The worst thing that you can do to me is giving me the silent treatment. It is one of the most passive aggressive ways to handle a conflict. And since we are all wired for connection, the silent treatment really goes against our human nature. When I am on the receiving end of it, I feel hopeless, powerless, small, unworthy and pure rage starts to boil up. Which is probably exactly what the other person wants. It can be used as a tool for trying to get power over someone, creating emotional distance and pure punishment.

There is a difference between the silent treatment, and being silent for a while for healthy reasons. You can choose being silent in order to avoid saying things that you regret later on. Or it could be that people feel so overwhelmed and literally cannot speak up.
This could still feel as the silent treatment for the other, so if you know that you tend to do this, make sure the other person knows about this. You can even think of a handsignal that tells the other that you need a break from the conflict and that you will get back at it after a certain period of time.

I myself have given the silent treatment in my early twenties. It was a combination of being too overwhelmed to speak, and wanting to punish the other. Since I knew how horrible the effect was on the other, I just decided to never do this to someone else again, even though it was super hard speaking up when I was overwhelmed. But I decided on this very strongly so I never did it again.

If you want to know more about toxic ways to handle a conflict and how to do it in a more healthy way, send me a pm for a 1 hour free discover session

#relationshiptherapy #silenttreatment #toxic #conflict #love #passiveagressive

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