Any relationship has its ups and downs and people disagree all the time, even when they are not in an intimate relationship. This doesn’t make it a failed relationship. How fast you bounce from an argument and speak about it is what is important.
However, sometimes people opt for giving the silent treatment when aggrieved. The silent treatment is when one person in a relationship ignores the other person. They refuse to acknowledge them verbally or through other methods and it mostly happens after an argument. It can also happen when one partner is silently angry and the other one doesn’t know if they are angry or what made them angry.
Although people react differently to such situations, the silent treatment is a poor way of handling conflict. This is because this pattern of conflict for committed romantic couples can be damaging if left unaddressed. It’s important to break this pattern by creating effective ways to communicate and talk about issues before they escalate.
Besides, being on the receiving end is usually frustrating and one may wonder why their partner is behaving in such a way. Sometimes it feels like a punishment as it is a type of a passive-aggressive communication.
Here are some ways to respond to silent treatment.
1.Take time to cool off
Responding in anger only escalates the situation. Take your time first. Read a book, take a therapeutic walk, listen to music or cook your favorite meal.
Reflect on what led up to the silent treatment episode especially if it was fueled by and argument, fight or emotional outburst. Take a breathing period to cool off and calm down.
2. Apologize only when you are sorry
Saying sorry just to put an end to it will cause more harm than good. Before you apologize make sure you believe you did or said something to hurt your partner. If so, acknowledge any wrong and apologize sincerely.
Reason with your partner and show them that you understand how they are feeling and you would like to move on from the argument.
3.Assess your personalities
Your partner may be an introvert while you are more of an extrovert. Introverts need time in processing their emotions and how they generally feel. This happens when they feel the situation being more intense to them. Communicate to them that you’ll be back after a period of time to talk about it.
4.Set rules for healthy communication
In the case where communication between your partner and you is a problem, setting rules will help.
Agreeing that one should calm down first before talking about what caused the argument. Later on, when you are both relaxed, talk about it.
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