The consequences of isolation can be severe

People use silent treatment because they get away with it without looking abusive to others. It is very effective in making a specific person feel bad. It is controlling and prevents both sides from weighing in.

Passive personality types may use it to avoid conflict, while strong personality types use it to punish or control. Some people unconsciously use it because they can't put their feelings into words, so they shut down. However, the silent treatment causes stress. In the long run, the stress can be considered abuse.

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Love & Family

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Say out loud the exact amount of time you'll be taking a break from the conflict, with a timeline for when you'll pick the conversation back up.

If you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment, voice your pain of being ignored. It may cause a change and open up communication. However, if the perpetrator still refuses to acknowledge your existence for long periods, it might be right to leave the relationship.

The silent treatment

Silent treatment comes in many forms: social isolation, stonewalling, ghosting. Research suggests two in three individuals have used the silent treatment against someone else.

A father stopped talking to his teenage son and couldn't start again, changing his son from a happy boy to a spineless jellyfish. A wife whose husband stopped communicating after a minor disagreement eventually ended when her husband died 40 years later.

Ostracism is not new. Ancient Greeks expelled threats to democracy for ten years. Religions push individuals aside: Catholics call it ex-communication, Judaism calls it herem, the Amish practice Meidung.

Ostracism can also show up in lesser ways: someone walking out of the room in the middle of a conversation, a friend looking the other way when you wave, a person addressing comments from everyone in a message thread except you.

Humans are wired to reciprocate social cues. Ignoring someone goes against our nature, and the perpetrator feels forced to justify their actions to keep on doing it. They end up in a continual state of anger and negativity.

The silent treatment can become addictive. It can carry on far longer than initially intended. Many find themselves unable to stop.

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RELATED IDEAS

The silent treatment goes by many names: shunning, social isolation, stonewalling, ghosting. Although psychologists have nuanced definitions for each term, they are all essentially forms of ostracism.

The silent treatment is a particularly insidious form of abuse because it might the victim to reconcile with the perpetrator in an effort to end the behavior, even if the victim doesn’t know why they’re apologizing.

What You’re Saying When You Give Someone the Silent Treatment

theatlantic.com

The Silent Treatment

In a relationship, a partner uses ‘the silent treatment’ on the other to make them feel hurt, punished and alienated, manipulating their emotions.

Being isolated or ghosted by a partner is a sort of abuse that hurts more than being yelled or shouted at.

The Silent Treatment: A Tactic of Abuse and Control

psychologytoday.com

What is Domestic Violence Abuse

Most people who think of domestic abuse think of domestic violence. domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in a marriage or intimate relationship to dominate and control the other.

The abuser has to have total control over their companion. They do not play fair, and abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.

Domestic Violence and Abuse - HelpGuide.org

helpguide.org

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