Hello? Are You Talking To Me Yet? The Silent Treatment

There’s nothing I hate worse than the silent treatment.  Me being a very vocal person who tells it like it is, I have a very very hard time with the silent treatment.  I hate silence.  For me not to talk to someone it has to be BIG.  I usually will always communicate my annoyance at them.  People always know where they stand with me.  But is cutting someone off the same as the silent treatment? No.  How about asking for some space? No it isn’t. So what is the silent treatment and why do people do it?

The silent treatment is when someone doesn’t like what you said or doesn’t want to respond and they don’t.  Your endless efforts to get a response go ignored and it leaves you feeling helpless and frustrated.  I personally find the silent treatment infuriating.  It drives me crazy.  You try to guess what they are thinking and why they are doing what they’re doing.  You end up imagining every good and bad scenario in your head.  It makes me just want to pull my hair out.  It’s passive aggressive at its worst!  It definitely coaxes the crazy person out of your otherwise sane existence.

silent treatmentSo why do they do it? Just because they can.  It’s all about controlling the situation and you.  The person somehow felt that they needed to show their dominance and that they don’t want to deal with the conflict.  It’s not worth it for them.  This isn’t about someone asking for space to sort their thoughts out and comes back to discuss.  This is a person who just shuts down and pretends you don’t exist anymore.  In my opinion it’s selfish, controlling and abusive.  Yes, you heard me right.   It’s meant to punish you.  It’s like a child kicking and screaming until they get their way.  Well you need to say TOO BAD!

So how do you deal with the silent treatment? You need to get the person in talk mode again.  Even if you send them a message saying that when they are ready to talk you would like to discuss the situation.  If it’s related to something you said or did then your message should have an apology and ask what you can do to make it better.  Ensure you tell them you value the relationship and would like to work things out.  Then, hope for the best.  If they value the relationship too they will come back, if they stop talking to you altogether, then, you know where you stand … don’t waste your time.

Nothing good can be gained by giving someone the silent treatment.  If this is something you tend to do then you need to get out of that habit.  In every relationship there is potential for conflict, but there is also potential for a lot of great things to emerge out of that conflict … you can grow as a couple and learn more about each other … but ONLY if you communicate and respect each other enough to open up.  If you need some space ask for it, but don’t just stop talking to someone because you don’t like what they said.  It’s simple really, be an adult, is that REALLY so hard?

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva

26 thoughts on “Hello? Are You Talking To Me Yet? The Silent Treatment

  1. you are absolutely correct! the silent treatment is a coward’s tool for controlling a situation. Moving on to stronger, more mature people is the best thing you can do for yourself… and let it GO. that is the hard part, but ya gotta do it!

    Like

  2. It is utterly and completely UNACCEPTABLE. And when someone does it to you, it requires you be the stronger person, and not allow them into your life. They are not victims, or weaker, or in need of help – they are CHOOSING to be cowardly and behave very badly toward another person… just wrong. Great post Suzie!

    Like

    • Omg maybe they genuinely can not stand you anymore & thats why they do it. Coz they’re literally over your bullshit. If i ever give ppl the silent treatment its coz im sick of them.

      Like

      • Have you tried to talk to them? Have you tried to help that person? Sometimes that person is going through a lot and they may hurt you without knowing. Don’t cut off someone without give them an opportunity first…It you tried to help and they don’t care…You can walk out by telling them that you tried and they didn’t care.

        Like

  3. It depends… 90% of the time, the silent treatment is a childish power-play used to position one’s self above the consideration for another person; as such, it is a clear indicator of lack of empathy. I have found that every person who uses it in such a fashion regards themselves as a ‘superior’ person.

    There are rare cases where it is quite the opposite, though; a person who doesn’t know how to communicate heavy emotions without breaking down may opt to use the silent treatment until they are at a level where they can interact whilst remaining appropriately in control. When stuck between crying in frustration or being silent, some people will just bottle it up.

    Neither is appropriate, of course, but I would believe there is hope for the latter. The former, however, is more than welcome to f**k off.

    Like

  4. It depends… 90% of the time, the silent treatment is a childish power-play used to position one’s self above the consideration for another person; as such, it is a clear indicator of lack of empathy. I have found that every person who uses it in such a fashion regards themselves as a ’superior’ person.

