HomeMain PageRelationshipsSkillsCommunicationWhat to do when he/she won’t talk to you.


What to do when he/she won’t talk to you. — 239 Comments

  1. Hi! I have a new job since December. The colleague that sits next to me talks to me a lot and he got close to me because we really get along. He used to ask me to take breaks and during those he would speak to me and I would listen more then talk back (because he had a lot to say). He also used to write to me on chat during work time. We had a greatvtime together. I started feeling that he likes me.
    Three days ago our team lead(who is single) came to the office with his 4 year old son. I was happy to see a child in the office so I tried to talk to him and played when he was bored after lunch. His father was otherwise engaged and also the child came to me. Very cute I tought, especially since my colleagues in the office wouldn’t talk much and I am a very social person.
    My colleague next to me seeing this told me two times that I need a baby and the second time he said that I am “so exited to see a child” in a teasing/sarcastic way.
    It felt uncomfortable to me because I am teased a lot about getting married and having children and as a woman I feel the pressure of society to have children.
    So I told him he is a jerk and he asked why and I said nothing (I really didn’t know what to say at the moment) He got pissed off. He wrote an apologise message to me saing that he exaggerated with jokes and he won’t do it anymore. But he made really good jokes and I laughed all the time. Just that day I was stressed and tried so I reacted uncontrollably. To his written apology I replied that I am not upset and that I’d like to talk to him before leaving. But he didn’t want to. He worked from home the next 2 days and did not write to me at all. I wrote him that I am sorry that I upset him and that I didn’t mean to irritate him by asking him to discuss.
    Now I feel so hurt. I don’t understand what I did so bad that he wouldn’t even give me the chance to make it right. I think that if he takes it so seriously it means he cares for what I say. Of course his reaction has something to do with him – his previous experiences and his way of coping.
    I am wondering if there is any chance for him to forgive me, trust me again and laugh together like we used to.

  2. Hello, there. I am extremely late to this party, but I stumbled upon this post and found it to be one of the most solid references on the web when it comes to dealing with this topic. Yes, I am in this situation and, yes, I have been googling the heck out of it.

    Here’s the thing, I think that I messed up big time, and not for the first time. I have a past riddled with betrayal and trauma and this has affected my sense of security and self-esteem, but I’ve ignored it. Refused to see it?

    Now, we’re not talking about overtly clingy or controlling behavior. I don’t check on him, I don’t check his phone, etc. We’re talking about me being argumentative and defensive when I don’t feel like part of his plans or when…gulp…he makes plans with friends without me. Well, he finally had enough and told me that he never wants to see me or hear from me again, after a loving, long-term relationship of over 3 years.

    I have seen the light and engaged with a therapist. This has been an incredibly sobering wake up call. I recognize my issues, and I want badly to right the course. I do love him dearly. Is there any hope?

    • Hi Bee, Thanks for writing and sharing. Yup I certainly think there is hope – believe in it deeply. I don’t think of you are late to this here party, but right on time. The good stuff begins when somebody wakes up and usually that is when someone starts to walk away. That seems to happen over and over. It did for me in the 90’s and I woke up. Good deal. Everything I’ve written here was originally for me as I fought to get myself to learn. Kind of like note taking. Without me doing that learning I fear there was no hope. Of course I had to learn a lot and so did my partner. Took a long time. It went faster if I learned faster.

      Based on what you’ve written you’ve already started pondering Clingy/Avoider stuff and maybe controlling behavior – a bit. Sandra and I struggled with both. My best guess is it will be worth your while to look into the argumentative stuff – which is the MasterTalk, Master-Slave material. We gave up arguing in around 1994 and haven’t done it since – with anyone. Arguing seems silly. Oh and also we never agree on anything — always see things differently.

      Thanks for dropping by. Keep reading and learning.

  3. Hi Al,
    I have a bit of a unique situation here.
    My girlfriend and I have been together for 6 months, but we’ve had feelings for each other for 30 years (both in previous long-term relationships).
    She just introduced me to her daughter, and things went very well—2 weeks ago, we were the most in love we’d been.
    She’s been having a lot of stressors in her life (family moving away, lack of work due to COVID) and I have a pretty serious head injury.
    Anyway, last weekend she asked me for some time alone in a way she had never asked before, and I could not comprehend it. My mind Is not able to inhibit my panic response right now and I kept texting her. I said some ridiculous things that she knows are not me.
    She called me crying saying she was scared and couldn’t continue with me, even though at the end of the call she said “I Love You”.
    She hasn’t spoken to me in 5 days, and I’ve been respectful of her space. I sent her a quick video the other morning acknowledging my part in the fight and apologizing as it really is a day that I don’t have much memory of.

