The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

Have they done it a few times?

Do they do it whenever there’s been an argument or disagreement, which means that instead of talking things through, clearing the air, reaching a compromise, or apologizing, they stop talking to you for a few hours, days or even months?

Is the silent treatment something that happens in your family with other family members from time to time whenever there’s a fall out or disagreement, and you’ve accepted it as a quirky family trait?

If you answered yes to these questions you might think it’s just something odd that happens in your family from time to time.

But you might be surprised to know that receiving the silent treatment is very damaging and it can have a long lasting and devastating impact on you.

So, What Is The Silent Treatment

Also known as stonewalling, the cold shoulder and ghosting, giving someone the silent treatment means that one person has stopped talking and communicating to another person and it can last for hours, days, weeks, months or even years.

The silent treatment can include:

  • Refusing to talk altogether
  • Avoiding discussions
  • No longer answering your calls texts or messages
  • They stop calling and texting
  • Acting as if you are not in the room
  • Completely ignoring you
  • Withholding love and affection
  • Treating you as if you are invisible or dead

A parent will usually inflict the silent treatment as a response to:

  • You confront them about an issue
  • You ask them to take responsibility
  • You try to assert a boundary or say ‘No’ to them
  • You do something they don’t want you to do or they think you shouldn’t do
  • You don’t do something they think you should do
  • They want you to appear ostracized from the family for perceived bad behaviour, when they are in fact guilty of behaving badly

The parent might tell you they are not talking to you or they may just stop all communication with you until eventually you realise that all usual contact from them has stopped.

A toxic parent will do this to their child of any age. I have read numerous accounts of and spoken to many people that have said their parent gave them the silent treatment when they were a young child and a teenager, and they still do it to them regularly well into adulthood…

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