How To Win The Silent Treatment (9 Easy Ways)

We can all agree that some things should never be said during anger in an argument. So it is best to stay silent. However, when you continue to give the other person the cold shoulder or ignore that person’s existence, then it is bound to cause more harm than good. By harm, I mean it creates an emotional distance between you and that person. 

This is why silent treatment is a big no-no in romantic relationships. Everything could go downhill real quick. But, sometimes, the silent treatment is done for good reason. Some people have trouble expressing their emotions, so to make it easy for themselves, they just avoid talking. This is not healthy, and it tends to make the person on the receiving end feel isolated and guilty.

Other times, it is used as a control tactic to give in to their demands. And this is wrong because it is silent abuse. Not everyone can respond to the silent treatment. Moving forward, how do you win the silent treatment? Below are some ways on how to win the silent treatment. Read on!

9 Ways To Win The Silent Treatment

1. Communication

One way to win the silent treatment is to communicate. Humans are social beings. We thrive through communication. It is how our relationships are built. Thus, being at the receiving end of a silent treatment can be a hurtful experience. Therefore, to win in this situation, it is best to talk to the perpetrator. Let him know that the silent treatment hurts you and leaves you miserable. 

And if this treatment is a dealbreaker for you, you should say so. Your approach is also important, so do so gently. Use the sandwich approach. Use “I’s” rather than “You’s.” Be specific about those issues you want to be addressed. 

Use constructive criticism, so that you two will be able to see the way ahead. I say this because not all silent treatment situations are because the guy wants to hurt you. 

Sometimes, it is his way of dealing with hurt. A past incident could have made him feel overwhelmed. And the silent treatment is his way of coping.

2. Don’t give it much importance

Most situations get important status because we give them vital attention. Sometimes, situations that involve silent treatment are not as serious as we make them seem. If it is an event you can turn a blind eye to, do so. Ignore it. Perhaps, they will come around. But it is meant as a manipulation tactic, you should ignore it. 

It is a manipulation tactic when they make demands and expect you to give in. When you don't, they use their silence as a weapon against you. They expect that you come with your tail in between your legs, defeated and ready to give in to their demands. Deprive them of the satisfaction they seek by giving them the silent treatment back.

3. Do not allow yourself to be bullied

Never allow yourself to be bullied. When you realize that you are in an abusive relationship, it is time you place yourself first. But if you believe that your union is in a state that can be saved, you need to put some measures in place. By setting boundaries, you gain control over your life. 

Define which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. And when the thresholds for these boundaries are crossed, stay true to what you intend to do. You can also suggest counseling so that you can both work on the communication issues in the relationship. If your partner is not keen on changing his ways, you can leave him.

4. Recognize that he may be hurt too

recognize that he may be hurt too

Your partner can get hurt too. And he is using the silent treatment as a way to tell you how he is dealing with that hurt. It is true that giving a cold shoulder is not a healthy way of resolving any situation. However, we all react differently when we’re hurt. So, when he finally talks to you, try to understand what your actions and words have done to hurt him.

Do not be defensive. By defending yourself too much, you will end up creating emotional distance. Instead, admit your mistake, and apologize. An honest conversation can solve many issues. What’s more, a loving relationship has a lot of “I am sorry” and forgiveness in it. 

No doubt, once in a while, you may step on the toes of your boyfriend. But your reaction afterward will prove whether the relationship is a toxic one or not.

5. Do not apologize if you have done anything wrong

If you feel that you have done nothing wrong and he is using the silent treatment as a controlling tactic to get you to submit, do not apologize. If it’s you who always reaches out first, do well to stop it. I say this because, in a way, you encourage emotional abuse.

If your narcissistic boyfriend is aware that the silent treatment works on you all the time, he’ll continue using that technique. He will make you feel guilty for something you didn't do. But there is a loophole. The best thing to do is wait. If he doesn't try to make amends and the silent treatment continues for a long time, leave the relationship.

However, if he tries to rectify the situation, don’t punish him for the silent treatment. After all, two wrongs don’t make a right. Effective communication works in every relationship, even more, in a romantic one. So, if your boyfriend is attempting to salvage the union, allow that to happen.

6. Let go of any resentment

All relationships require forgiveness. For all you know, if you let go of any resentment against your partner, your romantic relationship will get better. Forgiveness is not easy. That is why it is not something reserved for the weak. Your ability to forgive says how strong you are. 

So try to let go of any hard feelings. You would save yourself a lot of heartaches. Rather than focusing on the wrong done to you, meditate on yourself and try to address your flaws and weaknesses.

7. Patience

Patience is a virtue, and not a vice, no matter how it may seem like the latter. So, exercise patience by giving him the necessary space and time. And while you wait out, do something that you enjoy. That way, when your partner finally approaches you, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to understand his point of view.

8. Be honest with yourself

be honest with yourself

I always say that honesty is the best policy. The fact that your partner may be using the silent treatment to avoid answering the hard questions doesn’t mean that you should too. Have an honest conversation with yourself. 

Try to get to the bottom of the whole silent treatment issue. What is the root cause? Are you the cause of the problem? If you merely talk to your partner, will he try to end it? Why does it keep repeating? 

It is also important to think about whether this treatment is affecting your physical and mental health. If yes, ask yourself if the union is worth the stress you are going through. And why would you want to stay in such a relationship? The answers you give to yourself in response to all these questions will determine your next line of action.

9. Seek help

You don’t have to tolerate emotional abuse in any way, no matter how subtle. It can be damaging to your emotional health. So, if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, it’s best to leave. If you want to stay, you ought to go for counseling so that you learn to deal with the communication issues. 

You can also gain support from family and friends. You do not have to separate yourself from love during this period. Rather, spend more time with positive people. 


What does the silent treatment do to a man?

Studies have shown that silent treatment can be damaging to the relationship. It is a form of manipulation technique intended to hurt the partner. 

Why do narcissists give the silent treatment?

Narcissists give the silent treatment because they are playing on your fear of being alone. By giving you the silent treatment, they are unconsciously wielding it as a manipulation technique, to ensure you do what they want.

How long should a silent treatment last?

Whether it lasts for two minutes or an entire week, the silent treatment is wrong. Thus, it shouldn’t have been done in the first place. If the perpetrator still doesn’t want to talk to the victim for a long period, he or she can exit the relationship.

Is it okay to give the silent treatment?

It depends on the situation and person. Some studies show that if someone is being obnoxious, or offensive, it is best to use the silent treatment on him. This is to help you preserve your mental health.

How do narcissists deal with the silent treatment?

Narcissists will ignore you till you become absolutely nothing in their eyes. 

The Bottomline

Before I sign out, I believe that with these points enumerated above, you know how to respond to the silent treatment. Always remember that you deserve the best. And you do not have to go through this abuse.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. Do not forget to share with your loved ones.

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