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The Silent Treatment: How to Use It and How to Deal with It

Although it is said that only women use silent treatment, the truth is that it is also a weapon of men. This is why you should learn how to use it and how to deal with it when it is used against you in a relationship.

Learn How to Deal With the Silent Treatment

Sometimes you might feel like others did you wrong and you consider the best punishment for them is for you to rob them of your attention. This is what the silent treatment really means. There is a lot to know about this "treatment", but if you are looking for tips for dating a shy guy, you should know that this isn't the best path to take. Some people respond to the treatment the way you want them to, while others do the exact opposite. Before applying it, you should know a little something about it so that you won't do more harm than good.

woman in yellow giving man in black silent treatment

The Silent Treatment

1. Is it necessary?

There is one thing you should know about emotional abuse: silent treatment is a part of it. This means that if you give someone the treatment, you will be abusing them. Is this what you really want? Is there no other way to improve the situation?

2. Do you need space?

In many cases in a relationship a partner is giving the other partner the treatment because they need more space. However, they don't tell the other what they need; they just make their partner suffer for something they might have done.

3. Do you want to make peace?

There are some people who get angry very fast and they think that the silent treatment is the solution. Even if you are one of these people, you should find it in your heart to make peace with your partner. Or you want to stay mad at him for the rest of your life?

4. Change phone number

In case you are sure that you don't want to have the other person in your life anymore, you could make sure you go completely off the grid. This means that you should do some changes in your life and try to start over.

5. Do not suffer

Do you feel like someone is giving you the silent treatment and are making your life miserable? There is no need for you to suffer in silence; maybe there is someone you could talk to make the situation better.

6. Ignore them

If you are asking how to deal with silent treatment, you should know that one of the best ways to deal is to do nothing. Ignore the person ignoring you. Their point is to make you suffer, but if they see that they don't achieve it, they will get bored after a while.

Silent Treatment in Relationships Is Often Used, so You Have to Know How to Deal with It and How to Use It to Your Advantage

So, how to deal with silent treatment? How can you use it to make a point and what to do if you are given the treatment?

1. Is it necessary? Are you sure?

couple distance on couch

There is only one kind of treatment of this kind: passive aggressive silent treatment. This means that you are aggressive towards the other person without actually attacking them. In the same time it is also a kind of emotional abuse silent treatment. If you come to think of it this way, it is a very harsh method of showing your disapproval. If it is your partner you are planning on using it, you should know that it could destroy your relationship regardless whether you want to distance yourself temporarily or permanently.

Your intention might be to make a point. If this is the case, you should know that there are some better ways to get there. One of the most efficient ways to solve your problems is to communicate with your partner. In case they did something wrong, you should let them know what the problem is and don't leave them guessing. You will be punishing them without them even knowing what they are being punished for and that is just not fair. You should turn to this treatment as the last resort.

2. Do you need space? What is the core of the problem?

couple back to back not talking

When thinking about the silent treatment, you should also consider why you want to use it? Do you need some space? Many people skip telling their partner that they need space because they want the other person to be confused and to suffer.

If you want your relationship to work, you should tell your partner that they did something wrong that you're upset about it, but you're not ready to talk about it just yet. They should give you some time and some space and you will talk about it once you feel ready. This way the problem will be solved in a non-violent way, through distancing yourself by communication instead of the aggressive treatment.

Don't forget that people respond well to communication, which is simply impossible in case of the silent treatment abuse. If you consider yourself a mature person, this is the way to go.

3. Do you want to make peace? Ever?

Woman not talking to man

Regardless of the kind of treatment we are talking about, including the narcissist silent treatment, there must be an end to it. You can't stay mad at the other person until the end of time. This means that you should have a plan about how to work things out eventually. At the moment it might feel good to be mad at him and to punish him for whatever he did, but let's face it: it's not really the mature thing to do.

The truth is that the majority of people consider silent treatment in relationships an acceptable thing, but there is a limit. One day you might wake up and find that he left you for someone who isn't ignoring him. This is not something you want. Nonetheless, if he does something bad, you should act as if nothing happened. He needs to know that you are mad, but you have to be reasonable too.

4. Change phone number and other contacts

phone discarded in sand

If there is someone using silent treatment emotional abuse, for sure you will get fed up with it at a moment. When that time comes, you might feel the need for a fresh start. In order to achieve this, you might want to change your contact information. This means that you should get a new phone number, new email address, IM, and so on. Give the new information only to the people you want to be in contact with. In the end you will give the silent treatment to the person who tried to blackmail you this way.

If you are wondering how to deal with the silent treatment, you should know that sometimes you need an offence to defend yourself. In case you have someone who frequently gives you the silent treatment, you should start it before they have a tantrum. You can be sure that they will be surprised by your unexpected behavior and, who knows, they might change their behavior.

5. Do not suffer in silence

woman holding small cup listening to another person talk

There are some people who are deeply affected by silent treatment and they have no clue regarding dealing with the silent treatment. If this is the case and you are having a hard time, it might be the right moment to talk to someone about your problem. For starters, you might try discussing the issue with the person in question. In case they are determined to shut you out, you could talk to a close friend or relative. If nothing seems to be helping, you could always seek the help of a therapist. Seeing a specialist will help you come over your issues and it will also help you understand the people you never understood before.

6. Ignore them - they don't matter

woman doing nails ignoring man screeming on microphone

If someone is childish enough to give you the silent treatment in relationships, they are not worth your while. In case your boyfriend tries to blackmail you this way, the best thing you could do is to totally ignore him. After a while he will get bored of it and he will come around. If not, he didn't deserve you in the first place. You should handle these people just like you would a child with a tantrum. When you give in, their satisfaction will only be greater and it will never stop. Naturally we're not talking only about your boyfriend. The treatment should be the same for all the people who need to grow up.

While the silent treatment is usually the weapon of women, men have mastered this skill as well. Don't let anyone blackmail you this way. However, you shouldn't be shy to use it from time to time to let others know they did you wrong. Sometimes people just need a slap on the wrist.

By Abie Giles

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