Silence does not equal agreement. It may mean your partner is shut down.

“Do not take her silence as tacit agreement”

A counselor said that to my former partner and I as we were navigating a conflict. He was an extrovert and tended to have an “attack and defend” style of conflict resolution, I am an introvert and tended to “reflect and respond”

The net result? His responses were stepping on my need to reflect and I didn’t have a chance to respond, so I shut down.

The counselor understood the assignment and intervened, again:

👉🏻 Don’t take her silence as agreement

If your partner is shut down, it may not mean they are in agreement… it may mean they are:

1. Thinking
2. In central nervous system shutdown (also known as Dorsal Vagal)
3. Not feeling safe
4. Unsure of what to say
5. Conditioned through their own trauma not to respond

Want to know where your partner is?

🤭Stop talking and ask.
🤫Be willing to listen (no matter how long it takes) for an answer.

It may – delightfully or painfully – surprise you.

But the most important thing is that getting your partner to talk means you now have information you didn’t before.

A healthy relationship can happen for you and I’m cheering you on as you do this important work.