubt the love you have for her, not to mention a big one. The entire foundation of your relationship can be affected by lying, breaking promises, etc.

So what can you do to avoid that and make it better? Reassure her of your love!

A whopping 95% of all women who participated in a study published in the book For Men Only by Jeff Feldhahn agree it’s incredibly comforting when their partner reassures them of their love.

To do that for your girlfriend, reaffirm your relationship as well as your commitment to the relationship, express appreciation for her qualities and what she does for you, and promise her you’ll work on improving yourself, and your relationship.

8. Understand her love language

My boyfriend and I have different love languages. Our relationship was shaky at the beginning because of that until I figured it all out.

When I was mad, he was giving me gifts I didn’t want or need.


His love language is gift-giving. That’s how he feels the most loved.

But I needed to hear him say he was sorry and to be reassured of his love.


Because my love language is words of affirmation. That’s how I feel the most loved.

To give your GF what she needs in general and when she’s mad, discover her love language and act based on it.

Observe how she expresses affection for you to learn more about what she wants and needs from you. 

The other love languages are acts of service, physical touch, and quality time.

9. Put a smile on her face

Unless you cheated on her or seriously betrayed her, you can use humor to lighten up the mood and transition from talking about the problem/disagreement to something else.

A good joke always works on me. I mean, just because I feel a little hurt, it doesn’t matter I lose my sense of humor. 

Laughing not only eases the tension and promotes the production of feel-good chemicals, but it also increases feelings of affection between romantic partners, as shown by Laura E. Kurtz and Sara B. Algoe in their 2015 study.

What’s more, if you manage to make her laugh, you remind her how attracted she is to you. This is also a scientific finding. In fact, several studies lead to the same conclusion:

Funny men are more desirable.

Duane E. Lundy, Josephine Tan, and Michael R. Cunningham conducted a similar study in 2005 that confirms what we already know – The funnier you are, the more women are attracted to you.

I recommend you to going though my article: How to Cheer up Your Girlfriend: (Based on 5 Love Language)

10. Communicate openly and check-in

I wish I could tell you that’s it. But it’s not…

One heartfelt apology won’t get you total forgiveness and she won’t forget about your misunderstanding or mistake anytime soon.

Negative experiences and feelings tend to stay with us longer than positive ones. That’s why you can expect to talk about the same topic again.

To be on top of the situation, you can bring it up yourself and show her you’re not assuming everything is fine; you’re checking in.

Good and open communication between partners has proven benefits. A study published in Better Health Victoria shows it makes it easier to deal with conflicts and build stronger and healthier relationships.

11. Regain her trust

If you’ve done something serious to break her trust, you should work on regaining it. 

Maybe you made many promises you didn’t keep and now she doesn’t believe you anymore. Or, maybe you lied to her and now she questions everything you say.

Or, maybe you were disloyal to her and now she doesn’t trust you at all. All of these are damaging in any relationship.

Is staying loyal an issue for you? If it is, then here are 5 ways to stay loyal:

  • Remember you want to be in a relationship with her
  • Remind yourself what you like about her
  • Prioritize spending time with her
  • Don’t be emotionally open to someone else
  • Understand a relationship has ups and downs

Step B: The Hard Approach

12. Ignore the bad things she says

If your girlfriend is mad and starts making mean statements and accusing you of various things that are absurd, not true, or a product of her imagination, try to ignore what she says.

Do your best to change the subject and don’t engage in an argument with her. Especially if she goes on and on about something you’ve already talked about, you should redirect the conversation.

Pick a neutral or positive topic to defuse the tension and stop things from escalating.

This tactic works if your girlfriend is being childish or jealous without reason. It also works if she’s breaking one of your boundaries by trying to convince you to do something you’re not comfortable with.

Or, if she’s trying to manipulate you into doing something she wants.

13. Take a thoughtful timeout 

In a relationship, both parties have to sometimes agree to disagree. This means to accept that you have different views or opinions about something.

However, if your girlfriend has a hard time accepting that and wants to continue arguing with you, then you can take a thoughtful timeout. By this, I mean to be silent for a while. 

Before you do that though, make sure she understands you no longer wish to continue talking about the issue.

Being silent can be helpful as long as you don’t use it to manipulate her. That’s when it becomes abusive, as explained in an article published on Very Well Mind.

You may use the silent treatment to deal with a controlling and manipulating girlfriend. As long as it’s not meant to hurt her, but to protect you, it’s a good tactic.

14. Try the no-contact rule

Lots of girls refuse to talk to their boyfriends when they’re mad at them. Some of them think it’s a way to teach them a lesson.

They ignore their boyfriends when they text them or call them and disregard their efforts to connect.

If the same happens to you, then mirror her behavior. Refrain from reaching out to her and wait for her to make a move first.

She won’t expect that, a fact which will definitely surprise her and could determine her to change her behavior with you.

Even so, you might have to wait for a while. Patience is key when she ignores you or initiates a period of silence.

I used to do this all the time when my ex-boyfriends did something to upset me. I ignored them until I felt better and I thought I was punishing them for what they’d done.

Was I wrong? Absolutely!

I was the toxic person in my relationships because I was using power play, instead of talking about the problem like a grownup would.

Remember, the no-contact rule is applicable only when dealing with toxic romantic partners.

15. Mirror her speech

Another thing you can do if you’re in a situation where your girlfriend has doubts about you is to respond in the same way. Tell her you have doubts about her as well.

Or, let’s take the most common scenario: Your GF accuses you of flirting with other girls based on her insecurities, not based on something you’ve said or done.

How will you react to that? By accusing her of the same thing. 

In this way, you might help her realize you’re both in the same situation. You could even manage to create a sense of empathy and understanding.

16. Take a break from each other

I know this is not what you want to hear now, but when everything else fails, you have no other choice but to take a break from your girlfriend.

Physically distancing yourself for a while and not talking to her could provide clarity and allow your emotions and hers to settle. 

In his study, Nathan Cobb, Ph.D. found that if you both calm down, it’s more likely to find solutions to your problems.

So, if you think there’s no other way to mend your relationship with her, then maybe creating enough space between the two of you will bring you back together.


When dealing with a mad girlfriend, you have 2 options: the soft approach or the hard approach.

The soft approach works if there’s a misunderstanding, you make a mistake, or mess up really badly and break her trust.

The hard approach works if she acts childish, doesn’t respect your boundaries, or tries to control you in various ways.

Choose the one that aligns with your relationship dynamics and values, and remember that communication, empathy, and respect are essential in resolving conflicts.

Daniela Duca Damian
About Daniela Duca Damian

A journalist by profession, Daniela has been sharing her knowledge and personal experience in the psychology of love and relationships for the past 5 years. Her work is based on facts, practical advice and is meant to help everyone achieve their romantic goals. When she isn’t writing, she challenges her friends with meaningful questions about life.

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