If I want to express that I was angry with my friend, and then she threw a party for my birthday, which is unexpected.  So what she did makes me not angry any more 😊 ....

What idiom or expression can express my feelings appropriately? In Arabic language I can say: she melts the iron (or she melted the iron).  Does this phrase make sense in the English language?  Is there something equivalent?  Something that would fit:

She made me angry, but then she did something nice for me; she ________.

I’ve thought of "She brokes down my defenses."  Is it right?

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    You can say she "melted your heart."
    – Robusto
    Oct 20, 2018 at 0:14
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    "get back into your good books" would be one.
    – AMN
    Oct 21, 2018 at 3:53
  • 1
    @AMN: You’ve been on this site for over a year and earned over 1000 reputation points.  Even though you’ve done fairly little editing (of other people’s posts), you should have learned by now that, if you submit a suggested edit and it is rejected, you should not resubmit the exact same suggested edit!  — Especially if the first one is rejected unanimously! … (Cont’d) Oct 21, 2018 at 5:18
  • 1
    P.S. (1) The first word of a sentence should be capitalized; (2) the idiom is ‘‘throw a party’’, not ‘‘throw in a party’’; (3) common nouns like ‘‘birthday’’ should not be capitalized (except when at the beginning of a sentence); (4) ‘‘unangry’’ is not generally recognized as a word; and (5) we never put a space before a colon (e.g., ‘‘I can say  :’’). Oct 21, 2018 at 5:18

3 Answers 3


If you want simple language, say “she made amends”.

Cambridge English Dictionary:

    to do something good to show that you are sorry about something you have done:
    She tried to make amends by inviting him out to dinner.
    I wanted to make amends for the worry I've caused you.

Idioms by The Free Dictionary:

    To provide restitution or attempt to reconcile or resolve the situation after a wrong one has done.   I'm not sure I can make amends for all the times I've let you down, but I want to try to be better for you.   Sometimes the best way to make amends is just to listen to the other person, without trying to defend yourself.

    to make up to someone for something that someone or something did.   Don't worry.  I will make amends to her for my sister, who behaved so badly.   I will try to make amends for the accident.

Notice the phrases “provide restitution”, “reconcile” and “resolve the situation”, which appear in the above definition; they can also be used.

If you want something more idiomatic / colloquial, consider “she mended fences with me.” or “she mended her fences with me.”  My gut tells me that the first form is more natural, and Google Ngrams agrees that it is more common:

Ngrams of “mend fences” vs. “mend his fences”, “mend her fences”, etc

but the dictionaries suggest the second form.

  mend one's fences

      to strengthen or reestablish one's position by conciliation or negotiation:
      One could tell by his superficially deferential manner that he was trying to mend his fences.

The Free Dictionary:
  mend fences

      To improve poor relations, especially in politics:   "Whatever thoughts he may have entertained about mending some fences with [them] were banished" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).

Idioms by The Free Dictionary:
  mend fences,
  mend (one's) fences

      To rectify a damaged relationship.   After Jill heard that her father had become ill, she decided it was time for them to mend their fences before it was too late.   The politician tried to mend his fences with his constituents after the scandal, but was not able to regain their trust before the next election.


When you are angry at someone, and she does something to appease you (in other words, makes amends), you would usually say that she is back in your good graces.

get in (someone's) good graces

Being in someone's "good graces" means that that person is not angry or upset at you.

Most often, people try to "get in the good graces" of someone like:

  • their boss
  • their wife
  • a king or queen

You can also use the phrase "get back in ___'s good graces" to talk about getting someone who's angry to stop being angry:

I need to do something to get back in my mother-in-law's good graces.


One expression, perhaps more familiar in the past when more English-speaking people were familiar with the Bible, is 'heap coals of fire on [one's] head'. It comes from Proverbs 25:22, where it is said to be the effect of doing a kindness to one's enemy. Many sources explain it in the context of making the 'enemy' feel remorseful, but I found a different explanation here: https://dailygoodies.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/heaping-coals-of-fire-a-figure-of-speech/

  • The explanation at that site really explains how most people, very understandably, do not take that proverb to be a compliment. Most people would understand that to be mean or vengeful to put hot coals on one's head. The explanation that it is carrying coals to help someone out is not at all obvious from the words of the phrase.
    – Mitch
    Oct 20, 2018 at 23:17
  • OP is talking about their friend, not their enemy.
    – Laurel
    Oct 21, 2018 at 4:57
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    Apparently OP accepted this answer, even though it is 180 degrees opposite of what he appears to be asking for. Hilarity ensues ...
    – Robusto
    Oct 22, 2018 at 2:06

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