(and obviously have nothing to do with it). The issue lies only with the abusive person. He who disagrees is automatically wrong etc. It can sometimes be a form of emotional abuse. It can sometimes be a form of self-protection, but at other times, it indicates emotional abuse. The reason why isolation or seclusion is a big indicator of this type of treatment is that the noted person will usually be talkative and social at other times. The silent treatment may be an unhealthy habit or It may be a deliberate, vicious, manipulative choice to inflict as much emotional pain as possible. ​The silent treatment is one of the most common forms of Passive Aggressive Behaviour. By working on the communication and striving to create an environment where you can both be open and honest about your feelings; you will strip away most of the reasons for applying the silent treatment. Although you may have done nothing wrong, your natural inclination is to wonder what you did wrong. Stonewalling and The Silent Treatment. It is essentially an attack on the very essence of who you are. People who regularly use or experience the silent treatment should take steps to address it. This is because domestic abuse is not a product of an unhealthy relationship. Many people don’t realize the dangers of engaging in the silent treatment, which only adds to … It also looks at how the silent treatment relates to abuse. After the victim has been stonewalled, the other person is treated to a form of silence that is deafening. A person can let the other person know how they feel by using “I” statements. Try to stay present and listen empathically. Research has shown that the act of ignoring or excluding activates the same area of the brain that is activated by physical pain. It Helps Them Avoid Compromise Cikanavicius also says that enduring the silent treatment from someone makes you want to avoid all future conflicts with them. There is a natural desire to belong within each person. Copyright 2018 by liveyourtruestory.com. The silent treatment is a sign that communication in the relationship has broken down. If you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment, you are going to be wondering what you did wrong and how you can resolve the situation. The Silent Treatment is often designed to produce feelings of Fear, Obligation and Guilt (FOG) in people and successful in doing so. However, clear and direct communication is essential for healthy relationships. These people use the silent treatment as a way to control the target person or punish them for what they consider unacceptable behavior or to get them to do what they "should have done in the first place". It can cause serious emotional and psychological damage if you don’t realize what is happening. However, I was on the receiving end of violence from a relative and my biggest fear was that I would turn out like that. Learn more about verbal abuse here. Of course, if you haven’t noticed the problem before you’re given the silent treatment; an overdose of silence is not going to make it any clearer. Why are you receiving the silent treatment? ​Silent treatment is really childish behaviour so using it in order to be taken seriously is ridiculous and you need to be careful that you don't encourage it. The old song says that ‘Silence is Golden’ but I can only assume that the person who wrote the song never had to deal with somebody who used the silent treatment as a weapon of choice. Are you being aggressive? Yet the silent treatment can also occur without warning or stonewalling as well. Avoid becoming defensive or going into problem-solving mode. The silent treatment is a sign that communication in the relationship has broken down. They may be afraid of saying something that makes the situation worse. If you sound overly hurt or sad, or even desperate to get their friendship back, it gives them incentive to keep using the silent treatment. The silent treatment may become a pattern, which hinders the ability to communicate effectively. via conversation) until you come around to their way of thinking. Ask the other person to share their feelings. This article will discuss the silent treatment, why people use it, and how individuals can respond to it. For example, a person can say, “I notice that you are not responding to me.” This lays the foundation for two people to engage with each other more effectively. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Study offers a mental well-being 'tool kit' anyone can use, Study reveals how exercise improves metabolic health, COVID-19 vaccine: Low-income countries lose out to wealthy countries. All rights reserved. When someone is giving you the silent treatment to inflict emotional pain, that is what they are trying to achieve – they want you to doubt and hate yourself. People on the receiving end of a partner’s abuse may benefit from individual therapy if they safely engage in appointments. Most of the time, the narcissist will not continue the silent treatment around other… The silent treatment is a way to inflict pain without visible bruising – literally. Another curse of the modern world is that people are desperate for attention all the time. The problem with this is that we all live busy lives. Why are you receiving the silent treatment? This was never true. He intimated that he was especially proud of this as in some cases, he hadn’t even realised that they were arguing. Instead, do your best to sound calm and in control. Especially when the same offense is committed repeatedly and obviously do it … Even if we know, without a doubt, that the narcissist was in the wrong, we take on the responsibility for their going silent on us. When we get the silent treatment from the narcissist in our life, it feels utterly devastating. So, it is possible to be the aggressive one, using the silent treatment and still be seen as the victim. By demanding this apology, it supports the narcissist’s inflate… Here are the most common reasons I collected from clients, support group members, and online surveys, to why people choose to go silent. It’s up to you to figure out what that was. In his speech, he mentioned how like all couples, he and his lovely wife Aoife had survived a few arguments. They use silence as their weapon of choice. Only communication can. In these cases, it can be helpful for each person to take some time to cool off before getting together to discuss the issue calmly. According to Cikanavicius, the result of the silent treatment is exactly what the person with narcissism wishes to create: a reaction from the target and a sense of control. Never is this more evident than in the conflicts of a narcissistic relationship. Try to avoid escalating the situation or provoking the person who is silent into speaking. By withholding their approval, they expect you to work out what is wrong and resolve the situation before they will resume