How to Reply to Someone When They Say Nothing


If you're in the middle of a conflict with someone, you may be getting frustrated because you don't know the best way to handle your situation. Whether you're dealing with a difficult friend or family member, significant other, boss or co-worker, you're probably under a lot of stress by thinking about the issue at hand. People who are too stubborn to have a mature conversation with you or who resort to giving you the silent treatment can be especially hard to deal with.

  • Act lighthearted. Just because somebody doesn't want to acknowledge you, that doesn't mean that your spirits have to drop too. Staying happy and positive will influence the other person to let go of whatever he is angry about and join in the fun. Joke around and be playful to inspire him to do the same.

  • Think about what could be truly concerning the person you're in conflict with. If he is being difficult at the moment, there is probably something underlying that's hurting him. If you can get to the root of his problem, you can start to fix your relationship.

  • Explore the compromises that could solve the problem. Even if the person you're talking to is being stubborn and not responding, he is probably at least listening.

  • Refrain from being personally insulted. Even though you may have done something wrong, two grown adults should be able to resolve their problems. If you are being ignored, that says more about the person you're in conflict with than it does about you. Always remain calm, patient and open and save yourself the regret of being immature and behaving unfavorably in the midst of an already stressful situation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most people don't stay silent just to be difficult. Those who purposely stall in situations and conversations may be doing so in an effort to be agreeable and keep everyone happy.
  • If you suspect that you're being avoided or given the cold shoulder, this could be entirely true, but before you approach the problem, make sure that you're not being paranoid. Consider that the person you believe is ignoring you could simply be distracted by something that has been on his mind or by a larger life issue, such as an illness in the family. Don't immediately assume that it's because of you or that you've done something wrong.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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