Have you ever received the cold shoulder? If you think that you have ever gotten into a situation where you couldn’t get your friend, partner or sibling to talk to you or acknowledge your presence, then you have definitely received it. And everyone who has experienced it knows how much it hurts. Also, I think, we all have given it to someone, at some point in our lives.
In this piece of article, I will be sharing what silent treatment is and why people give the silent treatment. I will also be discussing why this is more common in males and how silences kill relationships too. Along with all of this, I will be giving you some tips as to how to confront someone who is giving you the silent treatment or how to deal with it and make it stop. By the end of this article, you will be all prepared to stop this mental abuse and take a better step hopefully. Let’s dig in.
What’s the Silent Treatment and why people go with it?
If you ask me what the silent treatment is, I would certainly term the cold shoulder as the silent treatment. It can happen in almost all types of relationships and is not confined until love relations only. Your best friend or your random group of friends can also give you the silent treatment. Even your colleagues.
Now, the trouble with this type of situation is that most people are unable to comprehend why the next person is giving them the cold shoulder. There are various reasons, why people give the silent treatment. Everyone might have their own reasoning for it. However, the most common cause of it is the extremity of emotions that the person doesn’t understand how to respond or deal with it. For instance, you might be too angry with your partner to even argue with them so you just decide to shut up and stay silent.
Mostly when people are quiet, due to a heated up argument or an emotion, it fades away as the anger and frustration do. Thus, it is not always “intentional.”
On the other hand, a lot of people believe that silence is the best revenge and they tend to get cold with their partner or friend intentionally. This is basically abusive for the mind of the person who is tolerating it. Unintentional silence treatment fades away within a day or two or maybe a week.
But intention silence is the best killer for mental health and sadly, a lot of people indulge in it on purpose. It is best to not tolerate intentional silent treatment for long because it really affects your self-esteem and hinders your mental peace as well.
But let’s get into the details, shall we? If silence the worst, then why do we use it? Here are some reasons why people give silent treatment and you might be able to realize that you have done it too in your life. If you have and you find your reason here, then do share it with me in the comments.
Not wanting to “word out” what we feel:
This is the most common reason why people give silent treatment and sadly, I have been there too and I still am. I want the other person to know that they are hurting me, without me having to word it out to them. The struggle is real and this is unintentional silent treatment but it doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt the other person. Silence kills relationships and doing it because you don’t want to work out what you feel is pretty bad.
So you need to look at this positively. Humans cannot read your mind and if you are unable to express how you feel, they won’t be able to solve the issue for you. The silence, on the other hand, will prolong the situation and create huge gaps that will be hard to overcome. Sometimes, you just have to make an effort and tell the person that you have hurt me or that I didn’t like what you said. Even when you prefer protecting your mind and feelings from the argument; it is important. This form of self-protection might seem like a great solution but it is not.
This usually happens due to a lack of healthy communication habits. You are not used to communicating with people openly and healthily which makes you believe that silence is the best remedy when it really is not. It usually comes from a family background too where youngsters see the silence game as an everyday technique. But the reality is that is the worst coping technique in a relationship or in any bond, overall.
Trying to gain power-feeling scared:
Another reason why people give the silent treatment is to gain power and control. We never know what will happen when we share what we feel. We cannot control the reaction that we will get which makes us a bit vulnerable. This can be scary for a lot of people who do not like being vulnerable. Thus, for anyone who is scared to express because they do not have any control over the response they will get; silent treatment starts seeming too normal. But yet again, it is not normal. It is not a good coping method at all. Just remember that you have no control over others but expressing your feelings is important and it might be the best thing to do.
Processing your feelings:
A lot of people tend to go back into their space to process their feelings. They know that the silent treatment hurts but they also are unable to understand what they are feeling and why they are feeling so. Therefore, processing your feelings might make you go back into a space of isolation. But it is important to bounce back from it as soon as possible because you don’t want to hurt the other person with your silence for long.
