Here’s the thing: If you think that she’s angry with you, you’re probably right.
As relationship coach and romance author Aileen Santos, C.P.C. M.A.C. puts it, “The moment you start to suspect that a girl is angry, it’s best to assume that she is, because by then, it's probably been some time that she's been angry.”
“Guys are really less adept at interpreting body language than women,” Santos continues. “[Even with the advantage of having a personal, face-to-face interaction], a guy will take anywhere from one hour to, say, weeks, before he realizes that a girl is angry.”
Now, just imagine how much more difficult it would be to figure things out over text—when you don’t have tone of voice, body language, or facial expression to go on.
“I use emojis a lot when I text, so when I start dropping the smiley faces, he should take that as a sign that I’m being serious, or I’m upset or probably mad,” says Denisse, 22.
“When I’m mad and I wanna convey that through text, I tend to lay on the sarcasm thick,” shares Nikki, 25. “I’m a no-nonsense, confrontational kind of person naman, so by the time I start sending those sarcastic texts, I’m sure he already knows I’m angry. Pero ‘pag feeling ko I'm going in circles trying to explain my side na (i.e. loooong texts), ‘dun pumapasok ‘yung cold shoulder mode: ON.”
Agnes, 27, admits, “I used to be passive-aggressive. [Tipong, I would text,] ‘Okay. We're okay na,’ but I would still inadvertently act pissed.”
So when you do find yourself wondering if that “Okay. :)” really meant that things are good or if it’s more like, “Bahala ka sa buhay mo!”, Santos advises you take measures to try and establish face to face communication ASAP. Speaking to each other in person lessens the chance of creating further misunderstandings due to miscommunication—something that happens all the time and is definitely not just a guy-girl thing.
If your busy schedules make meeting up impossible, keep your lines of communication (be it through text, calls, or Messenger) open. Santos emphasizes, “The real goal of communication is creating deeper connections and improved relationships.” It’s important to make an effort to understand where she is coming from at all times, but most especially when you’re having a fight.
“I may not be able to say that I’m angry from the get-go, but when he asks if I’m mad, inaamin ko rin naman,” adds Denisse. “And when he asks why, and I can feel he’s really listening and taking mental note of what I’m saying, I already start to feel better.”
“I’ve been working on my passive-aggressiveness and now, ‘pag mainit ulo ko I let him know na ‘Wait lang. I'm upset. Let's talk about this later’,” tells Agnes. “The best thing he can do at this point is to give me my space and wait ‘til I’m ready to talk. But texts like ‘Good night! Hope you got home safe’ are still welcome. It helps ease the tension kasi and it's like a way of reassuring me that we can work through it. A sincere sorry always works too, of course,” she goes on to say.
Santos also points out that being in a successful relationship is not just about knowing when the other person is angry and what makes them angry. It’s about learning what your partner really wants, so don’t be afraid to ask. Just remember to do it properly. Make her feel that you sincerely want to understand her better and genuinely make things right.
“I’m usually upfront about telling my S.O. when I’m pissed at him,” confesses Yara, 24. “And for me, the proper approach is for him to ask what he can do to appease me. Or if he says something like ‘Sige, this is what I'll do. Okay ba ‘to sa’yo?’ I really appreciate that, kasi we’re coming up with solutions together.”