How to Break the Silent Treatment

Written by najla a.y. slowe
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How to Break the Silent Treatment
The silent treatment can be used as a power and control manoeuvre. (couple arguing image by Luisafer from Fotolia.com)

The silent treatment can ruin a relationship -- after all, effective communication is vital for a healthy relationship. If you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment, you can help reopen the lines of communication. If you are the one that decides to shut down and ignore your partner when you are upset, then you may want to rethink this strategy if you want a long-lasting relationship. Remember that relationships take work and the perfect person or relationship is a myth.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Give your partner space and time. However, don't allow the silent treatment to last too long before making contact with your mate. For some couples, this time period may be an hour, a couple of hours or a day.

  2. 2

    Try to see things from your partner's perspective. This will help you to understand his position more and empathise with his feelings. This means also giving yourself time to reflect on the issues. It also gives both of you time to cool off and think things through from a rational perspective instead of just an emotional one.

  3. 3

    Write your partner a letter or buy her a card. Written words can be powerful. Let your partner know that you recognise she is upset and that you want to work with her to resolve the issue. Ask her for a specific date and time where you two can talk. Tell her you want to go for a walk in the park, restaurant or some other neutral location where you can share privacy, but outside of the normal home environment.

  4. 4

    Discuss the situation. Do not turn it into an argument. Do not call your partner hurtful names or attack his feelings. You want to resolve the issue instead of playing the blame or shame game. Remember that you can choose to agree to disagree on an issue, but respecting one another is key.

  5. 5

    Give your mate affectionate physical contact to show you care. If she is not ready for a hug or kiss, make simple gestures such as touching her hand or lightly stroking her arm or back.

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