This is especially true the longer it goes on. Having the knowledge I have now about it I recognise that it is a way to not face your problems and fearing confrontation. Refusing to listen, talk or respond to a partner is sometimes called “the silent treatment.” Many people cut off their partners emotionally to hurt, punish, or manipulate them. It can also be quite difficult to overcome when a safe space has not been created between yourself (the silent treatment giver) and others or your partner (reciever). Also, you can always say to someone, "I am not ready to speak about that right now. Silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse. And this is somewhat true- bodily harm and injury is a form of abuse known as physical abuse, but there are two other types of abuse that are just as horrible, if not worse: physical and emotional abuse. Silent treatment abuse is abuse like any other in a relationship. The Silent Treatment Is Emotional Abuse It sounds like it generates some distress for the people in your life, too. Nina first experienced Ray's silence when they were dating. Some people even refuse to acknowledge their partners’ existence for hours, days, or weeks on end, making the partners feel as if they are somehow less than human, like a ghost: Nina could never tell what would set off her husband, Ray, and make him refuse to speak with her. Not only do they demonstrate immaturity, meanness, and a lack of emotional intelligence, but they can have serious consequences for the other person. Silent Treatment - A passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. It is usually used to express contempt or disappr… Fatigue and insomnia are also frequent complaints. That would be an interesting read. Silence can be healthy when tempers are high and a pause is needed before something exacerbates the situation. They think of it almost as an educational tool. I know people who learned to be rather quiet because they moved from one country to another and were mocked for their accents, or because they have a speech impediment and it just seemed easier, when young, to say little. Ignoring another person as a form of punishment only destroys relationships. Along with the emotional roller-coaster, it tears down your sense of self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Use of the silent treatment implies a prior conflict. This is crazy-making because when confronted, the person acting cold will deny it. It is designed to (1) place the abuser in a … It is manifested by one partner who completely ignores the other: going through their typical day as if the other person were invisible or absent, even if they are standing right in front of them or talking to them. The silent treatment is a brutal form of abuse—one that pins you against your own mind. A narcissist’s silent treatment is one of their favourite games of mind control. Studies have been done that show that feeling excluded or ignored can cause changes in the brain. © 2020 Exploring your mind | Blog about psychology and philosophy. You tend to think…. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? Let's talk at X o'clock on X day." The best predictor of divorce isn’t whether a couple fights – arguments are inevitable – but how a couple fights. The victim must know that a silent treatment abuser thrives on observing the negative effect they have on their target. They are, however, very wrong. Many abuse survivors say they hated the silent treatment more than the insults or yelling. It is a way to control and to create a reaction, bringing out the worst in you. Realise that you are worthy of a conversation, you do not have to put up with childish behaviour and if the abuser does not start communicating, then walk away. Exploring this communication style with a therapist who understands trauma and communication might bring you some relief. What Really Goes on in the Mind of a Cheater? For me, silent treatment before I knew what it was, really was a defense mechanism against others. Some very common symptoms are headaches and digestive problems. Identifying abuse is easy when it's physical. Articles and opinions on happiness, fear and other aspects of human psychology. That is to say, it can profoundly damage the person on the receiving end. I would love to see an article that highlights the perspective of persons who have deliberately and unknowly given or struggled with silent treatment. If one person uses the silent treatment on a regular basis, it … This is exactly what makes this strategy an unhealthy way to deal with conflict. When they were shouted at, at least they knew what was on the abuser’s mind, and could better assess their own and their children’s safety. Rejecting: In an intimate relationship, physical refusal of affection is a subtle form of rejection. When it’s used regularly as a power play, it can make you feel rejected or excluded. Reggie often exploded in anger following a period of silence. The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse typically employed by people with narcissistic tendencies. What to do if you are subject to silent treatment abuse. Children's Drawings: A Window to Their Inner World, Children with Emotionally Immature Parents, The Benefits Of Witnessing Acts Of Kindness, Our Fear of Being Single Makes Us Conformists, Cyclothymic Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment, The Day My Child Lost His Smile: Child Abuse, Frédéric Chopin, A Biography of the Piano Poet. The silent treatment is another form of abuse and should be addressed. It makes the other person feel anxious. The silent treatment is a strategy frequently used by people who appear to possess great self-control and claim to be more rational than emotional. The silent treatment is a common punishment in many relationships. Research has shown that the act of ignoring or excluding activates the same area of the brain that is activated by physical pain. No one should passively allow themselves to be ignored by someone else, at least not without an explanation of their behavior. These habits can become part of their way of being in the world. When there is a problem between two people, the only healthy thing is to engage in dialogue to find solutions. Yes, the silent treatment is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse.Used as a way to manipulate and control the victim, it can also be used as part of a strategy for psychological abuse that can cause complex post-traumatic distress disorder (C-PTSD) in its victims over time. Scientists have proven that this zone is activated when something receives the silent treatment. How I Controlled Communication With My Narcissistic Mother, 10 Words or Phrases That Convey Intelligence and Nuance, Psychology Today © 2020 Sussex Publishers, LLC, What to Do About Vaccine Hesitancy During COVID-19, New Findings Reveal Benefits of Ketamine for Depression, Ketamine Combats Depression via Unique Molecular Mechanisms, The Strongest Predictors of Sexual Desire. