How to Cope With Silent Treatment in Relationships


Have you been getting “the silent treatment” from someone lately? Maybe it is from a parent, a friend, a lover? Regardless of who is administering the silent treatment, it can really hurt the other or cause significant anxiety. There are really two kinds of people in the world. One person deals with hurt by emotionally taking a break. This person experiences intense uncomfortable emotions and shuts down (hence, “the silent treatment”). The other type of person experiences intense emotions and feels the need to put it all out on the table- spilling the emotions everywhere onto everyone. Which one is better, you ask? Neither! They are simply two different ways to handle the same problem. Each personality yields a different coping mechanism. If you are getting “the silent treatment” from someone you are in a relationship with, here are some ways to cope.

1. Understand That Everyone Handles Situations Differently.

Maybe the above paragraph explained something that you have never understood until now. We are each different. Just because someone is giving you “the silent treatment”, does not mean that the other person does not care. Some people need some space to sort out their thoughts and feelings. Let that be okay. If you have high anxiety and cannot stand the silence, just try to realize that we all react to situations differently. Give it a little time. Continuing to push when the other person is not ready can end in a break or an explosion.

2. Write About It.

I love this coping mechanism. When someone is choosing not to speak to you but you still have so much to say to them, write it down. Likely, you will not ever give this to the person, but writing all of your thoughts and emotions down on paper can give your mind the impression that you have gotten it all out. Journaling is a form of release when things get too bottled up. If you are someone that cannot handle the silence, write. This will give you an outlet to vent.

3. Talk To a Neutral Party.

Sometimes just having someone to talk to and hold you accountable can really help. If you aren’t getting the opportunity to talk to the person that you need to talk to, share your feelings with a close family member or friend. You might even talk to a therapist if you are feeling really overwhelmed.

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