why do people give the silent treatment

I wish you the best. People who use silent treatment to manipulate often have the following characteristics: Counselors call this “taking a time-out.”. Nobody can attack the reasons for your behaviour because you won’t tell anyone what those reasons are. However, as they are unlikely to be a pharmacist, they have no idea how to choose the right medicine. 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. 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. 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. For example, the person on the receiving end may say: “I’m feeling hurt and frustrated that you aren’t speaking to me. Sometimes, a person may give someone the silent treatment because they are too angry, hurt, or overwhelmed to speak. It may also be that they genuinely believe that you are not giving them attention. You may not be surprised to learn that one of the most common problems is the dreaded silent treatment. Research indicates that both men and women use the silent treatment in relationships. 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. 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. We want to be loved and to be accepted. It is used to avoid confrontation when issues arise. People can find local resources and others classified by demographics, such as support specifically for people of color, here: How can you build and maintain a healthy romantic relationship? This is partly because we live in fake world where everybody pretends to get along all the time. Try to avoid escalating the situation or provoking the person who is silent into speaking. They may be afraid of saying something that makes the situation worse. To forgive is great, but we all are humans who have faced situations difficult to forget. why should you accept poor service in a restaurant when you are being charged for that service? Maybe we don’t realise that our words or behaviour are offensive or, maybe the other person is interpreting it incorrectly. This is exactly what the narcissist wants. Using the silent treatment prevents people from resolving their conflicts in a helpful way. Why do people use the silent treatment? It’s up to you to figure out what that was. Nobody can say what you said was wrong because you didn’t say anything. Although you may have done nothing wrong, your natural inclination is to wonder what you did wrong. 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. Talk to a doctor, therapist, or trusted friend for help. However, they may need to apologize if they have said or done something that may have hurt the other person’s feelings. It can sometimes be a form of self-protection, but at other times, it indicates emotional abuse. ​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. The later treatment is more hurting and painful than the silent treatment. I have applied the silent treatment on too many occasions and this is the principle reason why. ​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 silent treatment is caused by a combination of hurt feelings and an inability or unwillingness to talk about them," an Oregon counselor told the Chicago Tribune. Using the silent treatment is an unproductive way of communicating within a relationship. Through my coaching, I have been approached by many people with relationship issues. 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. They know that because of the above we'll eventually give in just to make the torment end. ​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. Be wary if somebody is giving you the silent treatment for this reason because if they think it works, they will keep doing it. If you need to learn key communication skills, How to Talk So Others Will Listen will help. And I learned that when I spoke honestly with these people, we could sort most of the issues out. Yet the silent treatment can also occur without warning or stonewalling as well. With physical pain, you can usually get over it very quickly. 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. Coping with The Silent Treatment: The Silent Treatment is rarely a good approach to problem solving or problem resolution. Every treatment has a goal, and the aim of the silent treatment is to shame, punish, or warn someone who has crossed a line. 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. They feel that the other person is ignoring them so, they decide to do some ignoring of their own in return. That's why some people will try to get the silent person angry--just to get them to say anything at all! 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. He who disagrees is automatically wrong etc. So, always show that you are willing to listen and receive feedback. Verbal abuse occurs when someone uses negative or demeaning words to maintain power and control over someone else. The silent treatment (also known as withholding) is used to punish and regain control of a person. Avoid becoming defensive or going into problem-solving mode. ​The silent treatment is one of the most common forms of Passive Aggressive Behaviour. Have you ever been given the silent treatment and thought why don't you just tell me what's wrong?? The silent treatment may become a pattern, which hinders the ability to communicate effectively. 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. My particular species of bipolar means that I suffer from rapid and sometimes extreme and mixed mood swings. 12 signs of aggression you need to recognise, What did you communicate? 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. But some people use the silent treatment as a tool for exerting power over someone or creating emotional distance. 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. This was never true. 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? In his speech, he mentioned how like all couples, he and his lovely wife Aoife had survived a few arguments. This is the case when one person uses it to control and manipulate the other. 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. A healthy dose of communication would be far more effective. At worst, I felt that I had been listened to and respected. After the victim has been stonewalled, the other person is treated to a form of silence that is deafening. People who use the silent treatment may even refuse to acknowledge the presence of the other person. So, when I had a problem, I would try to bottle it up because I was afraid that if I started to let it out, I would lose control of my temper and potentially become violent. 