What is Silent Treatment?

The silent treatment is used by some people to have control over the relationship.
woman looking at the sun
Image from Pixabay

Silent treatment means a person refuses to speak with the other person. Usually, people who give silent treatment even don't acknowledge the other person's presence. The silent treatment is used in all types of relationships. Silent treatment means not being willing to get into any sort of conversation with the other person. The silent treatment is used by some people to have control over the relationship. Silent treatment also becomes a toxic, unhealthy, and emotionally abusive sort of treatment for others. 

Govt silent on ‘Gajak Culture’, says Congress

The silent treatment is also considered a form of neglect in relationships. People usually who are aged want to be cared for and given attention always. The same goes for small children also who look out for attention from others. However, if they don't get the needed attention, care, and affection from their near and dear ones, they become silent thinking that they are getting neglected by their own people.

Man arrested in Lucknow for abusive comments on FB

In romantic relationships, if a partner is upset or disappointed, or stressed out in his own life or regarding the relationship, he may use the silent treatment to make his wife alert that things are not fine. If the partner or wife doesn't understand the root cause of the silent treatment, he may even try to ignore her presence and not involve her in any of the decisions that are important for daily life. Silent treatment becomes one of the major causes of emotional abuse if the partner doesn't speak to each other for many months.

In order to overcome the silent treatment, one has to take a stand for themselves. So, if your partner or parent is not talking to you for no apparent reason, it is better to speak up for yourself and tell that you won't tolerate this toxic behavior anymore. But don't argue or create a scene for being ignored. You can have a gentle approach wherein you try to use "I" statements in your conversation. 

Or you can involve the person who is giving you the silent treatment in the conversation and try to understand what is bothering them the most. Good and bad, love and hatred are all phases of life. So, if you are okay with your partner or friend not willing to talk to you and move on in your life, then so be it. You can give them a cool-off period wherein they are in their own space and time and overcome their traumatic experiences.

If the silent treatment is because you are at fault or you have done something really wrong to them, then there is no problem in addressing the issue and apologizing for the error. Asking for forgiveness will never make you weak in general but the more you keep delaying the forgiveness part, the more you will never be able to forget your past and start a new beginning. So, try to set firm boundaries so that the silent treatment ends and you both engage in a meaningful conversation. Loneliness, self-hatred, low self-esteem, and depression are some of the reasons for silent treatment.