You don’t want the blame:
Now, this is an intentional silent treatment where you know that you can solve an issue by accepting your mistake but well, you don’t want to do that. This is because you don’t want the blame and by staying quiet, you make the other person feel guilty and they start assuming that the issue is with them. If you are pouring your heart out to someone and they just don’t give you the response you want; you start feeling like the drama queen/king. Whatever the argument might be about, staying silent just because you are avoiding an argument or you don’t want the blame is a poor act of humanity. And it is best that you ditch it.
Intentionally Hurting the other person:
This is the most inhumane reason, why people give the silent treatment but alas, we have such morons in our society. Giving someone the cold shoulder, deliberately, is the worst thing ever. Some people believe in punishing the other person by staying quiet. This is where silence kills relationships.
In my opinion, anyone who deliberately stays quiet, knowing that you are hurting, is not good enough for you. Try changing it or talking it out with them but if they remain persistent; it is best to let them go. The intentional silent treatment is the last thing to tolerate.
So now that we have all the possible silent treatment reasons and why people opt for it, we can move on to the consequences of it and then we will discuss about how to get out of silent treatment or how to handle the silent treatment.
The consequences of the Silence treatment
It is clear by now that silence is a killer and it is pretty obvious that the consequences of it will be pretty bad too. Here are the possible consequences of enduring silent treatment for long:
- Enduring the cold shoulder for a long time can topple over endless emotions in a person. It cause extreme anxiety and trauma. The feeling of not being acknowledged leaves a person feeling super anxious which makes them stressed and depressed. In long terms, enduring this behavior can make an induvial an anxiety patient.
- A lot of people do not know how to handle silent treatment and this builds up psychological stress in them. Their brain produces stress hormones rapidly and makes it tough for them to fight the depressive feelings. This also tends to bring their self-esteem down the aisle and destroy someone’s mental wellbeing to an extent where they do not know how to handle themselves. This situation is scientifically termed as
- Many people who learn how to handle silent treatment, decide to overcome the situation and take control over the stress that it causes them. This is where a person changes completely and the person giving you the cold shoulder, probably ends up saying, you have changed a lot. But you have certainly changed for all the right reasons and this is probably for the best. Just make sure that the change is for the better and not bitter.
How to handle the silence treatment?
Now, if you are the one handling the silent treatment from someone, then you are obviously done by now that brings you here. So let’s begin.
The first step should always be about them. This might sound crazy but you should try talking it out with your partner or your friend. A gentle approach is always the best. This is best for people who know that their partner or friend is not usually this way and it is not a habitual pattern.
Sit down and talk to them because there might be something bothering them. You can also make it about you and discuss it with them as to how it is affecting you. Have a conversation about how you want to resolve the issue and silence is a killer and it won’t make things better for you.
If this works for you, great! This means that the silent treatment is not a habitual pattern in your relationship and kudos to that. On the other hand, for people who always have to endure the cold shoulder, try to avoid them. This is certainly the hardest thing to do and the easiest to write down.
But distract yourself. People who are in a habit of giving the silent treatment usually don’t have the capacity to handle it on their own. Thus, head out or read a book or watch a movie. Do anything that distracts you. Pretend to be completely fine and don’t give in. depriving them of the attention that they are seeking is the best remedy for silence treatment givers.
But this can be really hard and if the situation doesn’t get any better; you need to stand up for yourself. Let your partner or friend know that you have had enough. Set limitations as to what kind of behavior you won’t tolerate from this day onwards. You can even try a couple-counseling if your partner is willing to make it work. If not, then you have to walk out whether it is a love relationship of a friendship bond. Know your worth and do not sacrifice your mental well-being for the sake of saving it all alone.
Things you should avoid doing:
There are somethings that you must avoid doing when handling silent treatment. It might seem hard but it is important because you don’t want to mess things up.
- Do not respond in anger as it can steer things in the wrong direction.
- Do not beg the person to talk to you because this will give them the attention and satisfaction that they want.
- Do not apologize just to end the silent treatment. If you are not at fault; you don’t have to be sorry either because they might be running away from taking the blame.
- Do not keep threatening the person that you will walk out of the relationship because, at one point, it won’t make a difference to them. Save it for the big final move, if they do not change.
