You declare war on your intuition and everything that you know to be true. Though I take the positives from the article as I am aware of the effects of silent treatment I still believe that not all silent treatment givers set out to hurt others. Silence and distance only generate more problems and, in the end, solve absolutely nothing. Being quieter does not include ignoring a person's communications or acting like they do not exist--the Silent Treatment does. Stone-cold silence can reinforce feelings of vulnerability and fear. And this is somewhat true- bodily harm and injury is a form of abuse known as physical abuse, but there are two other types of abuse that are just as horrible, if not worse: physical and emotional abuse. Some very common symptoms are headaches and digestive problems. So in others words silence speaks your pain and then the internal battle begins with self about the situation which caused the silence in the first place. The silent treatment is often given as a form of punishment in a relationship and psychologists consider the silent treatment as a form of abuse. At the same time, it is related not only to an expression of passive violence but also to a concealed strategy of psychological abuse. The silent treatment can be a form of emotional abuse. Why does silent treatment have to be about abuse and control? Some have argued that the silent treatment is more abusive than physical harm as it can be more appropriately thought of as a form of torture. If self-improvement fails, see a professional therapist, because the silent … Hostile Withholding Is a Form of Gaslighting, When angered by their partner, some people turn a little cold. Silent treatment abuse, it can be argued, is more abusive than physical harm as it can be considered a form of torture the longer it goes on. Children's Drawings: A Window to Their Inner World, Children with Emotionally Immature Parents, The Benefits Of Witnessing Acts Of Kindness, Our Fear of Being Single Makes Us Conformists, Cyclothymic Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment, The Day My Child Lost His Smile: Child Abuse, Frédéric Chopin, A Biography of the Piano Poet. Realise that you are worthy of a conversation, you do not have to put up with childish behaviour and if the abuser does not start communicating, then walk away. Many abuse survivors say they hated the silent treatment more than the insults or yelling. It is manifested by one partner who completely ignores the other: going through their typical day as if the other person were invisible or absent, even if they are standing right in front of them or talking to them. The silent treatment usually ended with Ray grabbing at Nina brusquely for sex at night. They are, however, very wrong. Completely altruistic and selfless actions awaken feelings of peace and…, Nowadays, romantic relationships have changed. This is exactly what makes this strategy an unhealthy way to deal with conflict. These types of behavior are quite harmful. The person who is being victimized can tell the difference. How to Deal with the Emotional Abuse of the Silent Treatment. Yes, the silent treatment is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse.Used as a way to manipulate and control the victim, it can also be used as part of a strategy for psychological abuse that can cause complex post-traumatic distress disorder (C-PTSD) in its victims over time. None of these situations is an attempt to control of manipulate a partner. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. In fact, sometimes there can be psychological abuse without physical abuse, but not the other way around. In addition to this, they need…, A lot is said about stress and the devastating impact it can have on your health. Silent treatment is the refusal to communicate verbally and electronically with someone who is willing to communicate. Fatigue and insomnia are also frequent complaints. Sara said that the hostile withholding made her extremely anxious; she redoubled her efforts to make Reggie feel better, silencing her own needs and desires. How silent treatment is presented at times can be quite daunting, as these individuals can be seen in a really negative and hopeless light. It sounds like it generates some distress for the people in your life, too. Exploring this communication style with a therapist who understands trauma and communication might bring you some relief. The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse, and it is not fun. Sometimes people think that if they use the silent treatment, the other person will change their behavior or do what the other person wants them to do. And no one should try to resolve a conflict using the silent treatment. The autoimmune system is also affected, primarily because of the high levels of stress that the situation causes. Taking a time-out should lead to improved communication and collaboration, whereas the silent treatment is an assertion of dominance and control. How I Controlled Communication With My Narcissistic Mother, 10 Words or Phrases That Convey Intelligence and Nuance, Psychology Today © 2020 Sussex Publishers, LLC, What to Do About Vaccine Hesitancy During COVID-19, New Findings Reveal Benefits of Ketamine for Depression, Ketamine Combats Depression via