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How NOT to Apologize
to a Woman

by Melanie Anne Phillips

If a man hurts a woman's feelings and wants to make things right again, he won't get very far with just an apology, no matter how sincerely he means it. An apology is designed to say, "I felt a certain way before, but now I see things in a different context, and therefore regret my actions". This means nothing to a woman. Context is a binary thing that compares what was to what is. Women are not concerned with context; women ARE context.

A woman is like a body of water into which stones fall, across which winds blow, upon which sun shines, into which rain falls. Sometimes the experiences of her life raise the water level, and sometimes deplete it. Always there are ripples, of which some will be concentric circles which are easily understood, and others seem almost chaotic and without meaning or cause, for in truth, the are momentary peaks and troughs created by the interaction of many ripples and wind waves.

When a big wind blows or a large stone is dropped, the ripples move out, bounce against the shore, and reflect back toward the center. Complex patterns arise, but the overall result is that the body of water foams with storm. This storm might be described as hate, yearning, hurt, or sadness, and all will not be well until the results of the intrusion upon her calm and tranquil heart have been gently soothed.

Her feelings cannot be hammered into place. She cannot simply be told the storm is over and have the momentum generate by its impact vanish instantly. No, another force, a soothing force, must wash across her heart until the waves settle and all is calm again.

When a man truly wants to make things right, he can aplogize, but then he must also hug her, or hold her hand - look into her eyes, talk with her about why she was hurt, or what it was that made her sad, or how he might avoid this in the future. These things are not particularly palatable to a man. At best he might feel them a waste of time, unnecessary and silly. At worst, he might feel them an intrusion upon his sense-of-self or his manhood. But that is the difference between the sexes, and just as a man may see these things as trite, a woman will feel them as love.

If a man cannot bring himself to employ these most efficient of methods, the next best thing is to let her calm herself. She will do this in time on her own, PROVIDING that no additional storms ravage her heart. Often, when a man apologizes without hugs or talk, and the woman remains unmoved because he did not offer what she needed, he will become angry again and rage all the more.

For a woman, this means the original apology was completely insincere, for he was using it only to keep her in line, and when she did not jump to his tune, his true feelings reemerged. By raging twice or more, a man established a pattern, a history, that carries its own momentum and makes it all the more difficult for a woman to accept his regrets. In the end, the sum total of all his actions have whipped up the waves so high, that the effort to quench her pain will require even more of the man's resources at a logrithmic rate.

The most efficient course for the man who truly wants to make things right is to give a woman what she needs, even if the man cannot see the value of those needs so to him they appear as unreasonable wants. If the man cannot bring himself to accept this on faith, then his only remaining course for success in the endeavor is to make himself scarce until her heart calms by itself. When it does, she will come to him. That is how he will know.

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips

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