How to Stop the Silence treatment?
This is for people who are stuck in the loop of being inexpressive and unintentionally give the other person the silent treatment; you can overcome it! I have been there and I have unintentionally sealed my lips so many times that I hurt people without even knowing. In the name of self-protection, silence kills a lot of your beautiful relationships and you need to deal with it before it is too late. You can do it! Trust me!
Acknowledge what you feel:
The very first step to put a stop at this habit of yours is to name your emotions. Acknowledge your feelings rather than just avoiding them. You can simply start a conversation with someone by saying that I know I am not being very communicative in the past few days. Acknowledge what you are feeling instead of running away from it.
Acknowledge the other person’s feelings too:
It is important to take into consideration the feelings of your partner too. Think about how your silent behavior is hurting them. If you care enough, you will make an effort. You can stir a conversation gradually by starting with honey I know how my silence puts you off and I am working on it but I apologize for the behavior and then you can continue to discuss your issue.
Make sure that you do think about whatever you are putting the next person through which you are quiet. This helps a lot if you love them.
This is really hard for people who are always giving the silent treatment but if you have decided to overcome this habit; you have to make an effort too. Suggest the next steps that can be taken to help or improve the situation. This can also be done while you are handling or confronting someone who gives you the silent treatment always.
You can easily talk to them and let them know that you are trying to understand your feelings and put them all together. If they suggest some ideas, then try to start talking about how you feel and begin communicating. Communication after the silent treatment is very hard but trying can help overcome the issue faster.
Now, these tricks and tips that I have given you in the above two situations might work for you and your partner/friend but they are not going to work for anyone who already understands that silence is a killer. If they know how bad it is and they still manage to put you through it, then they might not end it. The only way to solve this issue is to walk out of the relationship then because you deserve better.
Does the silent treatment work on Guys?
A lot of ladies want to know that does the silent treatment work on guys or not. This is probably because they are done enduring it and want to give boys a taste of their own medicine. But the bad news here is that it is very rare. Silent treatment might not work on your man.
Immature boys might get hurt by it or show a reaction but a gentleman won’t. He would prefer sitting and talking about the problem out with you. If he is the one always giving you the silent treatment then it might be unusual for him to experience it from your side.
On the other hand, if your man always talks to you and sinuses things with you, then there is absolutely no reason to give him the cold shoulder. This childish behavior is not supported by most of the men and they do not approve of it at all. Likewise, if you are in a relationship with a strong and independent woman, she won’t tolerate the silent treatment either and won’t show much of a reaction to it. Thus, communication is the key to guys. Keep it flowing!!
SILENCE KILLS RELATIONSHIPS
No matter how strong your relationship is; nobody can tolerate silent treatment for a long time. Everyone has their limits and once they reach it; they can collapse or end the bond in all. Silence kills relationships. Silence is the worst coping technique to try with your partner or friend as it can make you lose the people you love.
There are certain situations that require you to be silent but never prolong the silence so much that the gap becomes difficult to bridge. If you are willing to handle your relationship healthily and give in the habit of silence, then you can try online relationship counseling as well and breakthrough the habit.
To Sum Up
Silence is the best revenge for a lot of people but if you love and care for the people who are surrounding you, then this is the worst coping method to opt for. No matter what silent treatment reasons you have; it is not that right way to deal with issues. Make sure that you learn how to deal with silent treatment. If you have been enduring it for a long time then you must know how to confront someone who is giving you the silent treatment. Sit and talk and it is best to set limitations from the scratch so that everyone should know what kind of behavior you won’t tolerate.
People who give the silent treatment can also deal with the situation and come out of it if they want to. It is okay to express and let your feeling out without the fear of what the reaction might be. Acknowledge what you feel so that you can respect the feelings of others as well. Silent treatment is a killer and you need to steer clear of it if you want to flourish healthy relationships and bonds.
I hope this helped you! And remember that you are worth beautiful things and bonds and you don’t deserve to feel low and worthless at all. Have a nice day.