talking to you. Why People Give the Silent Treatment. I was not one for resorting to violence and just because a family member resorted to violence didn’t mean that I was going to do likewise. When one partner wants to talk about a problem but the other withdraws, it can cause negative emotions such as anger and distress. We often say and do things without any serious thought or meaning. Why do people use the silent treatment? A person with a partner who avoids conflict is more likely to continue a dispute because they have not had an opportunity to discuss their grievances. We've all been hurt, I definitely get that! A narcissist may refuse to speak to or even acknowledge someone for great lengths of time- and then demand an apology that is out of proportion to the perceived offense. A therapist can help the partners express their feelings so that they can resolve conflicts in a healthy way. So, always show that you are willing to listen and receive feedback. The silent treatment usually hurts more than anger does. It can be used to punish, control, disempower, or run away from a person or problem. They will only speak of the reaction of their partner, without speaking of what happened before hand, what they said or done to their partner. For example, the person on the receiving end may say: “I’m feeling hurt and frustrated that you aren’t speaking to me. As cruel as physical punishment is; emotional pain hits you at an even deeper level. The Silent Treatment can cause so much pain to the person who is being ignored and given the silent treatment. If they are giving you the silent treatment, they have a problem with something and maybe they don’t know how to adequately express that to you. How a person responds to the silent treatment depends on whether or not their partner is being abusive. So, I can be happy and cheerful one minute (or so it seems) and then be raging the next. Research indicates that both men and women use the silent treatment in relationships. Have you ever been given the silent treatment and thought why don't you just tell me what's wrong?? Sometimes, a person may give someone the silent treatment because they are too angry, hurt, or overwhelmed to speak. In some cases, focusing on relationship issues in therapy may reinforce their abusive behaviors. When you do that you can work to resolve the real issue because you will no longer be treating the symptom; you will be treating the disease. This is exactly what the narcissist wants. If the silent treatment is continuous and prolonged, you begin to wonder what is wrong with you. The silent treatment is the no1 weapon used by narcissists during which the narcissist acts as if you are non-existent and even … Well, I mean, I can give people the silent treatment, but that’s not the reason why I do it. The silent treatment (also known as withholding) is used to punish and regain control of a person. Verbal abuse occurs when someone uses negative or demeaning words to maintain power and control over someone else. It may feel good to ignore your partner when you feel slighted but, it keeps you from finding real solutions to the problems that are bugging you the most. They may be afraid of saying something that makes the situation worse. To resolve the issue long-term, you need to identify the reason the other person has chosen the silent treatment as their way to deal with problems. Abusive people who wish to change can enroll in programs to help alter their behaviors. They know that because of the above we'll eventually give in just to make the torment end. So, if speaking up makes you look like the bad guy, using silence as a weapon becomes a great choice. If you know that person A is not talking to person B, you automatically think that person B must have done something bad for person A to stop talking to them. Just to be clear, the silent treatment is a manipulation tactic where a toxic narcissist will stop talking to you for days, hours, weeks or even months in order to punish you for some perceived slight. This type of statement focuses on the feelings and beliefs of the speaker rather than any characteristics they attribute to the other person. ​Learn powerful strategies to tackle Passive Aggressive Behaviour, open the channels of communciation and build better, more valuable relationships. I always give the silent treatment if the person I'm mad at is argumentative and too defensive to listen. The silent treatment is abuse because: 1 It is passive-aggressive behavior intended to hurt the other person It shows a lack of caring, a lack of respect and a lack of value When someone chooses not to talk to you and withholds their approval, they are telling you that you are not good enough as you are. Nobody wants to be shut out, ignored, excluded or rejected. If the silent treatment does not appear to be part of a larger pattern of abuse, a person can try the following approaches: Acknowledge that someone is using the silent treatment. The silent treatment is often given as a form of punishment in a relationship and psychologists consider the silent treatment as a form of abuse. Posted Feb 17, 2018 If someone complains, we think they are being aggressive where they are usually just being assertive e.g. The silent treatment can hurt, and narcissist knows this. The thing with the silent treatment is that somebody who is remaining silent always looks like the victim. You get to have your cake and eat it because you get to be the bad guy while looking like the good guy. A person may be using silence in an abusive way if: In addition to the silent treatment, a person might use other types of emotional abuse to control their partner, such as: Over time, emotional abuse often escalates to physical violence. Nobody can say what you said was wrong because you didn’t say anything. If they choose not to talk, we may take it personal and our sense of self-worth suffers as a consequence. Refusing to talk things through and resolve the problem is both childish and infuriating. In this case, it is all part of the abuse. Once the treatment has had its intended effect, it comes to an end. When I was younger, I had an explosive temper. People use the silent treatment to control the situation or conversation. By working on the communication and striving to create an environment where you can both be open and honest about your feelings; you will strip away most of the reasons for applying the silent treatment. Nobody can attack the reasons for your behaviour because you won’t tell anyone what those reasons are. After all the desire to talk to others is natural so, for somebody to not want to talk to you, there must be something seriously wrong with you. This is the case when one person uses it to control and manipulate the other. As my story demonstrates, silence is a weapon. For example, if someone were to punch you, the bruises can heal and the pain quickly subsides. Confrontational