How can the relationship between two characters develop or heal if one is obstinate in refusing to talk? Trying to find a reason why a girl who refuses to talk to anyone or socialize, might go back to her old self and socialize again. I can't think of a way to do this without cheapening or lessening the reason why she became obstinate.

Imagine a character saying:

"I won't talk, I won't socialize, I won't do anything, because I want to die, but can't."

If a character develops that attitude, then I don't see how she will go back to her old self, which is literally the opposite. I am trying to think of a way, but I just can't and I feel it would make for some terrible writing if I try to use some sort of trick. I never read or saw a story where this happens, so I have no point of reference.

  • 1
    Why is she refusing to talk? Is it because of something the other character has done? Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 0:49
  • 2
    get her a puppy.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 12:27
  • I think this has more to do with human psychology than writing…., if you don't believe something can happen in real life, an example from a book won't really convince you.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


There are any number of ways a character can get over frustration or a grudge, and begin communicating again.

  1. Something urgent could happen which requires her to act and, especially if it requires cooperation with the character she isn't talking, it can burst the dam and get her interacting again
  2. The other character(s) can be appologetic / considerate / bring flowers (etc), until the frustrated character warms up
  3. The character may just wake up one day and realize she's being stupid, and go apologize for being obstinate
  4. A childhood friend, parent, etc, could show up and give a positive reason for shaking off the fugue
  5. The character could find out / come to believe that what put her into the intransigent mood wasn't really how things were, and her reaction was inappropriate
  6. Somebody needs to be taken care of (maybe someone innocent and vulnerable, like a child), and the frustrated character is called on to help (and, again, gradually warms)
  7. Etc...

Of course, what makes the most sense will depend on why there was a breakdown in the first place. In general, though, life goes on and intrudes on our bad mood, forcing us to take part in things again. Even if the shutting things out was really justified.

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