Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you had any situations recently where you wondered if someone was mad at you?

Does it feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable to ask somebody if they are upset in English?

Sometimes people may be upset with you, and it can be hard to know what to say to them to ask or make it right.

Today we’re looking at how to ask somebody if they are upset with you, what you can do in this situation, and that sometimes you must recognize that it’s really not you at all.

This is a situation you may find yourself in often, and so you will learn the best approach and the right things to say.

Get Your Transcripts Today!

Make sure you understand every word you hear on All Ears English.

Bring your English to the advanced level with new vocabulary and natural expressions.

Subscribe and get the transcripts delivered by email.

Learn to speak naturally with the American accent.

Click here to subscribe and save 50%

Thinking Through If You Ask About Somebody Being Upset

So you may very well find yourself in a situation where you have to ask somebody if they are mad at you.

It’s nothing pleasant and it can be a bit awkward, but you have to know how to get through this.

If you want to ask somebody if they are upset or mad, then how can you do it?

Here are a few things to consider which can help you to work through this and figure out if this person is upset with you.

1. Should you even ask? Is it worth it? Is it better to leave it alone for a couple days and see? How urgent is the matter? Sometimes taking a step back and just giving the person a little space can be the best option. You have to think about the situation, as well as the personality of the person that you are dealing with. A little space may be the best thing, but think it through and see if that’s what will work best.

2. Is this something you frequently ask? This can seep into our personality and it can show that we are insecure. Is this a common theme with this person specifically? If you are having to ask if they are upset, then that may be a problem in and of itself. If however you find that you are constantly asking people in your life if they are upset, then this may be much more about your insecurities. Gain some perspective and ask yourself honestly if this is a situation you find yourself in all the time, or if this is based on a specific situation or person.

3. What is your relationship? How do you usually handle conflict with this person? Sometimes talking things through is essential, and other times you need to leave it alone. If it is a coworker, roommate, or friend then it may be handled differently in every instance. If it’s a very close relationship, then you may have the ability to talk things through more effectively. Consider what the relationship is, what their personality may be, and then you can decide if talking things over or approaching this individual is really what’s best.

It never feels good to wonder if somebody is upset with you, but now you have some helpful things to consider.

Think through the situation at hand, the person that you are dealing with, and if this is a pattern that comes up often—then you can decide what’s best for you and the most effective way of dealing with things.

Some Basic Phrases To Help

When you have to confront somebody or ask if they are upset, then you want the right thing to say.

It’s hard enough to get up the nerve to confront somebody, but then you want to be certain that you have the right things to say.

There are a few basic but helpful phrases that can help you to work through this situation in the best way possible.

  • (being a little less direct) -Hey, I’ve noticed that you………is everything ok? You are basically putting it out there and telling them you notice that they haven’t been themselves lately. You can ask about something specific or just keep it broader here. You can fill in the blank here with whatever the issue is that you perceive to be happening. This helps to cut through the tension and asks them what’s going on in a way that makes them feel comfortable in responding and hopefully being honest. You could say “Hey, I’ve noticed that you seem distant. Is everything ok?”
  • (being more direct, knowing you did something wrong) -Hi, I have a feeling you might be upset about X. Am I right? I hope you’re not mad at me. You know that something went wrong or ended in a negative way. You are being honest in approaching this and putting yourself out there. This is a harder one to say initially, but it also gets right to the point. This can often act as a springboard for helping you to get the conversation going and ensure that talk things through. You may say something like “Hi, I have a feeling you might be upset about our last conversation. Am I right? I hope you’re not mad at me.”
  • (even more direct- is this a good thing to say? discuss) -Are you mad at me? This is as direct as it gets, and therefore it’s something that you will want to use if you feel comfortable with the person. It’s direct and straight to the point, but yet you have to be ready for the answer. It may be a tough conversation to have, but it is likely necessary to get it all out there. Depending on how close you are, you may say something as simple as “Hey–are you mad at me?”
  • (apologizing first) -I’m so sorry about X. I just wanted to make sure you aren’t mad at me. You recognize that something went wrong, and now you are trying to make it right. Maybe you did something or there was some circumstance that wasn’t favorable. Things may not have ended on a good note, and so this is a great way to offer an apology. You could say “I’m so sorry about missing your party. I just wanted to make sure you aren’t mad at me.” Another way to say this can be “Another thing- I just wanted to make sure there are no hard feelings.”

These are all great ways to ask somebody if they are upset with you, and they can be really helpful for getting the conversation going.

Always keep in mind the situation and the relationship that you have with the person you are talking to, and then the right phrase can work well for you.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay forgot to pick up Michelle’s prescription at the store and she is being weird about it.

Lindsay: “Yeah, I didn’t get it. I’m really sorry.”

Michelle: “Ok? Uh, that’s alright.”

Lindsay: “I’ve noticed that you seem distant. Is everything ok?”

Michelle: “Well, I’m just getting upset that you always forget my stuff.”

Lindsay: “I know. I’m sorry.”

Take a look at the way that this unfolded and the phrase that was used.

This shows that the right phrase works well for the right relationship and situation.


Consider all of the different aspects of asking if someone is mad.

Don’t overdo it, and be okay with the idea that sometimes people aren’t upset because of you.

It’s not always a pleasant or comfortable situation to ask if somebody is upset, but sometimes it’s necessary.

We hope you don’t have to use these, but if you do, now you have the tools!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X