questions and passive aggressive behaviour, 17 Examples of passive aggressive behaviour, Understanding passive aggressive behaviour. Because people who give the silent treatment typically are trying to avoid uncomfortable confrontation, most of them won't resort to this, but I mention it because it's always one of the options people have for regaining control. With physical pain, you can usually get over it very quickly. People use the silent treatment in many types of relationship, including romantic relationships. They also do it when they're wrong. You might be better off asking why they are in your life and doing something about that. These include: In most cases, using the silent treatment is not a productive way to deal with a disagreement. If they are not in immediate danger, a person who believes that their partner is abusive should consider whether or not they wish to stay in the relationship. Emotional abuse can occur in many…, Emotional abuse is a serious form of abuse that can have both short- and long-term effects. If there are other signs of abuse, it may be necessary to seek outside support to stay safe. I have created a FREE Flash Guide to Passive Aggressive Behaiour to help. When you are trying to work out why you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment, this might be the best place to start. I seriously don't get it. The silent treatment is frequently utilized as a lever to gain control in the power struggles of many relationships. Of course, Jamie was jesting but this can be a very serious issue in many cases. why should you accept poor service in a restaurant when you are being charged for that service? ​People who are desperate for attention often have other underlying issues so you need to be careful not to encourage them by constantly rewarding their childish behaviour. © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. It is used to avoid confrontation when issues arise. The Best Way to Respond to the Silent Treatment When your partner gives you the silent treatment, what it means and what to do. Why do they give friends, cousins, parents the silent treatment. Usually, stonewalling and the silent treatment go hand in hand. If the person responds in a threatening or abusive way, it is important to remove oneself from the situation until they calm down. The narcissist’s silent treatment will be noticeable by their desire to be left in isolation. They get to see how vacuous celebrities profit from attention (good or bad) and so, if they feel that you are not giving them enough attention; they will force you to give them attention by acting in a manner which leaves you wondering what’s wrong and what you need to do to resolve the situation. ​Communication is the tool you need to use to bring everything out into the open but you will still need to resolve the actual issue once it has been revealed. It will help someone in an abusive relationship to: Couples who have difficulty communicating effectively may benefit from counseling. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of domestic violence, call 911 or otherwise seek emergency help. People who give the silent treatment also try to tell a different story of what happened, to justify their silent treatment. This decreases intimacy and trust between partners, and can cause anxiety and aggressive behavior. I always found that I had the best relationships with people who had the confidence and communication skills to sit down with me and get me talking. A sudden desire to stay awayfrom people will let you know that this person is practicing the silent treatment. Whichever is true, the silent treatment is not going to resolve the issue. You don’t have to accept everything that the other person says but the willingness to listen and consider their feelings communicates a level of respect which can help to take the relationship to the next level. I wish you the best. Think about it for a minute. A woman's silence denies us this and so it's a great way to hurt us further in an argument. People use the silent treatment for a number of reasons. Because of this, the silent treatment can have an impact on the health of a relationship, even if the person who is silent is trying to avoid conflict. ​If the person does have a violent temper then you should encourage them to seek professional help and you need to make your safetly the number one priority. My particular species of bipolar means that I suffer from rapid and sometimes extreme and mixed mood swings. However, its always better to give a silent treatment rather than blow up words in anger. This lets them know that their feelings are important and valid, and it paves the way for an open conversation. Counselors call this “taking a time-out.”. However, as they are unlikely to be a pharmacist, they have no idea how to choose the right medicine. If you wonder what a silent treatment actually is, it is nothing but the intentional act of ignoring someone for a certain amount of time. We all make our own choices and that was never going to be my choice. People who use silent treatment to manipulate often have the following characteristics: Coping with The Silent Treatment: The Silent Treatment is rarely a good approach to problem solving or problem resolution. However, some romantic relationships involve an unhealthy and obsessive level of…. Using the silent treatment is an unproductive way of communicating within a relationship. They feel that the other person is ignoring them so, they decide to do some ignoring of their own in return. ​Flash Guide to Passive Aggressive Behaviour. One of the ways that people demonstrate that they accept us is by taking the time to have a conversation with us. I can’t tell you the specific reason why you are facing the silent treatment but I can tell you the most common reasons why somebody uses the silent treatment. Did it ever happened to you how do you handle a situation like that would you forgive the person who gave you the silent treatment Narcissists seem to get a kick out of hurting those who actually love them and have genuine feelings for them. They hope that by ignoring you, you will realise that you have been ignoring them and change that behaviour i.e. People who use the silent treatment may even refuse to acknowledge the presence of the other person. If a person feels that they or their family are in immediate danger, they must call 911. According to a 2012 study, people who regularly feel ignored also report lower levels of self-esteem, belonging, and meaning in their lives. However, people in abusive relationships will need to take different steps. They are determined to have their way and they are determined to withhold their approval (i.e. Maybe we don’t realise that our words or behaviour are offensive or, maybe the other person is interpreting it incorrectly. 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