    There are rare cases where it is quite the opposite, though; a person who doesn’t know how to communicate heavy emotions without breaking down may opt to use the silent treatment until they are at a level where they can interact whilst remaining appropriately in control. When stuck between crying in frustration or being silent, some people will just bottle it up.

    Neither is appropriate, of course, but I would believe there is hope for the latter. The former, however, is more than welcome to f**k off.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment! You are so right … people need to learn how to deal with their emotions and how to deal with conflict. It’s all part of being an active member in society.

      Like

  5. Maybe they have nothing nice to say? I know I’ve tried to have conversations to talk things out with people (a cousin). It always ended up with the 100% blame on me. After the last time, I just walked away, didn’t return phone calls or text and have not for over a year now. Cause if I did, it wouldn’t be pretty and I would end up crushing someone who really is a good person but is just annoying as hell.
    Maybe the person who is giving you is a total douche bag, but maybe they just don’t know how to say something without hurting your feelings… Hope you find peace regarding this issue hugs!

    Like

    • Well in that case if someone doesn’t have something nice to say then say that they need their space and be honest that they don’t think this relationship can continue the way it is. I’ve ended all contact with people before but not without telling them why first.

      Like

    • Thanks so much! You need to deal with your problems or else they don’t get resolved … if you resort to this kind of abusive behavior then you don’t deserve to be in a relationship!

      Like

  6. I ended a 5-yr relationship with a man who used the silent treatment like a weapon. Not acceptable.

    Like

  7. I agree with you and you’ve really captured how infuriating it is to be given the silent treatment. I especially hate when the person being silent also takes on this air of “I’m not going to sink down to your level by talking to you.”

    This kind of passive aggressive communication is beyond frustrating (not to mention completely unproductive) but i’ll take a risk here and offer a possible counterpoint: i have interacted on occasion with passive-aggressive communicators and often it’s because they genuinely do not know any other way. in their minds their communication is clear as day – perhaps its what they’ve been taught, or maybe they’re afraid of verbalizing their anger. Who knows? other times people get so scared of the unknown outcome that they go for the known one (end of the relationship) cause it feels safer.

    Regardless i am not suggesting never ending slack for these verbal slackers — but i’ve seen people change when it’s been pointed out to them that they’re never gonna get what they want without asking, telling, talking, fighting through it. Great post SSD!!!

    Like

  8. gotta be honest, if i know deep down the other person isn’t capable of change, or if i know they aren’t capable of understanding the problem at stake, i find it more exhausting and painful to have to put it out there and try to have an unproductive conversation on top of the pain and conflict that might be there that started it all. I would much rather cut my losses and leave the situation altogether.

    I’d never use the silent treatment to punish someone, but, i would use it to end a non-close friendship or a brief dating experience. If i’m not close with someone, i don’t feel i owe it to them to explain why i have shut the door- its closed, they’ll have to accept it, we both move on.

    If there’s a deep falling out with someone i’m close to, then i would gradually distance myself from them over time as a way to ease out of the friendship. Many times, having that confrontation isn’t going to accomplish anything other than further pain, misunderstandings, and saying things you regret.

    if i actually do think the person is capable of being part of the solution to a conflict, then i will engage in a discussion, but rarely right away- it will usually be a while after, to give myself time to cool down and calm my emotions first. sometimes thats days, sometimes thats months. depends on the situation.

    Like

  9. THis was done to me and i have being at the receiving end of silent treatment and it is totally immature and unacceptable behavior and is so totally a form of abusive especially when you never cheated or did anything to the person but they like to use it as a manipulation tool to gain control over you what happened to respecting each other 50%/50% its not about controlling youre partner its the worst it drives you nuts if the person talked all could be worked out and its a form of total negative thinking and selfishness

    Like

  10. I’ve been going on a over a month of a silent treatment from my husband. I didn’t do anything to him to deserve this. I was feeling so down and I asked him for help. He didn’t help me at all and one day just left me saying that “this is not life”. I feel so sad because I thought, he would be there for me. So I gave him time, and tell him that I will work out on my issues by my own, but that I needed him on my side. He haven’t say a word at all. I told him that I was sorry if I hurt him in any way, but I was not feeling right. I just told him to talk to me…I went to the doctor because I found out that my sleeping problems where causing me feeling irritable, depressed, having mood swings or personality changes….So the doctor said that I needed surgery. I told my husband and he didn’t care at all…The silent treatment is a way of “TORTURE”…I know that I probably didn’t handle the situation and the good way, but I would never leave him, if he was the one going trough a lot…

    If you feel that some people are hurting you, and you feel stress out…talk to them and try to help them and of course give them time…Nobody can feel better over night…If the person is sick, find out the way to help and stay there.

