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How to deal with the silent treatment in relationships

The silent treatment is when one person in a relationship ignores the other person, refusing to acknowledge them verbally or through any other method.

When a partner mutes up and refuses to acknowledge, converse or communicate with the other when he or she is hurt, unhappy or angry about something, that’s the silent treatment.

Being on the receiving end of this kind of treatment is both annoying and frustrating but it does not have to be the end of your relationship. It is a fixable problem if you are patient enough and follow the following steps.

1. Space

The silent treatment is for some people, a way of ‘letting off steam’. Instead of vocally lashing out, they say nothing and stew in silence. So you need to realise that their silence is an expression of dissatisfaction and/or anger.

Just as you would give a ranting partner space to vent and let it all out before trying to apologise or reason with them, you need to afford this partner reasonable time and space to get out of the silent phase before trying to say anything.

Why? It’s obvious. Trying to talk to them in this period will only be met with more silence and that could worsen the situation because talking and getting ignored could make you lose your calm.

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