Silence is a form of communicative power that can be used to advantage or can be used to hurt someone else. When you choose not to respond to someone, you are showing them that they do not have complete control of the situation and that your actions are dictated only by you. While you can ignore someone with silence to defuse a situation, you can also use this form of communication to manipulate people or make them feel powerless. However, you should use it in a constructive way that promotes further communication.
Part 1 of 3: make the move of silence
Step 1. Realize that sometimes it's okay to say nothing
In some situations, words are not necessary and might not even be appreciated. Especially if you say something that might not be helpful or could make a situation worse, keep your words to yourself. You can avoid hurting someone's feelings just by remaining silent.
- While the silence treatment can be helpful in the present moment, let the other person know that you'd rather tackle the problem later, especially if it's something that hurt or offended you. The Silence Blow is a temporary strategy that should not last.
- Don't let anyone influence you to stop you from speaking, if you have decided not to say anything. However, it can be useful to let the other person know that you have decided to remain silent. Put it this way: “I'm having a hard time controlling my emotions right now, so I prefer to keep quiet. We will talk about it later, when we are calmer”.
- Sometimes, it's not a good idea to respond with silence in a relationship. If you decide to punish someone with silence or to manipulate them, the problem may persist and not be resolved.
Step 2. Don't talk to the person
The main characteristic of the treatment of silence is to remain silent. Basically, don't say anything, even if the person tries to start a conversation with you. In other words, you actively choose not to respond to any comments, discussions, or accusations.
- If the person is still trying to interact with you, just tell them you're not ready to talk right now. You can express yourself like this, "I don't want to talk about it now," or say, "I'm not in an emotional space for talking constructively. Let's talk about it later”.
- Be aware that silence can upset the other person, and the other person may begin to demand a response or step up their actions to protest your silence.
Step 3. Ignore calls and messages
Another way to speak out is to ignore other forms of communication such as calls, emails, messages and texts. When silencing someone, it can also be helpful to ignore these forms of communication as well.
Again, warn the person, "Now is not a good time to talk about it. We'll talk about that later”
Step 4. Ignore his advances
This tactic works best in public. The person might stand up and say something, but you have to stick to your plan without realizing that they are trying to get your attention.
- In fact, you shouldn't even be responding non-verbally. You should not make any movement that may indicate that you recognize the person is speaking, for example by turning the body or the face. If you do, it's like paying attention to it.
- If the person continues to talk, you can let them know that you will discuss your problem later, after both of you are calm. For example, if in a meeting someone tries to pick up on a topic, you might say, “Thank you for this information, but now is not a good time to talk about it. Can we discuss this later? "
Step 5. Avoid passing the person
If you're trying to avoid talking to someone, also try to avoid places they hang out. Take a different path, or choose a different time to get to these places. It’s one way to create the distance you need as you assess your emotions and move away from the person.
If you are working with this person, avoid taking your lunch breaks at the same time as them. If you are a classmate, sit away from him. If it's a family member, plan activities to do if you think you might end up with them at home
Step 6. Do not express your emotions
If you are angry or sad, the other person might take this as an answer. Of course, in some situations it's hard not to show their emotions, but if you can, the person in question will have a harder time attacking you. Control your reactions and emotions as much as possible.
Watch your facial expressions and eye contact. A lot of emotions are easy to read on the face, so try to react as little as possible
Part 2 of 3: Effectively Use Silence as a Tactic
Step 1. Avoid conflict
One of the goals of silent treatment, at least for some people, is to avoid conflict altogether. In other words, whenever a conflict arises, refuse to talk about it. While this is not a productive way to deal with disputes, there are some situations that you should deal with using silence processing.
For example, if you are going out in public and don't want to argue, you can say this, “This is not the right time or place for this discussion. I simply prefer not to talk about it until all the conditions are required to have a more productive discussion”
Step 2. Don't freak out
Regardless, whether it's a child or an adult, don't have a fit of a rage. Outbursts of anger are used to draw attention to oneself or to manipulate a situation in a certain way. Rather than indulging in exaggerated behaviors, it is better to ignore the person and not let your behavior become an emotional fixture for you.
