It can be tempting to respond to certain people, but sometimes it's best to simply leave them on read. In certain situations, remaining silent is the best course of action. Responding with sarcasm or anger may not be effective. Here are 9 reasons why it's better to let them have the last word.
1. Responding could backfire on you
Many individuals desire attention, and responding to them, even negatively, may provide them with the validation they seek. They may use your aggression as proof that they are correct and can walk away from the conversation with a clear conscience. Instead of engaging with their manipulative tactics, let them question their own actions and doubt their strategy to provoke a response from you.
2. Replying could create an unnecessary problem
Text-based communication can be misinterpreted, as individuals often add their own meaning, understanding, and tone to electronic messages. In some cases, it is better to have a face-to-face or audible conversation to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. Responding to a text message may prolong an existing problem or create new issues, and can also lead to additional clarification or explanation being required.
3. Continuing to text may just be trapping yourself in circles
If a conversation via text is not productive, it may be best to put the phone down and wait for a more direct and clear mode of communication. Some discussions require body language and tone of voice to prevent confusion. Many people multitask while responding to text messages, and may not give them enough thought or time. Receiving fragmented messages from an ongoing conversation may not be cohesive or beneficial. It's often more effective to have the conversation all at once, with face-to-face or over the phone, which allows for better attention and a better outcome.
4. You might get caught up if you respond
It is safer to speak verbally rather than text, as spoken words cannot be easily recorded or shared as evidence. This allows for the possibility of denying statements made in the event they are used against you.
5. When you don't respond, you give them nothing
Not responding to someone can be unnerving for the other person, as they may try to infer meaning or intent from the lack of a response. They may also ask others for their interpretation, which can be triggering for the person who did not respond. This may be a tactic used to achieve a specific effect or outcome.
6. Silence is the ultimate diss
Not responding to a heavy, controversial or important message can be unexpected and leave the other person in a state of confusion and uncertainty. They may try to verify if you received the message or if you're still alive. It could also lead them to question how long they should wait for a response. It could create mental warfare for the other person and put you in a position of power.
7. It could be the final end to a disastrous mess
Not responding to someone's provocations or attempts to engage in drama can shift the power dynamic in your favor, as it can prevent them from having the upper hand through clever comebacks or hurtful retorts. It also can be helpful when you find yourself at a loss for words.
8. It could give you closure
If you find yourself always being the one to initiate contact with someone, their lack of effort to reach out to you can reveal how much work they're willing to put into the relationship. Their lack of response to your lack of response can also serve as an answer, indicating that they may not be as invested as you are. In this case, it may be best to let them go.
9. Some people's words don't deserve it
It is not necessary to respond to individuals who consistently behave in a disrespectful, insulting or take advantage of you. Their words do not deserve a response and should be ignored.