How to Get Over the Silent Treatment

Written by ehow relationships & family editor
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Almost nothing feels worse than when someone gives you "the cold shoulder." The silent treatment can be more painful than harsh words. If a friend gives you the silent treatment, she may not be much of a friend at all. Learn to get over the silent treatment and decide if your friend is worth keeping.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Keep your cool and survive the silent treatment with an even keel. It's tempting to lose your temper with someone who won't acknowledge you, but don't let your emotions get the best of you. Stay rational even though you may feel like you have lost control of the entire situation. Offer to meet your friend at public place, such as a coffee house or restaurant to ensure that you have an audience while you talk things out. You'll be more likely to exercise self control in a public place.

  2. 2

    Be the bigger person. Make the first attempt at communication. If you are getting the silent treatment, it's unlikely that your friend will take the initiative and actually talk to you. Be the one to offer an olive branch. Show that you are mature. Give her a call and see if she is willing to talk.

  3. 3

    Send him an email or write him a letter. If your friend refuses to talk to you, this may be your best option. Survive the silent treatment by saying what you need to say. You may not receive a response but you'll feel better knowing that you said your piece.

  4. 4

    Re-evaluate your relationship. Decide how important your friend is to you. If you are getting the silent treatment, your friend is probably emotionally immature. Adults are able to talk things out and communicate on an adult level. Ask yourself if this person is really worth keeping around. If you find that the answer is "No," survive the silent treatment by moving on.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid trying to reach out to your friend over and over again. Make one attempt at communication. If your friend does not respond, it is his fault. Don't emotionally exhaust yourself. You have done your part.
  • The silent treatment is sometimes considered a form of emotional abuse. If your friend does this to you frequently, you don't need her in your life.

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