“When a girls long text messages filled with emojis turn into short, one word replies you know she’s probably mad at you.”

We’ve all been there. Everyone has been given the cold shoulder or silent treatment from someone they are close to at some time or another. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship, it can be between family members, close friends or co-workers too. It is unhealthy for any type of relationship and is seen as a form of emotional abuse. If you are being given the silent treatment, keep the following tips in mind.

How to Respond to the Silent Treatment

Give them the benefit of the doubt. If you tried to contact them and they didn’t respond, it could just be that they are can’t get to the phone to call you. Or, maybe they didn’t receive your text. Sometimes text messages don’t get received due to provider problems. For all you know, they might be out of cell phone range and cannot send or receive calls. If you tried texting them the first time, call them the next time you try to get a hold of them. Just don’t jump to the conclusion that they are giving you the cold shoulder.

Communicate with your friend. Let them know that you have noticed they have not been getting back to you and that you would really like to talk to them to talk about any problems there may be your relationship. Don’t say, “Why haven’t you called me back?” If you are leaving a voicemail, make sure you watch your tone of voice. This can make the difference between them calling back and not.

Look at your past behavior. Try to think back to when the silent treatment began. Maybe you did some things that triggered your friend to start giving the cold shoulder to you. If you recognize that you did something wrong, own up to it and communicate this to your friend.

Does your friend give you the silent treatment often? Giving the silent treatment is a way a person can gain control over a situation. The person giving the silent treatment remains silent until they are given what they want or apologized to. A person who does this is acting passive-aggressively and is emotionally abusing the person he or she is giving the cold shoulder to. Try to avoid any relationship that a person frequently gives the silent treatment to you in.

Monitor your behavior when you are experiencing the silent treatment. Don’t give the silent treatment back. Let your friend know that you are there when they are ready to talk. Remain calm. Accept your responsibility in the problem, if you were at fault in any way.

Apologize for your part in the problem. Don’t apologize if you are not at fault though. If your friend does not respond to you, it’s time to move on.

Talk to your friend or partner about developing better communication skills. Seek out a counselor for communication therapy so you can learn ways to communicate instead of using the silent treatment.

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