Friday, April 28, 2017

The Surprising Truth about Silent Treatment

I dislike writing about sensitive topics but I have always been an advocate to help spread light to emotional abuse and helping others know they can be strong! I am intrigued by learning more about psychology and what makes people tick. I often enjoy people watching, listening to people talk and trying to evaluate why some people do the things they do. Surely, as with any area in life, there’s no on size fits all answer for every person, but hopefully this information about silent treatment in a relationship will help guide you forward in knowing how harmful it can be and why silent treatment is deadly to your relationship. 

I was introduced to this being a form of emotional abuse in a relationship when an Instagram friend shared a little photo that had a few things listed out for signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. See emotional abuse is difficult to pinpoint, triggers for one person may not be a trigger for another. I have also found through research and experience that each of us can feel emotionally abused by different things. Emotional abuse happens often in life and can be something tiny that was simply a situation where someone mistakenly handled a situation in a way that left you feeling emotionally abused or it can be much more serious, an ongoing issue leaving you feeling full of fear, sadness and low self-esteem. 

What is Silent Treatment

According to this article, “The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse typically employed by people with narcissistic tendencies. It is designed to (1) place the abuser in a position of control; (2) silence the target’s attempts at assertion; (3) avoid conflict resolution/personal responsibility/compromise; or (4) punish the target for a perceived ego slight.”

To further add upon this question of what silent treatment is, we are talking about long term silence as a means to get the partner to come to see things your way. We are not discussing silent treatment that occurs in mild forms, for short periods of time as a means to figure out how to address a conflict within the relationship. Silent treatment in its dangerous form is a consistent long term ignoring of your partner, the kids and anyone else in the household. It leaves the partner being ignored full of anxiety, stomach aches and depression because they don’t have any clue what is going on. The person who is receiving the silent treatment learns quickly that they have to bow down to what their partner wants, listen to them speak and just agree in order to break the silent treatment and get rid of their anxiety. The problem is: this leaves the person who receives the silent treatment never fully 100% equal in the relationship. 

How to Cope with Silent Treatment

There’s honestly no way to cope with it, for the perpetrator truly feels this is the way to solve a problem and if it becomes a regular occurrence then you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. You won’t ever feel confident to speak up for what matters, you won’t ever be heard and in turn you will be emotionally drained. This emotional stress will turn to medical issues because blood pressure will increase from stress and anxiety will increase from the feeling of being abandoned and shunned by your partner. You will never feel qualified to be this person’s partner and the person won’t leave unless you completely anger them to leave in a rage filled response. 

You will have to make a decision as to whether or not the silent treatment is something that has or will occur more frequently and make a solid decision to get help from trusted family and friends to get out of this situation if that’s what you decide is the answer. Often times a recurring situation of long-term silent treatment is just deadly, it’s deadly to the relationship and is a counterproductive way to try to resolve anything. 

Trying to Communicate

Sure you can try to communicate with the perpetrator who has given the long term silent treatment but they won’t see things your way. They will shake their head and make you feel crazy because you believe this is a form of emotional abuse. They see it is their way to get in control, to regain things to morph into what they want. They will use this as a tactic to get you to just agree with whatever they want because they feel they need to be heard and everything revolves around them. 

No matter how much hard work, effort and time you have given if you have gotten to the point you have medical issues, it’s time for change! This person who can implement a long term silent treatment has deeper things going on within them that you can’t help. You can’t save or change another human being, if you are with someone who uses this as a form to resolve conflict or punishment for speaking up for your beliefs, then you really need to get help for your own sanity and health. 

If you or someone you know is in a relationship where the long-term silent treatment is a part of their relationship, then seek help. There are many protective agencies for woman and men alike, you can speak to a therapist to help guide you towards seeing the true light of emotional abuse behind the silent treatment.