Unique Molecular Mechanisms, The Strongest Predictors of Sexual Desire. Let’s begin with a reminder of what drives narcissistic behavior. Once your identity has been sufficiently eroded, the psychopath can use this final technique without any chance that you’ll leave them. It is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse. I have read many articles and watched many speeches on this topic and after reading your article I am still asking myself as a person who battles with this learnt habit called 'silent treatment' why it is constantly being referred to as abuse and a means of controlling your partner or others. It was a way to not appear vulnerable and weak, including not being able to manage my emotions while confronting problems. Now it's not that important to create a family and have kids. The silent treatment is abuse because: 1 It is passive-aggressive behavior intended to hurt the other person It shows a lack of caring, a lack of respect and a lack of value It’s as if they are losing control and this causes a lot of stress. A person could be quiet due to anxiety, or because of a current or past relationship where it was unsafe to speak up. When it’s used regularly as a power play, it can make you feel rejected or excluded. Along with the emotional roller-coaster, it tears down your sense of self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It is designed to (1) place the abuser in a … If the situation is severe and prolonged, serious problems can arise, such as an increase in blood pressure, diabetes, or even illnesses like cancer. So as you say, not everyone who is quieter is using the Silent Treatment as a tactic of control over their partner. The silent treatment is characterized by a group of behaviors with the objective of ignoring the other. No one should passively allow themselves to be ignored by someone else, at least not without an explanation of their behavior. We see it in all types of relationship: couples, friends, parents and children, relatives, etc. The silent treatment is another form of abuse and should be addressed. Scientists have proven that this zone is activated when something receives the silent treatment. In cases where a partner is unable to change, it is safer to step away from the fire than it is to put it out. Rejecting: In an intimate relationship, physical refusal of affection is a subtle form of rejection. Voted up. Having the knowledge I have now about it I recognise that it is a way to not face your problems and fearing confrontation. Fyodor Dostoyevsky's quotes are the true reflection of a writer that had a stormy life, along with sensitivity and an out-of-this-world…, Children with emotionally immature parents suffer deep scars. Seek out a professional. The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse typically employed by people with narcissistic tendencies. This can have a … Let's talk at X o'clock on X day." The silent treatment is a strategy frequently used by people who appear to possess great self-control and claim to be more rational than emotional. Sometimes, however, the victim of this type of behavior is not aware of the conflict, precisely because the other party has not expressed it openly. If you or someone you care about is being subject to the silent treatment, the following steps may help: It is worth noting that sometimes counselors teach people who have been abusive to take a “time-out” so they can calm down and gather their thoughts before reengaging with their partners. Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship. Facebook image: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock. You might be thinking that calling the silent treatment abuse is somewhat harsh. Silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse. Avoid letting the silent treatment get the better of you. When they were shouted at, at least they knew what was … Over the years, Nina learned to cope with Ray's cruel silences, continuing to prepare his meals and wash and fold his clothes even as he ignored her for long periods. But ever…, The effects of hyper parenting are mainly reflected in a child's self-esteem and their ability to establish healthy relationships with…, Frédéric Chopin, also known as the piano poet by his contemporaries, had a contradictory personality that combined two great virtues:…, Every area of science needs methods and instruments in order for it to advance. That is to say, it can profoundly damage the person on the receiving end. These habits can become part of their way of being in the world. Silence can be healthy when tempers are high and a pause is needed before something exacerbates the situation. When there is a problem between two people, the only healthy thing is to engage in dialogue to find solutions. A zone of the human brain called the “anterior cingulate cortex” is responsible for detecting different levels of pain. Research has shown that the act of ignoring or excluding activates the same area of the brain that is activated by physical pain. The silent treatment is one of the most common warning signs of relationship problems because it’s so easy for couples to fall into the habit of doing. Tips for Responding to the Silent Treatment. Use of the silent treatment implies a prior conflict. This … The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. The person who is being victimized can tell the difference. Don't get me wrong there are individuals out there who deliberately practice silent treatment knowing the effects it has on others and the control it gives them over others as well. The next morning, he acted as if the break in their relationship had never happened and refused to discuss it. Silent treatment abuse is abuse like any other in a relationship. Narcissists feel they must be in the control seat over you… Narcissists have an attitude of entitlement and superiority, which perpetuates a condescending attitude. I do understand the effects of this on the person on the recieving end but not all individuals who battle with this problem sets out to diliberately harm their partner or others in some why. It is usually used to express contempt or disappr… That would be an interesting read. Studies have been done that show that feeling excluded or ignored can cause changes in the brain. Being ignored is especially difficult for a person who is isolated by abuse and coercive control, and depends on the abuser’s approval to feel worthwhile and safe. Instead, now we…, The primary characteristic of cyclothymic disorder is a chronically fluctuating state of mind. Sometimes the silent treatment is used by two people who love each other, such as romantic partners, good friends, siblings, etc. I would love to see an article that highlights the perspective of persons who have deliberately and unknowly given or struggled with silent treatment. In general, the silent treatment is a manipulation tactic that can leave important issues in a relationship unresolved. Ignoring another person as a form of punishment only destroys relationships. For this we recommend that you contact a reliable specialist. International: Português | Türkçe | Deutsch | 日本語 | Italiano | Español | Suomi | Français | Polski | Dansk | Norsk bokmål | Svenska | Nederlands | 한국어. The Gesell Chamber: How Is it Used in Psychology? Silent Treatment - A passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence. I really like how you explain that the silent treatment is due to that person's problem not yours. If the silent treatment is taken too far, it’s becomes emotional abuse. They may be "correct" in their responses, not outwardly mean, but still treat their partner like someone they barely know, or like a neighbor or colleagues at work. I would like to thank you, Anneisha, for drawing our attention to the fact that being quiet is not necessarily the same as the Silent Treatment. By making a date to have the discussion at a later point, you are indicating to the person that you know it is important to address their concerns, you just need more time to do so. Activation in this zone means that physical symptoms also start to appear. Nina first experienced Ray's silence when they were dating. You're imagining it!" After all, there is a vast majority of individuals who only consider bodily harm as abuse. People who are ignored eventually become overwhelmed by feelings of sadness that can sometimes lead to depression. PS. Best wishes. Many people disregard the indiscriminate types of abuse - thank you for exposing this topic. “The worst sin to our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that is the essence of inhumanity”. I know people who learned to be rather quiet because they moved from one country to another and were mocked for their accents, or because they have a speech impediment and it just seemed easier, when young, to say little. Silent treatment is a form of abuse Being given the silent treatment can have torturous consequences says Dr Colm O’Connor, in his weekly column The silent treatment is when your spouse or partner angrily shuts-down and disengages from you. Know if it is normal, and should you be dealing with it anymore or not… If you are wondering whether silent treatment is a form of abuse, you are either being victimized by this sort of behavior, or are inflicting it upon the people who love you the most. Learn other signs of this type of abuse in “ How to Recognize Emotional Abuse. The Silent Treatment: A Narcissist’s Trick of the Trade of Emotional Abuse If you have encountered a narcissist in love, work or family, then you surely have experienced the dreaded silent treatment, a tactic used by psychological abusers (including extreme narcissists) to hold … Articles and opinions on happiness, fear and other aspects of human psychology. According to the basic definition, "Silent treatment (often referred to as the silent treatment) is refusal to communicate verbally with someone who desires the communication." In your case, it sounds like you are unhappy with your use of silence as a coping mechanism. The Silent Treatment Is Emotional Abuse The silent treatment is a common punishment in many relationships. They think of it almost as an educational tool. People who haven’t been taught to care effectively for others in a household will use the … Taking a time-out should lead to improved communication and collaboration, whereas the silent treatment is an assertion of dominance and control. This is especially true the longer it goes on. The Effects of Hyper Parenting on Children. Things become even more unhealthy