The Silent Treatment: What is It?
The Silent Treatment...
In relationships, the silent treatment might manifest when one partner becomes withholding in the middle of an argument and begins refusing to engage in any way to further the discussion. This can be seen as a form of emotional abuse.
The silent treatment might be used in this way: “a partner may start the argument with a complaint about something their spouse has said or done.
The other partner then refuses to engage in the conversation, ignoring the original complaint and any follow-up comments. The silent treatment can leave the first partner feeling as though they did something wrong, but not knowing what that was.”
This form of emotional abuse is a way to manipulate the argument and gain control over the conversation. Because the abused partner doesn’t know what they did wrong, they will often begin to worry about their own behavior or try pleading with their abuser in an effort to appease them.
This furthers the person’s desire for power and control because it enables them to keep the argument going for as long as they like, while also being able to ignore any of their partner’s attempts at trying to resolve things.
In addition, this form of emotional abuse is a passive-aggressive way to manipulate your partner into doing what you want or simply making them feel bad about their choice to not participate in the argument.
This is because they’re likely to get upset from being ignored or feel guilty for making their partner so upset that they stop talking to them, and this is precisely what the abuser wants.
WHAT IS THE SILENT TREATMENT?
There are many reasons someone might try this strategy. The silent treatment can be employed as a means of showing high self-control, or not being affected by the level of conversation with other people.
Others see it as a rational reaction to a problem or conversation, rather than an emotional one.
Stonewalling is one more form of silence and an attempt to keep other people out. One difference is that stonewalling generally happens in the course of a conversation, while the silent treatment could last weeks, months, or even years.
Stonewalling may also be a response to outside stressors, while the silent treatment is designed to end or prevent future arguments.
When someone is purposefully ignoring you, it can be tricky to know how to react. Stonewalling tactics can directly hurt someone’s feelings and cause them to feel insignificant in a relationship. The silent treatment is seldom used as retaliation against a specific action.
The silent treatment is not always a sign of a troubled relationship, but it may indicate problems in relationships with friends or coworkers.
In friendship situations, silent treatment can be used to cover up hurt feelings or anger when the other person has done something wrong. It can also be used in an attempt to gain attention from the person being ignored.
In other situations, like an employer/employee relationship, it may be used to control when or how the employee does their job. It is common for people being ignored in these situations to break down and confront their boss about what they are doing wrong.
If you think that someone close to you is using this tactic against you, there are many things that can be done if it gets too difficult to deal with.
The first thing a person does once they realize that they have been given the silent treatment should be to talk to the individual who has gone silent on them right away.
It’s not necessary for the other person to apologize or admit wrongdoing, but simply talking through their concerns before miscommunications take root might help things get back on track.
There is also a chance that the silent treatment has only been employed to get under your skin. If this is the case, you could try to do something outside of their expectations in order to break the cycle and see if it makes them talk.
For example, if they are ignoring your phone calls waiting for you to go away, don’t acknowledge their silence and follow through by leaving them alone. It might only be a matter of time before they break the silence, too.
You may also want to consider ending the relationship with this person altogether if you have tried everything else.
If someone is prompting you into being hurt in one way or another, it can be difficult to put up with for a long. It’s a sad situation to be in, but sometimes it’s necessary to remove yourself from toxic relationships that keep you down.
SIGNS OF THE SILENT TREATMENT
Most people are aware of the silent treatment when they are on the receiving end of it from their partner. They know what it looks like too – being ignored, purposely left out of conversations, and intentionally abandoned.
The same types of behaviors can appear in relationships with other loved ones who are not intimate partners: parents, siblings, or close friends for instance.
But there are also less obvious signs of the silent treatment that you may not recognize at first glance; in fact, it’s sometimes hard to spot even when you’re looking for them.
To better understand what these signs look like and how they might apply to your own relationships – romantic or otherwise – consider the following examples of behaviors that can be interpreted as a form of the silent treatment.
1. You’re never invited to family events: For some, staying away from family members is a natural reaction when feeling hurt by them, but what if you don’t even know that you’ve been excluded until well after the fact?
It’s common for people dealing with unresolved issues toward loved ones to exclude them from family gatherings, but there are also those who do this without giving thought to the consequences.
2. You’re not invited to their social gatherings: When feeling upset with someone you love, it’s common to withdraw emotionally as a way of coping with the pain.
However, when withdrawing comes at the sacrifice of your loved one’s ability to enjoy an event or spend time on something they value – like being included in a work party – it can be interpreted as a form of the silent treatment.
3. Friends and co-workers don’t give you information about your loved one: If you’re generally kept out of the loop about what your partner is doing or planning, that might explain why you feel like he/she is avoiding you.
Maybe your loved one isn’t necessarily doing this on purpose, but it’s a common consequence of people who aren’t communicating openly and honestly with one another.
4. Your loved one doesn’t contact you when he/she is away: When dealing with unresolved issues toward a loved one, there are times when staying in touch is not as easy for one party as it should be.
For instance, if your friend or partner is dealing with work-related stress and needs some distance from personal relationships in order to focus on her own feelings, that’s something you wouldn’t necessarily know to look out for unless you asked directly.