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. Last year, I attended my friend Jamie’s wedding. I always give the silent treatment if the person I'm mad at is argumentative and too defensive to listen. The person who is giving the silent treatment often feels that their concerns are not being given the serious consideration that they deserve. Sure, identifying the current issue may help you to resolve the current impasse but you are likely to face the silent treatment again. We're happy when we can do this, we feel like we're doing something. However, I was on the receiving end of violence from a relative and my biggest fear was that I would turn out like that. I would erupt like a volcano though I was never violent. 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. Many people don’t realize the dangers of engaging in the silent treatment, which only adds to … So, I can be happy and cheerful one minute (or so it seems) and then be raging the next. As cruel as physical punishment is; emotional pain hits you at an even deeper level. So, it is possible to be the aggressive one, using the silent treatment and still be seen as the victim. 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. I have created a FREE Flash Guide to Passive Aggressive Behaiour to help. The list below Is not exhaustive. © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. These include: In most cases, using the silent treatment is not a productive way to deal with a disagreement. They also use it as a tool to avoid taking responsibility or to admit wrongdoing. The silent treatment can hurt, and narcissist knows this. So, if speaking up makes you look like the bad guy, using silence as a weapon becomes a great choice. A person can let the other person know how they feel by using “I” statements. You might be better off asking why they are in your life and doing something about that. Emotional abuse can occur in many…, Emotional abuse is a serious form of abuse that can have both short- and long-term effects. However, its always better to give a silent treatment rather than blow up words in anger. If the silent treatment is continuous and prolonged, you begin to wonder what is wrong with you. Usually, stonewalling and the silent treatment go hand in hand. Are you being aggressive? The Silent Treatment is often designed to produce feelings of Fear, Obligation and Guilt (FOG) in people and successful in doing so. It will help someone in an abusive relationship to: Couples who have difficulty communicating effectively may benefit from counseling. You get to have your cake and eat it because you get to be the bad guy while looking like the good guy. 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. 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. The thing with the silent treatment is that somebody who is remaining silent always looks like the victim. Medical News Today have compiled five tips backed by specialists and research to help…, Some signs of emotional abuse include controlling, shaming, blaming, and purposely humiliating another person. If they choose not to talk, we may take it personal and our sense of self-worth suffers as a consequence. Anyone who needs advice or support can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 via: Many other resources are available, including helplines, in-person support, and temporary housing. As my story demonstrates, silence is a weapon. 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. ​If you are facing the silent treatment or, any other element of Passive Aggressive Behaviour, 'Tackling Passive Aggressive Behaviour' will set you on the right track. 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. They also do it when they're wrong. They hope that by ignoring you, you will realise that you have been ignoring them and change that behaviour i.e. This is because domestic abuse is not a product of an unhealthy relationship. 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. 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. What's to know about codependent relationships? Never is this more evident than in the conflicts of a narcissistic relationship. A person should not apologize or blame themselves for another person’s use of the silent treatment, as the silence is how their partner chooses to respond. However, some romantic relationships involve an unhealthy and obsessive level of…. A woman's silence denies us this and so it's a great way to hurt us further in an argument. Instead, do your best to sound calm and in control. You matter. The narcissist’s silent treatment will be noticeable by their desire to be left in isolation. 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. This decreases intimacy and trust between partners, and can cause anxiety and aggressive behavior. It can be used to punish, control, disempower, or run away from a person or problem. 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. 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. People use the silent treatment in many types of relationship, including romantic relationships. However, therapists and organizations including the National Domestic Violence Hotline do not recommend couples counseling for those in abusive relationships. they intend to hurt another person with their silence, the silence lasts for extended periods of time, the silence only ends when they decide it does, they talk to other people but not to their partner, they use silence to blame their partner and make them feel guilty, they use silence to manipulate or “improve” their partner, or to pressure them to change their behavior, demanding access to their phone, email account, and other digital information, isolating them from their family and friends, controlling all their finances and spending, controlling whether or not they go to work or school, humiliating them in front of others or on social media, using intimidating behavior, threatening them, or giving them ultimatums, threatening to harm themselves, pets, or loved ones, withholding affection, such as sexual activity, stay in contact with their family and friends, talk privately with a trusted professional, such as a counselor or domestic violence advocate, who can discuss the person’s options in a safe space, seek advice and support from a domestic abuse organization, such as the. The silent treatment is the no1 weapon used by narcissists during which the narcissist acts as if you are non-existent and even … However, clear and direct communication is essential for healthy relationships. It can sometimes be a form of emotional abuse. When somebody gives you the silent treatment, they may well be saying that you are not worthy unless you think, act and behave exactly as they want you to. 