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Over the years, Nina learned to cope with Ray's cruel silences, continuing to prepare his meals and wash and fold his clothes even as he ignored her for long periods. Know if it is normal, and should you be dealing with it anymore or not… If you are wondering whether silent treatment is a form of abuse, you are either being victimized by this sort of behavior, or are inflicting it upon the people who love you the most. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Ignoring someone is a way of accusing or pointing the finger at them in an indirect way. The silent treatment involves actions such as: refusing to speak to someone, not acknowledging what they say, pretending that you can’t hear them, distancing yourself or avoiding their company as if they were contagious, ignoring their express requests or needs, or any kind of behavior that seeks to make a person feel invisible or invalid. Sometimes the silent treatment is used by two people who love each other, such as romantic partners, good friends, siblings, etc. It was a way to not appear vulnerable and weak, including not being able to manage my emotions while confronting problems. So in others words silence speaks your pain and then the internal battle begins with self about the situation which caused the silence in the first place. If the situation is severe and prolonged, serious problems can arise, such as an increase in blood pressure, diabetes, or even illnesses like cancer. The silent treatment can be a mind game for some people, and in some cases can be used as a form of psychological manipulation. At the same time, it is related not only to an expression of passive violence but also to a concealed strategy of psychological abuse. In addition to this, they need…, A lot is said about stress and the devastating impact it can have on your health. The Silent Treatment: A Narcissist’s Trick of the Trade of Emotional Abuse If you have encountered a narcissist in love, work or family, then you surely have experienced the dreaded silent treatment, a tactic used by psychological abusers (including extreme narcissists) to hold … Silent treatment abuse, it can be argued, is more abusive than physical harm as it can be considered a form of torture the longer it goes on. However, when silence is used as a method of control or punishment, it becomes abuse. The Narcissist Silent Treatment is a classic treatment used by the Covert Narcissist. Some victims have noted that the more worn down and miserable they get, the happier their abuser becomes. I hope this clarification helps. This … Taking a time-out should lead to improved communication and collaboration, whereas the silent treatment is an assertion of dominance and control. "What do you mean? Seek out a professional. Silent treatment is the refusal to communicate verbally and electronically with someone who is willing to communicate. The silent treatment is emotional abuse. Why does silent treatment have to be about abuse and control? Those who have never been subjected to this form of abuse will find it difficult to understand the utter devastation caused by what is sometimes known as mental murder. After all, there is a vast majority of individuals who only consider bodily harm as abuse. As with many tactics, which are defensive and a result of insecurity, the use of this one shows very poor communication skills. By making a date to have the discussion at a later point, you are indicating to the person that you know it is important to address their concerns, you just need more time to do so. Silent treatment abuse is a passive aggressive method of gaining control and having your own way. We all know someone who has drastic…, There are articles you'd rather not have to write because words hurt more than we'd like to believe. Silence and distance only generate more problems and, in the end, solve absolutely nothing. The silent treatment can be defined as the following: a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval, and contempt is … Don't get me wrong there are individuals out there who deliberately practice silent treatment knowing the effects it has on others and the control it gives them over others as well. Completely altruistic and selfless actions awaken feelings of peace and…, Nowadays, romantic relationships have changed. According to the basic definition, "Silent treatment (often referred to as the silent treatment) is refusal to communicate verbally with someone who desires the communication." International: Português | Türkçe | Deutsch | 日本語 | Italiano | Español | Suomi | Français | Polski | Dansk | Norsk bokmål | Svenska | Nederlands | 한국어. A zone of the human brain called the “anterior cingulate cortex” is responsible for detecting different levels of pain. How to Deal with the Emotional Abuse of the Silent Treatment. In your case, it sounds like you are unhappy with your use of silence as a coping mechanism. How silent treatment is presented at times can be quite daunting, as these individuals can be seen in a really negative and hopeless light. PS. Ignoring a person means that they are worth nothing, that they don’t matter. A person could be quiet due to anxiety, or because of a current or past relationship where it was unsafe to speak up. The silent treatment is a punishment common in relationships, when one partner completely ignores the other, going through their day as if they were no longer there. In cases where a partner is unable to change, it is safer to step away from the fire than it is to put it out. One way to cope with silent treatment abuse … 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 Fyodor Dostoyevsky's quotes are the true reflection of a writer that had a stormy life, along with sensitivity and an out-of-this-world…, Children with emotionally immature parents suffer deep scars. They may be "correct" in their responses, not outwardly mean, but still treat their partner like someone they barely know, or like a neighbor or colleagues at work. It’s as if they are losing control and this causes a lot of stress. In fact, sometimes there can be psychological abuse without physical abuse, but not the other way around. It's so unfortunate as well that many of us find ourselves having to resort to such a poor coping mechanism to protect ourselves. The autoimmune system is also affected, primarily because of the high levels of stress that the situation causes. This can have a … Engaging in this behavior is an attempt to control and harass and it doesn’t represent anything positive