LIVE WELL: Don’t Respond


I can’t remember where I first heard the saying “no response is a response,” but it’s one of my favorites.

I wouldn’t say I’m confrontational, but I’m definitely one to speak my mind if something doesn’t sit well. And while I appreciate that about myself – there are times when I’ve regretted saying the truth. Maybe it’s because it came out harsher than I intended, or because the other person took it the wrong way, but I’ve been there.

Once I heard the no response saying, it kind of changed things for me. We’ve all had those situations where we know someone is looking for a reaction. Hitting back can feel good in the moment, but it usually ends up sparking some sort of regret. At least for me! So instead of giving that personal satisfaction and engaging in the negativity, what if you just didn’t respond?

Silence can say a lot more than words, and if you truly don’t feel like going into it – or you’ve already said it all – not responding might be the answer. At the least, wait to respond until you’ve had time to think about things (instead of instantly, which I used to do all the time).

This is a super quick LIVE WELL, but it’s one I was reminded of just last week. I felt so much better after not responding to the person clearly looking to spark an argument. It also felt like the mature thing to do. I had no regrets about what I said, and I’m sure the person felt kinda silly after saying something aggressive to no response.

Is there a time when you wish you hadn’t responded? Are you someone who already lives by this rule?

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8 comments

  1. This is a very challenging thing for me at the moment but I am learning to not respond anymore. I’m the sort of person who will usually reply something to make sure that there is no argument, let it sit for a while, and then have a serious discussion with the person when the time is right, to set things down. The problem for me is when you’ve already had that conversation with that person a couple times and things are not getting better. So now I stop responding as well. I consider that I’ve done the job already and if it didn’t work then it probably won’t now. And it feels really good!
    Lucie, xx

    http://thefrenchpier.blogspot.com/

  2. I think a non response works well. Written messages can be misinterpreted if the reader assumes an implied tone, so sometimes saying nothing is best. Alternatively, if I receive something that really bothers me, I will write a harsh response, but I won’t send it. Writing it down gets it off my chest and helps me see things more clearly so that if I feel a response is necessary, then I can be more objective
    .

  3. I saw the title of the article and though it was a complete different thing – as in not responding a message or email or call in a timely manner and then wondering why that relatioship went sideways. I know I’m guilty of it as well as a victim. It’s something people do without thinking much and it can hurt professional and personal relations.
    About not responding to avoid conflict – hell yeah. In elections season as here in Brazil now it’s vital to know when to just stop arguing.

  4. I also tend to respond with bloody answers. But I’m waiting the next day before sending it. And usually I change my mind.

  5. Already living by this rule in a way.

    I don’t respond with negativity. That just makes me feel horrible.

    I respond in a respectful and high energy manner. Often with a genuine and nice response, someone will break out of their funk and realize that they are being a jerk or are overreacting.

    And if being nice doesn’t work, then I don’t respond any further because it’s obvious the person just wants to sit in their negativity.

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