Nothing hurts more to a human being than the silent response of someone who we love and adore. Whether an individual is introvert or an extrovert, they tend to speak their heart out with their friend. But sometimes, due to miscommunications (or deliberate intention), some folks resort to giving a silent treatment to their friend. If you are the recipient of such behavior from your friend, and are not able to figure out ways to find the cause of such behavior, then this post will really help you.
Analyzing the silent behavior first
But before you find an appropriate way to respond to your friend’s silent treatment, you have to figure out the intent of such behavior. Sometimes negative experiences or trauma can cause people to go into a shell life. This can usually lead to depression in them and in such state, their silent treatment can be wrongly interpreted as arrogance. So if this is the case, then you need to be extra supportive, polite and respectful to him/ her and help them.
If you really want to know whether they are having depression, then find out about their behavior in daily life. Is there any significant change in it? People who are depressed, often shut down from mostly everyone in their life.
On the other hand, if your friend is doing this silent treatment especially to you in order to make you feel miserable , then its a form of emotional abuse. And obviously, you need a different sort of approach to deal with it. This post is about dealing with such friend who is using their silent treatment in order to make you feel miserable.
Give them space
Sometimes people behave wrongly with others too, if they are treated poorly for any reason. May be your dear friend is going through a tough time about which he/ she is hesitant to discuss with you. There is a saying that Time heals everything and it is quite true in the real world. Give a break to your friend and see if it makes a difference.
According to Jacqueline Duke, Psy.D, people often take “flight” mode when they are flooded with a lot of emotions stuff in their life. If the individual is your good friend, then giving them some time will most likely resolve the issue.
Was there anything about you that triggered this reaction?
Let be honest. Sometimes we unintentionally do things that can may get wrongly interpreted by our friend. If you are observing a silent treatment from your friend, try to recollect the recent activities from where you started to observe this kind of behavior from them. Now you have to be really honest with yourself. Was there any action from your end that triggered this silent treatment from them? May be you said something jokingly which they took in wrong manner. If there is anything you feel that may have triggered it, talk to your friend about it and tell them that you are sorry if such action or behavior upset them.
Try to reach out to them in less vulnerable means
If you feel difficult to ask them straight forwardly about the issue, use Less vulnerable methods. Less vulnerable methods are those where you are not relying on them to get the conversation. Sending a simple motivation message, or a good morning message to them on whats App is perfect.
Ask them for an outing to a special wine and dine
The best way to resolve a problem is communication. Every once in a while, we crave a special attention from our friends. However, your outing should allow you to have conversation. Going to movies is not a great idea. The aim is to give some special attention to your friend who and get to know their ordeal. Best outing is dinner.
Communicate openly about such behavior
Now if you have tried all such methods then there you really need to be bit more aggressive to have an open talk with them about this issue. We agree. its not easy to ask openly why someone is giving such a harsh treatment. But this is your friend we are talking about. You may feel vulnerable in asking them the cause of their behavior but open and face to face communication is the best way to get to the root cause.
While discussing it with them, you also need to let your friend known that this kind of behavior is not acceptable to you and that they should discuss the problem with you openly about the problem which is bothering them. Its important to have friendships but its even more important to have self-respect and dignity for yourself.
Behavior to avoid at all costs while dealing silent treatment of your friend
- While talking to your friend about it, do not talk in an angry or irritated tone.
- Do not beat around the bush too by asking indirect questions. Get to the point in a calm manner but show that you really want to to sort out this problem.
- Refrain from using the Tit for Tat approach. That will only worsen the approach and will leave no difference between the behavior of you two with each other.