If your parent threatens to freak you out when you do something in the future, or if your partner threatens you to be drastic if you let her down, calmly walk away
Step 3. Refrain from hurting or offending anyone
If you feel provoked by someone's words or actions and feel the need to respond, this might be a good time to give them the treatment of silence. Especially if this person provokes you, refuse to speak.
If she keeps pushing you, you can say this, "I do my best not to say things that might hurt or offend you, and I prefer not to say anything at all."
Step 4. Respond with silence to obscene remarks
If someone taunts you or comments on you, don't respond. By not reacting, you are demonstrating your power to assert your personality and not let those comments affect you. If someone attacks or belittles you, there is no point in defending yourself or stooping to that level of stupidity.
It's best to ignore these comments, not let them affect you emotionally, and move on
Step 5. Avoid escalating negative emotions
Discussions can reach the point where reason goes out the window and you find yourself screaming inexplicably. If you notice that someone is unable to hear very reasonable words, there is nothing you can say to react well. Rather than making the situation worse, take a step back and say nothing.
- You can try to explain things or defend yourself. Once again, it is best to say nothing and move on.
- When you are in the middle of a heated discussion, it can be helpful to listen to the other person fully. This will help him or her to know that you are listening carefully and may begin to calm down.
- Control your emotions and avoid saying things in anger.
Step 6. Ask to take a break
If you're really too angry or can't handle your emotions, tell the person you want to take a step back for a while. So you don't ignore it, but you will have plenty of time to control yourself.
For example, you could say this, “I really want to discuss this situation with you. But, my emotions seem too strong right now. Can we talk about it again in an hour when I'm calmer? "
Step 7. Use silence to calm yourself down
We tend to get carried away very quickly by our emotions when we are accused of something or when we are treated unfairly. You may need to calm down during an argument. Withdrawing into yourself can help you calm down, come to grips with your thoughts, and start thinking with a more rational frame of mind.
Part 3 of 3: Get in touch with someone after ignoring them
Step 1. Realize that silence can hurt relationships
If you are used to ignoring a loved one, be aware that it can hurt relationships. In fact, many psychologists consider this attitude to be a form of abuse, since you are deliberately punishing the other person for something they have done.
Often times, using silence as a form of revenge is not a way to solve problems, and it can fuel resentment in the other person. If you feel like you are engaging in this kind of behavior, approach the person and break the silence
Step 2. Look at the problem
Instead of focusing on the emotional side of the situation, focus on the problem. Don't get distracted by what the person is saying, but focus on what's important. You should both try to resolve the problem and move forward.
- When you're ready to move on, say, “Can we take a moment to talk about this issue? I would like a solution to be found. "
- If you stray from the topic during your discussions, you can take a moment to write down your feelings on paper and share them with each other. This way, you will be able to express your emotions without interruption and without getting distracted.
Step 3. Tell the person how you are feeling
Instead of silently ignoring someone, let them know how you feel. Use the first person singular in your sentences, as this mode of communication emphasizes how you are feeling rather than blaming the other person.
For example, if you are sad that your partner is home late at night once again, you could say this, “I feel anxious when you don't get home on time and let me know. I fear for your safety and I miss your company”. Such a sentence is better than saying this: "you never come home on time and I hate it". The first sentence is intended to initiate a discussion. The second is to put the blame on the other
Step 4. Find a compromise
After listening to each other's complaints, you both need to take the time to think about a solution to the problem. Of course, you might have to come to an agreement, which means each of you has to work hard.
To reach an agreement, you must first target your main concerns. Then suggest ways to meet the other's expectations, so that each other benefits from this compromise
Step 5. Listen as much as you talk
To communicate effectively, you should take the time to listen carefully to what the other person is saying, but also understand how they are feeling. If you get to a point where all you want to do is sulk with someone, that suggests you need to have a serious conversation. By paying attention to what the other is saying, you will show that you are cooperative, interested in the conversation, and respectful.
Practice active listening and show the other person you are listening by sometimes summarizing what they just said and asking relevant follow-up questions
Step 6. Don't be afraid to say "sorry"
Everyone makes mistakes, but it's important to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions when you hurt someone. If you've misjudged a situation, admit it. Don't be afraid to apologize for all the wrongdoing you have taken.