    Where do I go from here? Can I get this back? She is the love of my life!

    • Hello Paul, and welcome to the world of working on tricky things. I believe this is a relationship fix that is doable and most probably well worth it.

      One place to start is on the topic of Boundaries. Not only have you two had previous relationship to learn (and not learn) the normal skills, but you have that head injury that adds unique challenges. I’ve worked with a half dozen guys with brain damage and gosh those were exciting and different. Bottom line is you are responsible for dealing with that, dealing with “odd” consequences, and guiding your gal to comfortably deal with them and you. I’d be happy to help but need more details.

      The phrase “inhibit my panic response” seems like a place to start. Almost all the awful stuff we humans do starts with a panic response and whether you are aware or can remember does not diminish your responsibility.

      Other than that it sounds as if you have the normal (to me) Clinger/Avoider (Reliable Membership) stuff starting to go on and perhaps Master/Slave. Good reading and luck.

      • Hi Al, it’s a temporary injury. A pretty serious concussion in a string of pretty serious concussions.
        I just haven’t been myself for about the last month. We’ve had our bumps in developing a relationship, but neither of us had any misgivings about me becoming involved in her daughter’s life, a decision she would not make lightly.
        I feel much more lucid in the last few days, but I’m almost sure she isn’t ready to talk. How long do you recommend I give her before reaching out?

        • Hi Paul, I’m glad to hear your injury is not serious. Guys I’ve worked with seemed to get into wrestling motorcycles – not good.

          As a general rule I use one week as a length of time to give space and even at the end of that time I recommend don’t push. Just a short message (4 sentences or less) to let her know you are there. All about planning to win the long game.

      • Oh Al the brain injury is temporary. I have a pretty serious concussion and my behavior has been a little erratic. In my meltdown, I did touch on some hot-button issues for her, but we had previously felt very secure about that prior to my introduction to her daughter.
        I just don’t understand how she could’ve fallen out of love with me in a 48 hour period when she knows I’m not myself right now…

        • Well, Paul, I believe falling out of love can happen very very quickly. Remember all people make sense all the time, so what looks like “falling out of love” is not a trivial event and makes solid sense to her. Useful for you to get to know her and how she thinks and reacts and interprets your behavior. Sounds to me you reacted in some ways that startled her and frightened her Lizard. At this point she can’t ever forget that you can act that way. Tread lightly and learn.

      • Hi Al, good news—she reached out. She set some clear boundaries in the video, which I will respect. But it ended in a request for us to “Check back in” in a week and a tearful “I love you”.
        I am playing it slow here, but it seems clear that she still loves me. If there are any details I can provide about the video that warrant analysis, I would appreciate if you let me know.
        Thank you very much for your help

        • Glad to hear she reached out. I suggest you take this experience as the beginning of a new stage in your relationship where you learn to habitually give her space – a bit more space than she wants.

          And I still suggest you learn all you can about Reliable Membership and Master/Slave.

  4. Hi,
    Would you like to release my tension for which I am perplexed as well as anxious about it. That is, she told me that I could talk to her but it would be better if I didn’t talk her frequently. Afterwards, I didn’t text her anymore. This all happened when I confessed my love for her. She told me that she hated ‘love’ and didn’t believe in ‘love’. One month has passed away, neither did I text her nor did she. Furthermore, she has deleted my number some days ago as her whatsApp dp and message status doesn’t appear to me. Kindly guide me what I should do in this complex situation. I shall be grateful to you.

    • Hang in there, Sheeraz, Sounds pretty scary. Good news is you can do a lot about it. I suggest you don’t stop all contact. Just radically reduce it. Maybe once a week. I wonder what the word “Love” means to her. Probably something scary. You and I can only guess, until she tells us. Slow, reliable curiosity is best.

  5. What about the other side of this? What to do when they won’t listen? What to do when they are happy in the relationship but you are not, but they aren’t interested in hearing about it because to them everything is fine?

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