How do you respond to an ultimatum?
Your spouse says, “Take it or leave it. This is my final offer.” How should you respond?
It may be hard, but just ignore it. Just go on as if it was never said. Keep talking and allow it to fade into oblivion. Ignoring the ultimatum gives your partner the opportunity to continue negotiations without losing face.
If, however, your spouse continues to press for an instant decision, then ask for a little time to give it some thought and come up with a reasonable counterproposal. Try to calm the situation by asking questions in order to neutralize the threat and give them a chance to get off the hook for making the threat.
Does the first one to speak always lose?
Car sales people use silence after an initial offer in an attempt to stake out their position. They believe that if the customer speaks first, then it is a sign of surrender and the salesperson can hang tough on the last price mentioned. If your spouse tries this with you, then break the silence by saying, “What would you do if you were in my shoes?”
The spell of silence is usually broken if the first one to speak after the latest offer asks a question.