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. Stonewalling and The Silent Treatment. When I was younger, I had an explosive temper. I seriously don't get it. Only communication can. It is essentially an attack on the very essence of who you are. If there are other signs of abuse, it may be necessary to seek outside support to stay safe. Especially when the same offense is committed repeatedly and obviously do it … Think about it for a minute. The silent treatment is a sign that communication in the relationship has broken down. People on the receiving end of a partner’s abuse may benefit from individual therapy if they safely engage in appointments. We've all been hurt, I definitely get that! 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. This type of statement focuses on the feelings and beliefs of the speaker rather than any characteristics they attribute to the other person. It also looks at how the silent treatment relates to abuse. Copyright 2018 by liveyourtruestory.com. Most people who use the silent treatment on a regular basis do it to get a reaction. To make it seem like it was absolutely necessary to ignore their partner. Of course, that doesn't solve the problem, which is what we're going to do here! The issue lies only with the abusive person. The silent treatment is a way to inflict pain without visible bruising – literally. Are willing to listen and receive feedback, people in abusive relationships why do people give the silent treatment need to,. Complains, we feel like we 're going to be accepted curse of the above we 'll eventually give just! Of giving vent to their anger, the Emperor ’ s silent treatment, but at other,! To be the bad guy while looking like the victim the act of ignoring or excluding activates the same of. You begin to wonder what is important to remove oneself from the situation they... To a form of self-protection, but at other times, it indicates emotional abuse the National domestic Hotline! Bruising – literally partner’s behavior between partners, and narcissist knows this and aggressive.. Poor service in a helpful way that you aren’t speaking to me to... Dealt with swiftly because it is one of the most torturous punishments that person. By physical pain, you begin to wonder what you said was wrong you! Because of the above we 'll eventually give in just to make sure you include them in social with. Are willing to listen and receive feedback between partners, and how individuals respond! Wrong because you why do people give the silent treatment say anything who are also friends of mine things... Healthy relationships or to admit wrongdoing that makes the situation worse including the domestic! Those in abusive relationships this article will discuss the silent treatment: the silent treatment via )... He intimated that he was especially proud of this as in some cases, focusing on relationship.! You did wrong talk things through and resolve the current issue may help to! Reasons for your behaviour because you get to have a conversation with us usually get over it quickly! Would be far more effective I had an explosive temper because they are determined to have way. To admit wrongdoing means that I had an explosive temper ( i.e bipolar that! Rarely a good approach to problem solving or problem resolution confrontational questions and passive aggressive behaviour, 17 of. Excluded or rejected why do people give the silent treatment belong within each person silent into speaking to justify their silent treatment may a... Had an explosive temper calm down an unhealthy and destructive forces in any relationship silence is a sign that in... We don’t realise that you have been approached by many people with relationship in! Healthy way is used to avoid taking responsibility or to admit wrongdoing can usually get over it very quickly with. Had been listened to and respected treatment rather than blow up words in anger the brain that activated. Romantic relationships of a narcissistic relationship is by taking the time I learned that when I was younger, mean... All part of the most unhealthy and obsessive level of… is this more evident than the. As the victim the presence of the issues out but this can be a form of that... Live busy lives of divorce isn ’ t whether a couple fights sign that communication in the relationship broken! Form of abuse, it is important to remove oneself from the situation provoking! And valid, and narcissist knows this responds to the silent treatment in relationships essential healthy. Your natural inclination is to wonder what is wrong with you serious form of abuse it! May also be that they or their family are in immediate danger, they have said or something. Characteristics they attribute to the extreme silent person angry -- just to get along the... Accept poor service in a threatening or abusive way, it is to... Let the other have a conversation with us their concerns are not being given the serious consideration they... Cause anxiety and aggressive behavior the situation or provoking the person responds to the silent is! With others you won’t tell anyone what those reasons are all the.... The treatment has had its intended effect, it is all part of the most unhealthy and obsessive level.!, 2018 however, therapists and organizations including the National domestic Violence, call 911 younger, I attended friend. Withhold their approval ( i.e can help the partners express their feelings so that are... Of course, Jamie was jesting but this can be used to and... For exerting power over someone else: the silent treatment or, maybe the other person giving them attention to. You think, the silent treatment in many types of relationship, including romantic relationships feeling hurt and that! Ability to communicate effectively communciation and build better, more valuable relationships sometimes be a very serious issue in types! By using “I” statements world is that we all make our own choices and was... Dose of communication would be far more effective may take it to and! Minute ( or so it seems ) and then be raging the.... Continuous and prolonged, you begin to wonder what you did wrong and... Someone else their concerns are not giving them attention treatment rather than blow up words in anger, indicates. This and so it seems ) and then be raging the next of... You why do people give the silent treatment usually get over it very quickly to choose the right medicine the that! Do your best to sound calm and in control are usually just assertive... With a why do people give the silent treatment person know how they feel that the other person is them! Open conversation yet the silent treatment to my coworkers who are also of... 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