I Can’t HEAR You!
Ahhhh, the silent treatment. The cold shoulder. Rejection! Whatever you want to call it – it’s one in the same.
For the most part, men are the ones who get the silent treatment from their girlfriends or wives, but men can also be the one’s giving the silent treatment as well! It’s not THAT uncommon.
The silent treatment sucks and, to be honest, it’s quite childish.
There ARE periods in a relationship when one person needs to take a step back and a time out to collect their thoughts, but the silent treatment is going a bit over the top.
There has to be communication in a relationship for it to work and if one person is plugging their ears and saying ‘NA NA NA!’ then it can be hard to fix issues in a timely and effective manner.
It’s always better for the relationship to say something like “I need some time to think and figure things out and then I will come and talk to you about it” instead of giving the silent treatment which says ‘I’m sulking and there is nothing you can do about it!’
Why Do You Get The Silent Treatment?
Well first and foremost you get the silent treatment because your partner doesn’t know a better way to handle their anger or hurt, or because they want to feel like they have some power in the relationship. So in essence, it really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your partner.
But the reasons your partner decides to give you the silent treatment are many. Normally you get the silent treatment because:
You have done something wrong in their eyes
This is when you have done something that has made your partner so mad and/or hurt that THEY don’t want to talk about what you did.
You may not actually know what you have done wrong – that doesn’t matter though, the fact is that you did something that they feel is wrong and this is how they are dealing with it.
You have said something wrong
We all say things that are stupid to our partners and we usually quickly correct it or it gets a quick bout of the silent treatment. But sometimes we don’t know when we say something that they consider stupid. It doesn’t sound stupid to us!
Here’s a good sign of them thinking you said something wrong: If your partner is happy and laughing and then you say something, and all of a sudden you are getting the silent treatment – you said something wrong.
Sometimes though your partner may hold on to something that you said earlier and give you the silent treatment later for it.
It may have hurt them in the moment and the more they thought about it the angrier and more hurt they got. It’s hard for you to know what you did at this point because it happened earlier. Normally this will not be a sudden silent treatment but rather progress from a not-so-happy partner to a complete silent treatment in an easy and fluent manner.
You forgot something (anniversary, important event in their lives)
You probably will not have any clue about what you did at this point either. Your partner will not inform you that you forgot, they will want you to figure it out for yourself, but that’s kind of hard to do when you don’t have any memory of it in the first place.
Also, you are being given the silent treatment and you are dealing with the feelings that come from that so taking the time to recall if you forgot something is not first and foremost on your mind.
For no reason at all!
You may not have done anything. Your partner may have made up something in their head – like “he/she doesn’t love me” or “he/she does not want to be around me anymore!”
There are a number of different things that they can make up in their head – and if they are not communicating with you properly in the first place then chances are this is very easy for them to do because they are not clarifying what they need to know with you.
This normally comes from insecurity on their part. When you lack self-confidence in your relationship it can be very easy to make up stories in your head.
Because they don’t have a better way of doing things
When we first started dating my husband used to give me the silent treatment when he was upset. It drove me crazy! I would beg him to talk to me, and finally one day I said you are either going to have to learn a new way of communicating with me or we are going to have to end this relationship because I can’t deal with the feeling of rejection anymore.
Obviously together we learned a better way.
He had learned to give the cold shoulder to me from his father! His dad used to get so angry that he would retreat to his garage for days – not one day, but days at a time. This is what my husband saw and since his mother didn’t seem to mind he thought it was a good way of dealing with his emotions.
Is The Silent Treatment Abusive?
I’ve actually seen the silent treatment referred to as a form of emotional abuse. I know that it can cause a lot of stress on the person who is trying to actually trying to be a grown-up and communicate.
In a way they are saying “You are not worthy of my communication until I feel that I’m ready to talk to you – so I’m just going to not say anything and pretend I don’t hear you until my inner-self says it’s okay to start communicating again.”
Of course frustration sets in for the person getting the silent treatment, and then anger follows, and then hurt – and then you feel like your power has been taken away because there is nothing you can do to get the other person to talk…so in a way the other person is messing with your emotions and – yes, that could be considered a form of abuse, but personally – I would refer to it as the I-don’t-know-any-better syndrome.
Bottom line: They need to learn a better way to deal with their feelings and communicate!
Finding A Better Way!
To avoid the silent treatment you have to learn how to communicate properly in your relationship. If you are getting the silent treatment right now then that is a good sign that you have not figured it out yet.
Read a book on how to communicate better as a couple and start implementing the strategies you learn into your relationship. Or visit a therapist and let him or her help your relationship and the communication issues you are having.
Take action on making your relationship better when it comes to communication and you will notice that the silent treatment will start to disappear from your relationship.
Big note: It won’t just happen. If you don’t take action towards communicating better than nothing will change. You have to change the way you and your partner relate to each other and the only way to do that is with outside help.
If you already had the tools to fix your relationship communication issues at your disposal then you would not be getting the silent treatment.
- Want a great place to start? John gray has put his Mars and Venus workshops online. Click here to read more about his Mars Venus Workshops.