“In the short term, the silent treatment causes stress. In the long term, the stress can be considered abuse.”
In serious cases, ostracism can take a heavy toll whereby victims become anxious, withdrawn, depressed, or even suicidal.
But the silent treatment ultimately harms the person causing it, too.
Worse, the silent treatment can become addictive.
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“People use the silent treatment because they can get away with it without looking abusive to others,” Williams explained, “and because it’s highly effective in making the targeted individual feel bad.”
One way to prevent a conflict from curdling into ostracism is to say out loud the exact amount of time you’ll be taking a break and to establish a timeline for when you’ll pick the conversation back up.
But when someone is using the silent treatment to exclude, punish, or control, the victim should tell the perpetrator that they wish to resolve the issue.
If the perpetrator still refuses to acknowledge the victim’s existence for long periods of time, it might be right to leave the relationship.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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