Don’t plead with your partner. How do I know if someone is trying to give me the silent treatment? To compromise, find your core concerns first. Perhaps that comes as a shock, or you’ve known all along that you’re in a bad relationship. :-) ). I’d also recommend that you talk it over with a counsellor or coach beforehand (it’s easy to connect with professional help these days). Being given the silent treatment is never a pleasant experience. No, the silent treatment is seldom a good idea. If you’re dating or are in a long-distance relationship and you’re being given the silent treatment, stop writing, texting or calling right away! If the silent treatment is taken too far, it’s becomes emotional abuse. If you notice yourself engaging in this behavior, approach the person and break the silence. What I do know is that it is a way to get you to do what someone wants by withholding love and attention from you—classic signs of narcissism. At best the silent treatment is an immature behavior used by spoiled brats and manipulative individuals. Or does your partner treat you this way regularly? They thought it a loveless and childish way of communicating, particularly, when they were being ignored for no apparent reason. Take a good look at what before the silent treatment begins, especially if the silent treatment is something that happens rather often. This is a somewhat less damaging scenario if it occurs in an essentially healthy relationship. Be ready for connection when they choose to reconnect. Since you’re one half of this relationship, I wonder whether you recognise some of these patterns in yourself too? They can also become overwhelmed by emotions and cut themselves off from others as a coping strategy. In my younger years, the silent treatment caused me massive amounts of pain and suffering. Are you’re often totally ignored and/or stonewalled? It’s a tactic designed to control your behaviour and is a sign of an abusive relationship. (Affiliate link, which means I may earn a commission but you don’t pay a penny more – in fact, in this case, you’ll get 10% off. Ultimately, the silent treatment is a form of emotional blackmail and manipulation and is not a healthy way to deal with problems in a relationship. So here are three steps you can undertake to encourage your partner to communicate in a more helpful way…. ", "Going through one, this helped to understand the subject much better. In that case, they’re likely to replicate that behaviour in adulthood – and they’ll expect you to bend over backwards to earn their forgiveness. Stop Silent Treatment. Get a new perspective, achievable advice and a clear way forward. If you have to be in the same room as the person you’re avoiding, keep your face emotionless. Remember: we’re all human and we all make mistakes. The silent treatment is a form of attention, power, and control over another person and is a passive-aggressive approach in communication. Sometimes, it’s an isolated incident that gets out of hand. Never believe that there is a way to successfully communicate to the narcissist that the silent treatment hurts you. They’ll ideally need to be calm and have an opportunity to reflect on it. All ‘Lifting Your Mood’ articles It may be that your partner really doesn’t understand how much damage they’re doing to your relationship by giving you the silent treatment. The silent treatment could mean that your friend is sick of your hurtful behavior and it's very possible they no longer want to be friends. However, it’s a passive-aggressive way of expressing your displeasure or anger while there’re far more helpful ways of communicating. It’s extremely frustrating when someone you love and care about is in silent treatment mode. Sometimes, it's not a good idea to use the silent treatment in a relationship. :-). All ‘Better Relationship’ articles While silence can be used to de-escalate a situation, it can also be used to manipulate others or make them feel powerless. If you aren’t necessarily in a close relationship with the person who is giving you the silent treatment, you may be able to just move on and act like nothing happened. If your partner seems to have stopped talking to you out of the blue or after a fight, clearly the two of you are having a conflict – even if you weren’t aware that you’d done something ‘wrong’. Basically, you don't say anything, not even if the person tries to engage you in conversation. Don’t know how to counter such treatment? Stonewalling is used to shut down the conversation when other strategies (e.g. In that case, you just need to come out and tell them that right now, you need to take some time to cool off before you say something you'll regret. About ads and affiliate links Sometimes the silent treatment is because people are too frightened to speak out and fear the repercussions of expressing a grievance. If you’re ready to move forward, say, "Can we take a moment to talk about this problem? Approved. via GIPHY. Probably the best way to handle the "silent treatment" is to step away from whomever is using it and go about having fun with friends & family while letting them continue to sulk. It's best to ignore the comments, not let them emotionally affect you, and move on. If you know where the person usually ends up at certain times of the day, do your best to be somewhere else and create distance between the 2 of you. The silent treatment is one of the most common warning signs of relationship problems because it’s so easy for couples to fall into the habit of doing. In an abusive relationship with a narcissist, the silent treatment and stonewalling are manipulative tactics embedded within the abuse cycle. They may have been subjected to it themselves… which will have given them first-hand experience of its effectiveness! Be sure to include a link to this article. “A child whose parent used the cold-shoulder treatment may well have been raised with other equally unhelpful parenting techniques. The primary characteristic of the silent treatment is not talking to the person. *) “University News Service.” Purdue University. You may, or may not, have done something ‘wrong’. State clearly that you’re prepared to talk when they’re ready, and leave it at that. They’ll know from personal experience that it can cause you to feel: A child whose parent used the cold-shoulder treatment may well have been raised with other equally unhelpful parenting techniques. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 648,551 times. About me However, when you’ve reached a stage of tit-for-tat in your relationship it’s time to get some relationship coaching, visit a couples therapist, end your relationship or get a divorce. If it is your family member, plan activities to do if you think you may be home at the same time. That's a better thing to say than "You're never home on time, and I hate it." He or she will avoid talking with you; if you start a conversation, their replies may be short, or they may end the conversation quickly. However, it can be beneficial to state that you are choosing to remain silent. For more help, including how to engage with the person when you’re done giving them the silent treatment, read on. By giving you the silent treatment, your partner wants you to know that he or she is displeased and is intent on punishing you. Normally, you want to just end all contact with such people, beyond niceties like how are you and something about the weather. The “silent treatment” is a way of describing how one partner in a relationship stops talking to the other, typically after a fight or disappointment. But refusing to talk to you until they decide you’ve been punished enough, is far from helpful in a loving relationship! I wouldn’t want for you to continue in a relationship where you’re unsafe. At worst, it is a weapon used by abusers to punish their victims. Respond to the silent treatment with calmness. Silence is passive. And when they get to understand the consequences of their stone-walling, they may be willing to work hard to avoid that strategy. And it’s never a helpful approach, either! When your partner has really hurt you, I can understand you’d retaliate. Just chuckle and say "Whatever" and leave it at that. Author and publisher, professional relationship therapist with 24 years experience. Fear not! And you may be able to agree with your partner that you can both use this approach in the future. Give him time, but stay on his radar. Silent treatment abuse is the key characteristic of a narcissist. Sitemap Let's talk about this later when we're both more calm.". Since it's your dad, try something like: "Look, with you it's either agree with you or get in trouble. “Being excluded or ostracized is an invisible form of bullying that doesn’t leave bruises, and therefore we often underestimate its impact,” *). Either way, I’d like you to read my articles Signs of emotional abuse and How to know you’re in an abusive relationship. After that, break contact by removing them from your friend contact lists on social media, ceasing to have conversations with them and only being polite as required (such as if paired for classwork or if you have to participate in group work at work). If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. 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