    If you tried everything and that person is unwilling to see that they did wrong and get help…Forgive them in your heart, and move on by telling them that you tried but they don’t want to be help…Don’t do like my “husband”, who saw himself in a stressful situation and run like a kid…Now I am facing surgery and dealing with a bunch of things without the guy that promised me to be “for better for worse, for richer for poor, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”

    Like

  11. Great post Suzie! I’ve been on the receiving end of silent treatment. It definitely coaxes the crazy person out of me. The most frustrating thing as well is when friends and family who haven’t been subjected to that kind of abuse don’t understand and think that i’m acting a little obsessive!

    I decided to cut this guy out of my life deleting him from social networking and deleting his number, it was the only way for me to cut the temptation of wanting to understand and ask why he was doing this. Its tough when you see them online posting pointless stuff yet they can’t be bothered to respond to you. So…here we are three months later and he sends me an add and suddenly starts communicating again, and saying he wasn’t strong enough to deal with things and that he was in a bad place! I being a kind fool that I am start communicating with him again and now he has gone quiet! This is exhausting, I want to move on but its like I’m addicted to this kind of abuse! Anyone else and I would just let it go but with him I am finding it very hard.

    Its like he keeps repeating the same cycle… Idealise, devalue and discard! I am trying to keep busy with my hobbies and interests and stuff but its pretty lonely when friends and family don’t understand just how much this person is getting to me. It does seem like they get the ultimate power when they go silent. I know I need to move on but its hard when they keep messing with my mind. I wish I had just given him the silent treatment when he got back in touch but I am just not that way inclined. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me?

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 I am of the opinion that we should only surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us and who treat us with respect. This person doesn’t which means you probably don’t get any benefit by having them in your life. Hope this helps!

      Like

    • What you need to do is cut this loser out of your life once and for all. If you continue to respond each time he call or text you, you will be jumping through hoops with this person forever. When you see them, do not talk to them, look at them or acknowledge their presence. If they speak look at them and keep going. Period!

      Like

      • Thank you David for your response. You are absolutely right and jumping through hoops is exhausting! I ran into this guy a few weeks back and he came over and said hi and told me he was going through some pretty tough times which was understandable after his shock confession then and there. He apologised and said that he was and still is in a bad place so hadn’t been in touch but again has gone back to ignoring me, even after me offering him my support. Strangely enough I also ran into a relative of his who had told me he had turned into a bit of a hermit more or less and wasn’t really speaking to anyone…a little hard to believe when I still see him online constantly and he seems perfectly fine. I’ve tried to reach out to him so many times, especially since he told me what he was going through, I wanted to be there for him like he was me. I realise I have given him more chances than he deserves and its time to let go as life is far too short. I doubt he will ever make contact again but in future I will definitely take your advice and avoid him at all costs as I can’t keep putting myself through the heartache. It just looks like pure desperation…not a good look! 🙂

        Like

  12. I’ve been dating this guy for 9 months now. 2 months ago when I spent the night at his place, he had to work in the morning and told me to sleep in and make myself at home. While looking for a towel to shower, I noticed a woman’s necklace and a sex toy in his drawer that would typically be used for both the man and the woman while having intercourse. I decided since I wasn’t his girlfriend that I couldn’t say anything. Unfortunately I kept it in for too long and it all blew up a week ago. We ended up having a huge fight. His excuse was that the necklace was his moms and the toy was something he used by himself.

    The next morning, he told me we would talk some more about it that week and see each other next weekend. Neither of those happened. I’ve asked if he had time to talk and he never responded. I then sent him a gift and an email apologizing for how I reacted. He’s said nothing about the gift besides that he received it, and only when I asked if he had. Other than that, I haven’t received a text/call not even a thank you for the gift. I know I reacted poorly, but my goodness, I didn’t think I deserved the silent treatment for this…

    Like

Comments are closed.