I think the silent treatment is one of the most hurtful things you can do to someone… and you should certainly not be pulling that on someone you’re supposed to care about.
Now, understand that silent treatments are not the same as taking time to “cool off.” Cooling off after a disagreement is actually healthy. It allows both parties to calm down and get their emotions and thoughts clear.
I’m too angry/stressed out to clearly discuss this right now… I’ll give you a call tomorrow after I get off work, and we can talk about this then.
See what happened there? A point in the future when the matter will be discussed has been communicated.
But… but a silent treatment is nothing like that. The person giving the silent treatment basically shuts the other person out with no explanation… and it’s VERY destructive to a relationship.
The giver takes control and manipulates the situation in order to make their victim feel helpless & unworthy. It’s used to inflict emotional pain… making the receiver feel dismissed and invalidated.
Used enough, and it can even be considered emotional abuse.
I’ve had silent treatments pulled on me. Reaching out via text or phone goes unanswered… leaving me to go to bed feeling brokenhearted. Then I wake up feeling incredibly hurt, knowing it was OK for them to let me end the day feeling sad and helpless.
Honestly… I would never shut anyone out without warning… especially those I care deeply about. Keeping someone in sadness without knowing if/when the problem will be talked over, is incredibly cruel in my book.
Unless you’re shutting out someone who is dangerous from whom you’re trying to completely remove yourself from…. don’t do the silent treatment because it sux.
P.S. Lemme know what you think!
Carmen is a mom, life strategist, religion teacher, best selling author, advice columnist, foodie wannabe, and advocate for victims of narcissistic abuse. She is currently living la vida loca in Vegas with her not-so-little human… prepping him for med school while pseudo-adulting, Tahitian dancing, and exploring the delicious world of bubble tea *woo!*