If we are in a situation where a guy has halted all communication (to find out why a guy might suddenly stop communicating, please click here), and we would like to continue the relationship, the most important thing to learn is the difference between reacting and responding. As soon as we stop reacting, we gain awareness and can see things more clearly as our emotions are not clouding our thinking.
As Caroline Southwell explains, for effective and compassionate communication to take place, it is essential that we first take responsibility for how we are expressing ourselves. Caroline describes the four main elements to consider as: grounding ourselves, paying attention to when we are overanalyzing, taking a deep breath if we don’t like what we are hearing, and, mostly, to appreciate that we are all different.
Once we have armed ourselves with knowledge and wisdom and we are calm and emotionally prepared to interact, we can then decipher the best way to approach the situation.
How we move forward will depend on our unique set of circumstances. For example, if we live with the one who is silent, we will deal with this very differently. Either way, the energy we move into it with needs to be the same if we wish for a possible harmonious resolution.
Before we attempt communication, we can first ask ourselves what we are hoping to achieve by gaining a response. This takes being entirely honest with ourselves. Sometimes, without realizing, we might only be hoping to receive validation that we are worthy of receiving cooperation and attention. If this is the case, it is vital to remember that we can give ourselves validation; we do not need to chase it from a guy or anyone else.
We do this by reminding ourselves that how someone expresses themselves has little to do with us and is predominantly about them. Unless the situation has become dysfunctional and abusive and we have caused great upset and harm, if someone is not going to offer us a moment of their time to let us know if they need space or whether the relationship is over or not, we really should not be wallowing in our insecurities wondering whether we are “good enough” or what we should or shouldn’t have done differently.
When we have deciphered whether it is our ego that wants tending to, or whether we genuinely want to alleviate any difficulties or problems that may have occurred, we can then, with caution, approach the guy to let him know that if and when he is ready to talk, we are willing.
It is sometimes a good idea to offer alternative platforms on which to communicate. Some prefer to talk through text, phone, email, or even handwritten letters if it is too uncomfortable to discuss face to face.
While there will always be people saying this is pandering, it is important to remember that not everyone is able to communicate their feelings. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and, for some, an inability to openly express themselves is one of them. It doesn’t mean that otherwise they aren’t really great guys who are worth putting in a little work for.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to make or force someone to change how they communicate. This is why it is so vital that we take control of our own actions and reactions so that we reduce how much other people’s behavior negatively affects us.
We can send a message saying that we value the relationship, however, we are not willing to be frozen out. If they are not prepared to let us know that they need space or to try to work things out, then we will not wait around feeling upset until they do.
Once we have explained how we feel, leave the rest up to them. Trying to use tactics or pleading to talk may only escalate things further. Communication should take place freely and shouldn’t be forced.
We can take a look at ourselves, ensure we are approachable, and change our behavior if necessary so that the silent one feels comfortable with opening up.
Focusing on ourselves is always a good option, so take time out and do things that feel good. Going for walks, visiting friends and spending time in nature can all be simple ways to take the mind off things in the short term. Overthinking can be exhausting, so instead we can focus our attention on creating a happy, healthy space for ourselves.
As we nourish ourselves and create more peace and harmony, it may highlight the need for the other person to take responsibility and do the same.
If the guy is also willing to self-reflect, he may realize that honest, open and mature communication is valued highly, while being ignored appears as rude and uncaring. Showing that we aren’t going to engage when communication stops may tempt the other person to snap out of it.
We always have the choice whether to continue with the dynamic, try to change it, or end it. Even if we don’t sanction the end of the relationship, we can still end the effect of the behavior by removing ourselves from it and not allowing it to infiltrate our moods and psyche.
Change the dynamic and say “no thank you” to being affected by someone else’s behavior.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May