When someone you thought you were important to stops talking to you it can feel devastating! It leaves you with a pit in your stomach and on the edge of tears. Something like that, right?
Sometimes people don’t know how to communicate in a healthy way….so they just stop talking. What they don’t realize is their silence is communication and a very painful style. The reason it hurts so much is it’s actually an emotionally abusive thing that you’re experiencing! Did you know that?!
We all do things that aren’t so great, so I’m not saying to just cut off this friend permanently, but it does require a conversation. I know that freaks a lot of you out, but what if I told you this is practice for the Big Stuff? The Big Stuff is a relationship with your spouse, significant other, your precious kids, your boss or co-worker.
If you are a person who hates to feel all balled up with stress then this is imperative that you get really good at having uncomfortable conversations. “Wait a minute,” you might be saying. “I don’t want the stress of that discomfort!!”
I get you! I really do! I used to be you! I HATED having tough conversations, but once I figured out some of them were going to happen anyway I decided I might as well get good at them so I didn’t cause more problems…..thus shooting my stress level through the roof.
Now I can have all sorts of tough conversations without even a flicker in blood pressure. I still don’t look forward to them depending on the situation, but that doesn’t mean the conversation shouldn’t be had.
The key is to stick to the facts while trying to keep your emotions out of it. Easier said than done. Yes, I know, but think of a time when you were really upset and a conversation turned into a screaming match.
THAT is what you DON’T want to happen! No matter how upset you are, sticking to the facts keeps you out of hot water. I don’t know about you, but really HATE having to go back and apologize for losing it with someone. Because that’s just what I force myself to do…apologize when I’ve messed up…it naturally puts a small muzzle on my mouth! 🙂 The discomfort of having to go back to that person is enough to keep me in line.
The other key is to try really hard to be kind and seek to understand where the other person is coming from. This is NOT you letting them have it and then walking away. That is not cool and won’t help you grow. In fact, it will erode your character and you’ll be the 40 year old with a trail of broken relationships because you still haven’t figured out how to do this conversation thing.
So, take a deep breath and go ask your friend who won’t talk to you if you can have a minute. Tell her you’d like to understand what’s wrong from her perspective. People love to talk about themselves, so she may go for it.
There is a possibility that she will continue with the silent treatment or get ugly with you. You can’t change another person, but you can respond accordingly. Respect her position and leave her alone. Yes, that stinks, but she’s made it clear how it’s going to be. Now you would be best suited to let it be.
I hope this helps. You are brave and awesome and you can do this! You got this! 🙂
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