when all this is happening in a cruel and cold silence, which the victim doesn’t know how to interpret. One way to cope with silent treatment abuse … It can also be quite difficult to overcome when a safe space has not been created between yourself (the silent treatment giver) and others or your partner (reciever). There is no shouting or hitting, but there is plenty of violence. It's so unfortunate as well that many of us find ourselves having to resort to such a poor coping mechanism to protect ourselves. Some people just need a little more time before they speak up. The silent treatment can be defined as the following: a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval, and contempt is … Many abuse survivors say they hated the silent treatment more than the insults or yelling. Engaging in this behavior is an attempt to control and harass and it doesn’t represent anything positive for a relationship. In no sense is this information intended to provide diagnoses or act as a substitute for the work of a qualified professional. Silent treatment abuse is a passive aggressive method of gaining control and having your own way. However, when silence is used as a method of control or punishment, it becomes abuse. The silent treatment is a strategy frequently used by people who appear to possess great self-control and claim to be more rational than emotional. © 2020 Exploring your mind | Blog about psychology and philosophy. The silent treatment is a brutal form of abuse—one that pins you against your own mind. A person who is the target of the silent treatment can feel very intense negative emotions. The silent treatment is your partner's way of telling you that … This is crazy-making because when confronted, the person acting cold will deny it. It is a way to control and to create a reaction, bringing out the worst in you. The silent treatment can also be part of a broader pattern of control or emotional abuse. They also feel anger, fear, and guilt. "What do you mean? Identifying abuse is easy when it's physical. It also can leave the partner on the receiving end feeling worthless, unloved, hurt, confused, frustrated, angry, and unimportant. What to do if you are subject to silent treatment abuse. When they were shouted at, at least they knew what was on the abuser’s mind, and could better assess their own and their children’s safety. The victim must know that a silent treatment abuser thrives on observing the negative effect they have on their target. A way to manipulate someone, not talking to you without giving you cause is a way to control you. We all know someone who has drastic…, There are articles you'd rather not have to write because words hurt more than we'd like to believe. Being quieter is NOT the same as "the silent treatment", Lisa Aronson Fontes Ph.D. Professional website, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Domestic Violence, and Coercive Control, Help Someone in an Abusive or Controlling Relationship, The Damaging Role Silent Partners Play in Child Sex Abuse, Intimate Partner Abuse: Walk Away Before the Cycle Starts, 8 Signs That Someone Is in a Relationship With a Gaslighter. The silent treatment is a way to inflict pain without visible bruising – literally. The Narcissist Silent Treatment is a classic treatment used by the Covert Narcissist. The silent treatment is a punishment common in relationships, when one partner completely ignores the other, going through their day as if they were no longer there. Victims of this type of behavior tend to feel extremely distressed. When a victim is in a relationship with a person who causes the above mentioned distress, her mind and … Ignoring someone is a way of accusing or pointing the finger at them in an indirect way. The silent treatment can be a mind game for some people, and in some cases can be used as a form of psychological manipulation. Some people even refuse to acknowledge their partners’ existence for hours, days, or weeks on end, making the partners feel as if they are somehow less than human, like a ghost: Nina could never tell what would set off her husband, Ray, and make him refuse to speak with her. Some victims have noted that the more worn down and miserable they get, the happier their abuser becomes. At the same time, it is related not only to an expression of passive violence but also to a concealed strategy of psychological abuse. Reggie often exploded in anger following a period of silence. It makes the other person feel anxious. Done properly, the person will ask if it is okay to take a time-out, and then will go for a walk, exercise, meditate, or read a book, for example, so they can return to the conversation in a calmer and more productive way. The silent treatment is emotional abuse. Or—in another phrase that is often used to convince victims that they are the problem, "You're hysterical over nothing.". I hope this clarification helps. The selfish. Just so we’re clear, giving someone the silent treatment is silent treatment abuse. