If I was angry or upset, would you hold it against me? Hey, if Britney can (attempt) to make that bad pun fashionable, so can I.
Ok, here’s a question that’s more to the point: do you know what to do when your woman is emotional, upset, angry, crying, and/or screaming at you?
The other day I got into an argument with my boyfriend and like most arguments between couples, it was over something petty. We were both angry and yelling (yes, it’s true, even us dating coaches have our moments). Then he wrapped me in his arms and held me tight, and the whole mood shifted. We calmed down and started sorting out the conflict in a calm, rational manner.
David Deida, in his book The Way of the Superior Man, suggests that you should deal with a woman who is upset with “humor and physically expressed love.” Among other ways to lighten the mood, Deida offers the suggestion of “[Pressing] your belly into her until she melts.” This is exactly what my man did, and it worked wonders in dissolving the argument almost instantly.
I know this might seem counter-intuitive, especially when she is telling you to leave her alone or get out (which, incidentally, was exactly what I said before my boyfriend held me). But even if she’s screaming at you to get lost, that’s probably the last thing she actually wants you to do.
So, we have a classic case of women saying one thing and wanting another.
However, you don’t have to worry too much about figuring out how to ‘translate” what she says when she’s upset with you; pretty much anytime she complains, nags, fusses, fights, and/or creates drama, on a deeper level she is asking for just one thing: more attention, affection, and love from you (ok, three things). Holding her is a great way to supply that (not the only way, of course, but you get the idea).
The problem is, her behavior in that moment doesn’t exactly inspire you to give it to her, does it? Most men fight back, and then she feels even more empty, and so she fights harder, and things continue to escalate…
This is happening on such an unconscious level that even she probably doesn’t realize it (trust me, most women aren’t intentionally manipulative!). She might believe that she really wants you to leave her alone, but as soon as you do, she will have the sinking feeling of, “Oh, that’s not really what I wanted…”
Remember, she might tell you to go away and leave her alone. She might even push you away if you try to hold her. In fact, if she’s not used to you being this way with her, that’s likely to be her first reaction. Don’t be fooled by this or take it personally. The “I don’t need you” act is a front to cover up the fact that in this moment, she needs you more than ever.
Opening up, staying calm, and pulling her close when she starts throwing a fit is NOT admission of guilt or bending to her whims. While she wants affection and love, she doesn’t want you to beg to her, “Oh, I’m so sorry baby, what can I do to fix it? Tell me and I’ll do anything.” This is weak and wussy behavior, and at best it will do nothing for you, and at worst it will fan the fire and make her even more angry at you. (If you’ve ever had a woman yell, “Don’t do it just to placate me!” then you know what I’m talking about).
By gathering your angry woman into your arms and holding her tight, you are simply letting her know that you are not threatened or afraid of her emotions, nor do you judge her for having them. You are showing her that you still love her even when she’s at her craziest.
This is not to say that you should reward crazy behavior in the long run. When a parent gives a child a cookie to sooth a temper tantrum, eventually the child learns to throw tantrums for the sole purpose of getting a sweet treat. But, doing this short term will not train your woman like Pavlov’s dog.
This method of reassurance is one of the best ways to calm her down so you can then work out the conflict in a rational, mature way. That includes telling her that in the future when she wants something from you, she needs to learn to ask for it without letting her crazy run wild.