5. You’re never included in important decisions: The silent treatment doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships – it can also be applied toward friends and family members.
When your loved one likes the idea of having you at his/her side when making decisions he/she values but isn’t ready to include you in them quite yet, that could mean you’re receiving the silent treatment by default.
Why Narcissists Love The Silent Treatment
Let’s be completely honest here, The abusive tactic of the silent treatment is meant to frighten you when your partner will refuse to speak with you for days, hours, weeks, or even months. This type of behavior can cause serious emotional and psychological damage if you don’t realize what is going on.
For many it is really hard to believe they are in such an abusive situation, this is just one of the many signs that you are in an abusive relationship with a narcissist. This means they will do whatever it takes to mess with your head in order to keep control over you. And, this also includes things like gaslighting and emotional abuse tactics.
If you are dealing with a covert narcissist, they might latch on not just to the discard phase but also give you the silent treatment.
Usually, the silent treatment is meant to push your buttons. They know that if they keep doing this, you will get upset about it and when you finally confront them then they can play victim and claim that “I have done nothing wrong.”
When dealing with someone like this, it’s hard to stand up for yourself because you’re too busy wasting your time trying to figure out why they’re doing it.
For some people, this is a way of protecting themselves and their partners when they feel that something bad has happened. They expect having the silent treatment will make them feel better and that their partner will eventually give up on making things right with them.
Unfortunately, while they may be seeing it as self-protection, they are actually harming themselves and their relationships.
* If you find yourself using the silent treatment on a regular basis or to control your partner’s behavior there is likely an issue within the relationship that needs to be addressed. Using silence as a way of punishing your partner for perceived wrongs can lead to real problems.
If you find that this is your go-to method for addressing issues, consider seeking the help of a couples counselor or family therapist to work through these issues and learn alternative methods of expressing yourself.
* A silent treatment can cause significant damage within relationships when it becomes the norm rather than an occasional occurrence. When one partner feels they don’t need to hear anything from the other and they have not heard an apology or other reasonable explanation for why something happened, it can hurt trust within the relationship.
If one partner repeatedly doesn’t return phone calls or respond to others’ attempts at communication with them it can make people feel abandoned, which is a strong emotion that can impact relationships in a negative manner. Better yet if you feel your partner is a Narcissistic Psychopath, You should leave immediately.
Why does the Narcissist use Silent Treatment?
Now, you might wonder what they are trying to do when they don’t talk to you. It’s not about making you crazy from lack of talking or being bored. It’s about playing on your worst fears. ** Narcissists are extremely emotionally immature and in many ways, they do not have the emotional ability to act any other way, therefore communication is just another weakness of the Narcissist**
And I’m betting that one of your worst fears is being alone in the world with no one who helps you or supports you and who just stays with you. you see we all carry wounds, and narcissists enjoy playing off the pain of others. If you are reading this, you can probably remember multiple times this has happened in the past.
So, when the narcissist just drops you by ignoring and belittling and devaluing you, they are doing this because it makes you more dependent on them. It is their hope that they can make you feel bad enough that you will be forced to submit to them and give them what they want.
Narcissists often like to give people the silent treatment. But it is not good for sensitive people, because they are easily hurt and respond to the emotions around them by trying to make things better. The reaction is what makes the narcissist thrive, the bigger the emotional reaction, the more they feel godlike in their small minds.
(If you are going through this with a Narcissist, sign up for a session with me and we will break all the barriers keeping you in this loop, of dysfunction)>>>> Click Here!
Narcissistic Abuse is at an All-Time High! Don't get it twisted, The Silent Treatment is Abuse!
The silent treatment is very hard to do. It makes you feel bad and it hurts. If you are codependent, then you might be afraid of making the person angry again, so you’ll try harder to fix the problem.
But the truth is that this is what they want – they want someone who will change their behavior when things get tough for them. They will only stop using the silent treatment when it suits them or if they need something from you.
If you want to improve your self-esteem, make sure that you set boundaries for yourself, and know that you are worthy of love and respect.
The silent treatment is the narcissist’s way of trying to control. But don’t wait for them to change because they probably won’t. You will have to step up for yourself and want a different life than what you have been drawn to.
How to Cope With The Silent Treatment:
When to Get Concerned
For narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths the silent treatment is simply all about control. They have no empathy, no guilt, and no remorse. If you have gotten on the receiving end of a narcissist’s silent treatment it doesn’t mean that he or she does not care about you anymore. It means they are trying to control you! No relationship can sustain this type of behavior and it’s best you escape and create your best life!! Educate yourself on the subject of Narcissism (I highly recommend the book psychopath free), or seek a great coach that has been there and understands what you are experiencing.
I hope that this article has helped you to better understand what the silent treatment is and how people along with Narcissists may use the silent treatment. For people who are sensitive like me, I understand the damage this can cause and know that you are not alone in this experience.
To leave this article on a high note: If you’re going through the silent treatment with a narcissistic partner, don’t wait for them to change – take action! Sign up for sessions with me so we can break all the barriers keeping you in this cycle of dysfunction. You deserve to create the best life possible while on this earth! You are overflowing with worthiness, trust that and you will see, there is another world out there!