for a relationship. Victims of this type of behavior tend to feel extremely distressed. It is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse. And no one should try to resolve a conflict using the silent treatment. Narcissists feel they must be in the control seat over you… Narcissists have an attitude of entitlement and superiority, which perpetuates a condescending attitude. Sometimes, however, the victim of this type of behavior is not aware of the conflict, precisely because the other party has not expressed it openly. The silent treatment is characterized by a group of behaviors with the objective of ignoring the other. For this we recommend that you contact a reliable specialist. We see it in all types of relationship: couples, friends, parents and children, relatives, etc. They can’t understand what they are doing wrong or why exactly the other person is treating them in this way. Avoid letting the silent treatment get the better of you. The silent treatment is a strategy frequently used by people who appear to possess great self-control and claim to be more rational than emotional. Tips for Responding to the Silent Treatment. Sara said that the hostile withholding made her extremely anxious; she redoubled her efforts to make Reggie feel better, silencing her own needs and desires. Some abusers engage in what may appear to be a “milder” form of the silent treatment, in which they do not maintain total silence but still cut off their partners emotionally: Sara knew when her husband, Reggie, was angry because he would put on “a serious face” that communicated to her that she should be especially submissive and not approach him. I really like how you explain that the silent treatment is due to that person's problem not yours. Instead, now we…, The primary characteristic of cyclothymic disorder is a chronically fluctuating state of mind. None of these situations is an attempt to control of manipulate a partner. He spoke to her without smiling and with a cold, impersonal tone. People who haven’t been taught to care effectively for others in a household will use the … If the silent treatment is taken too far, it’s becomes emotional abuse. Voted up. Many people disregard the indiscriminate types of abuse - thank you for exposing this topic. These types of behavior are quite harmful. Sometimes people think that if they use the silent treatment, the other person will change their behavior or do what the other person wants them to do. They also feel anger, fear, and guilt. Best wishes. I have read many articles and watched many speeches on this topic and after reading your article I am still asking myself as a person who battles with this learnt habit called 'silent treatment' why it is constantly being referred to as abuse and a means of controlling your partner or others. Taking a time-out should lead to improved communication and collaboration, whereas the silent treatment is an assertion of dominance and control. Silent treatment is a form of abuse Being given the silent treatment can have torturous consequences says Dr Colm O’Connor, in his weekly column The silent treatment is when your spouse or partner angrily shuts-down and disengages from you. There is no shouting or hitting, but there is plenty of violence. You're imagining it!" Let’s begin with a reminder of what drives narcissistic behavior. She knew that Reggie was deliberately trying to make her feel bad. Many children end up taking on adult responsibilities and they grow up…, Witnessing acts of kindness has a great influence on people. I would like to thank you, Anneisha, for drawing our attention to the fact that being quiet is not necessarily the same as the Silent Treatment. The Effects of Hyper Parenting on Children. When a victim is in a relationship with a person who causes the above mentioned distress, her mind and … I do understand the effects of this on the person on the recieving end but not all individuals who battle with this problem sets out to diliberately harm their partner or others in some why. Things become even more unhealthy when all this is happening in a cruel and cold silence, which the victim doesn’t know how to interpret. Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship. Once your identity has been sufficiently eroded, the psychopath can use this final technique without any chance that you’ll leave them. If you or someone you care about is being subject to the silent treatment, the following steps may help: It is worth noting that sometimes counselors teach people who have been abusive to take a “time-out” so they can calm down and gather their thoughts before reengaging with their partners. Now it's not that important to create a family and have kids. In general, the silent treatment is a manipulation tactic that can leave important issues in a relationship unresolved. Hostile Withholding Is a Form of Gaslighting, When angered by their partner, some people turn a little cold. Stone-cold silence can reinforce feelings of vulnerability and fear. It may range from just sulking to malevolent abusive controlling behaviour.It may be a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. This is why this it is considered a form of abuse. Some people just need a little more time before they speak up. But ever…, The effects of hyper parenting are mainly reflected in a child's self-esteem and their ability to establish healthy relationships with…, Frédéric Chopin, also known as the piano poet by his contemporaries, had a contradictory personality that combined two great virtues:…, Every area of science needs methods and instruments in order for it to advance. If self-improvement fails, see a professional therapist, because the silent … Or—in another phrase that is often used to convince victims that they are the problem, "You're hysterical over nothing.". A person who is the target of the silent treatment can feel very intense negative emotions. Being ignored is especially difficult for a person who is isolated by abuse and coercive control, and depends on the abuser’s approval to feel worthwhile and safe. A way to manipulate someone, not talking to you without giving you cause is a way to control you. 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. You might be thinking that calling the silent treatment abuse is somewhat harsh. Learn other signs of this type of abuse in “ How to Recognize Emotional Abuse. You declare war on your intuition and everything that you know to be true. The consequences are even more serious if the person giving the silent treatment is an authority figure such as a teacher, parent, or boss. When they were shouted at, at least they knew what was … The silent treatment can be a form of emotional abuse. The selfish. 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