Most of the time, your relationship with your partner is #goals. You’re both kind and considerate, you laugh during all the same scenes of The Office (even though you’ve seen it a hundred times together) and together you feel safe. But even the most solid duos slip into a spat every now and then. It’s usually over something that’s quickly resolved, but this time it’s different. Your partner has resorted to the silent treatment: They’ve stopped responding to the points you’re making, they’re not even looking at you and it feels like you’re talking to the side of their head.
This super frustrating, juvenile tactic might seem familiar to you from your grade-school days. How the heck do you respond to something so childish? We consulted a team of professionals—relationship therapist Jean Fitzpatrick and individual and couples therapist Irina Firstein—to help us figure out how to respond to the silent treatment without regressing back to infancy ourselves.