No response is a response: how to deal with their silence

No response is a response: how to deal with their silence

Communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful relationship. There are various forms of communication people use to send a message. One of the most vital nonverbal communications is silence. It is, therefore, essential to understand that no response is a response when someone is silent.

Worried man on a phone call
No response is a powerful form of communication., @ketutsubiyanto (modified by author)
Source: UGC


What does no response is a response mean? One of the most annoying forms of communication is the silent treatment. Not responding to a question or a matter is uncomfortable, regardless of the relationship. However, silence is the loudest form of communication.

No response is a response meaning

Getting no response seems like failed communication. When you don't get the silent treatment from someone, it can trigger you to press the person for a reply. However, sometimes, no response is a response in itself. Below is a list of what no response is a response could mean.

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1. They are busy

Being busy is one of the common excuses people give after being silent for a while. Although it is a lousy excuse, in some cases, the person could not respond due to a busy schedule. The schedule could be work-related or attending to a personal matter.

For example, someone under pressure to meet deadlines at work may choose silence as it may not be a convenient time to respond. This often happens when looking for someone's attention online or on the phone.

While it makes sense for the person to send a message letting you know they are busy at the moment, some people just assume and stay quiet.

2. They don't know what to say  

Sometimes, the person doesn't have an answer or know what to say. In some situations, someone may genuinely have nothing to say regarding a situation. They, therefore, choose silence in the form of a blank stare, unanswered text messages or emails or a silent moment on call.

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For example, the question is outside their area of expertise. In such a case, no response is better than a response. Although the silence in this case is valid, it is prudent to state that you don't know what to say instead of staying silent.

3. They are processing 

Man using a phone
Failure to respond may mean someone is processing your question or information., @artempodrez
Source: UGC

Another meaning of no response is that the person may be processing the information or question. This may happen when the information is unexpected, or you dropped a bombshell for something.

Some people take time to process and need their space to do so. This means they will respond later, but it will take time.

4. They may think the conversation is over

Some people stop responding because they think the conversation is over. You could be texting someone and then leave the chat only to find a horde of texts from the other party. You simply thought the conversation was over and moved to other things.

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Although no response is a response, this situation warrants you to cut people some slack. This is because they may genuinely not know communication is still ongoing.

5. They don't want to talk to you

People rarely. When someone doesn't respond, you may assess the situation and conclude that the person is uninterested in talking to you. This happens mostly in relationships or even friendships. The person ignores your calls or texts for unknown reasons.

6. They're afraid to say "No."

Most people fear saying no to others, especially those they love. Saying no is construed to be rude and makes people feel bad. It is, therefore, easier to stay silent to avoid hurting people's feelings. When faced with such a situation, do not force the person to respond to you, but take the no reply to mean no.

7. They're not interested 

No response is a response, and it's a powerful one, especially when someone is not interested. The lack of interest cuts across the board. It may stem from a new romance, a platonic friendship, a working relationship or a business partner.

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For example, you may get the silent treatment after asking someone for a date. They ignore you because you are not their type or don't like you. They want to let you down easily without hurting your feelings. When this happens, it is essential to realise that they are uninterested in you, and you must move on.

What to do when someone doesn't reply to you?

A young man on phone while using a laptop
Don't jump to conclusions or assume the worst when someone doesn't reply., @adarmel (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Finding yourself waiting for communication from someone can be confusing. You may not know how to react in such a situation. When you find yourself in a silent treatment situation, take these steps.

1. Remember, no response is a response

Remind yourself that silence is communication in many cases. This then prepares you for anything the next step and will give you emotional strength when dealing with the person.

2. Change the topic

This is best when you suspect that you have dumped information on the other person that needs time or they can't answer. Changing the topic removes pressure and allows them to digest and respond appropriately later.

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3. Try to follow up and reach out later

Another simple way to restart a conversation with someone who had gone mute is to follow up and reach out again. However, ensure that you have given them ample time to respond before reaching out again.

4. Request for a convenient time 

One of the common reasons why people do not respond is that they have been busy and may have been dealing with a lot. In this case, ask for a convenient time to have the conversation. You can use the following to get the answers you need.

  • Are you available for a quick talk?
  • Is it a good time?

5. Be direct

Sometimes, people only respond to you if they understand you. In this case, you must eliminate ambiguity and be direct with your inquiry or conversation. Ensure your conversation is direct and it gives you quick answers.

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6. Know when to quit

A young man sitting on his desk using a smartphone
Knowing when to quit during communication is important., @vladakarpovich (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Although this is not the best way to tackle challenges, it could be your only choice. If you have tried all the above and still have no communication, you should take a bow. The person is uninterested in talking to you and may not want to hurt your feelings.

Is no response a rejection?

Silence is not a rejection. Silence carries a powerful message but does not necessarily mean rejection.

Is no response better than a response?

The science behind not responding to someone is hinged on the fact that a long silence could lead to someone leaving you alone. Sometimes, no response is better than a response, as it would do more harm than good. For example, when they do not know what to say or when saying something could hurt someone.

What to text when he doesn't reply?

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When someone doesn't reply to your text, you should back off texting them for some time. This gives them time to respond. If they still don't answer, send them a short text with direct questions.

For example, you can first enquire if they are okay and then get to the point with your question. For example, "Hey, hope you are okay." "Let me know when we can talk." If they still don't reply, move on with your life.

What does it mean when someone doesn't message you back?

When you don't get a reply from someone, it could mean different things. Below are some of the reasons why someone doesn't message you back.

  • They could be busy at the moment.
  • They may not know what to say.
  • They might not be interested in you.

How do you text someone who hasn't responded?

Texting someone who has ghosted you can be challenging. You are trying to understand why they have not replied to your messages. Here are simple ways to text someone who hasn't responded to you:

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  • Use humour when following up to ask why they have not replied.
  • When sending a follow-up text, ensure you are concise with your query.
  • Be polite in your text and avoid sounding frustrated. A friendly message increases the chances of getting a reply.
  • Be persistent and assertive, but also know when to move on.

No response is a response is a powerful message, and it is essential to recognise it as such. When you find someone constantly not responding to you, it's crucial to find out why. You can determine your next action once you have discovered why they placed you in a no-communication zone. published an article about the dry sense of humour. Having a sense of humour is one of the most attractive personality traits. However, a dry sense of humour is sometimes loved and sometimes misunderstood. What is a dry sense of humour, and how do you know you have it?

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