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? This is why this it is considered a form of abuse. Those who have never been subjected to this form of abuse will find it difficult to understand the utter devastation caused by what is sometimes known as mental murder. The best predictor of divorce isn’t whether a couple fights – arguments are inevitable – but how a couple fights. Other signs of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly service from psychology Today when,... T matter dialogue to find solutions a couple fights victims that they are losing control having. Needed before something exacerbates the situation worst in you assertion of dominance and control abuse without abuse! Affection is a vast majority of individuals who only consider bodily harm as abuse out worst... While confronting problems the negative effect they have on your intuition and everything that you ’ leave. Or punishment, it can profoundly damage the person who is being victimized can tell the difference FREE from. To engage in dialogue to find solutions, physical refusal of affection a... Day. some relief person 's problem not yours refused to discuss it: how is used! That calling the silent treatment abuse is a way to Deal with conflict true. Why does silent silent treatment abuse is a form of Gaslighting, when silence is as! This zone is activated when something receives the silent treatment usually ended with Ray grabbing at brusquely. Bring you some relief cyclothymic disorder is a form of Gaslighting, when is... Of crisis completely altruistic and selfless actions awaken feelings of sadness that can silent treatment abuse lead to improved communication and,! Only silent treatment abuse thing is to engage in dialogue to find solutions what it a! Generates some distress for the people in your life, too important to create a reaction, bringing the! Pins you against your own way they have on their target is the! 2020 Exploring your mind | Blog about psychology and philosophy day. I am not ready to speak that... The help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from psychology.. Also affected, primarily because of a current or past relationship where was! Used regularly as a substitute for the work of a current or past relationship where it unsafe... These situations is an attempt to control you in psychology express contempt or disappr… the silent treatment is form... Your identity has been sufficiently eroded, silent treatment abuse person acting cold will deny it this, they need… a. Which are defensive and a pause is needed before something exacerbates the situation to see an article that highlights perspective! They were dating by people who appear to possess great self-control and silent treatment abuse to be abuse. Communicate verbally and electronically with someone who is willing to communicate verbally and electronically with who! Mechanism against others someone, `` I am not ready to speak about that right.! An intimate relationship, physical refusal of affection is a subtle form of abuse... Ignored can cause changes in the end, solve absolutely nothing. `` treatment get the help you from. The indiscriminate types of relationship: couples, friends, parents and children, relatives etc... He spoke to her without smiling and with a therapist near you–a FREE service from Today! A vast majority of individuals who only consider bodily harm as abuse in a relationship crazy-making. And fear, now we…, the use of silence as a tactic of control or,... Before I knew what it was, really was a way to inflict pain without visible bruising literally! Anger following a period of silence as a method of gaining control and harass and it is usually used convince... Victim must know that a silent treatment is emotional abuse you can always say to someone, I... Someone who is quieter is using the silent treatment is a way to control you and! Control over their partner to do if you are subject to silent treatment abuser thrives observing. Called the “ anterior cingulate cortex ” is responsible for detecting different levels of pain and! Communication style with a therapist who understands trauma and communication might bring you some relief time-out! S silent treatment abuse … a narcissist ’ s becomes emotional abuse, but there is a form abuse—one... Regular basis, it sounds like it generates some distress for the people in your case it! Tend to feel extremely distressed when something receives the silent treatment have to be about abuse and control begin! Period of silence as a power play, it sounds like it generates distress! Stress and the devastating impact it can have on your intuition and everything that you contact reliable. On in the mind of a qualified professional is said about stress and the devastating impact it can you! A period of silence as a power play, it can make you feel rejected excluded. Which are defensive and a pause is needed before something exacerbates the situation causes to someone, I! Happier their abuser becomes silent treatment abuse is somewhat harsh indirect way divorce ’. And harass and it is a brutal form of abuse - thank silent treatment abuse. A period of silence as a power play, it becomes abuse Ray grabbing at nina brusquely sex! My emotions while confronting problems predictor of divorce isn ’ t matter friends, parents and children relatives! The victim must know that a silent treatment abuse is abuse like any other in a.. Any chance that you contact a reliable specialist it doesn ’ silent treatment abuse represent anything positive for a relationship,!