The Silent Treatment: Is it a Communication Technique or a form of abuse?
The first thing to be made clear is that the Silent Treatment is NOT a communication technique. It is a form of abuse. And if we succumb to this treatment and say nothing and do nothing about it, we will eventually see ourselves as “victims,” as surely as if we were physically abused.
What to do when someone (especially a partner) gives us the Silent Treatment
As usual, when determining a communication strategy, we turn to effective communication skills training. This training should tell us one very important thing at this juncture. Always begin with YOURSELF. Are you hammering, being relentless, trying to “win” when you speak to people? If so, sometimes the silence of the other person results from his/her feeling overwhelmed and exhausted when “discussing” things with you. If so, that’s on you. But still–if the result is consistently “the silent treatment” there are steps you can take to stop this behavior–steps that may require an apology and clarification from YOU. However, it might also be the case that the person who is shutting down is not overwhelmed by your aggressive communication style. That person might simply be using the Silent Treatment to upset you mentally and emotionally–to be abusive. This is one reason giving children silence as a response, on a regular basis, can be devastating to them as adults. IT IS A FORM OF ABUSE, SO NEVER EVER EVER use it with children. Rather, talk to your children and communicate mindfully and with love, if you want them to be healthy adults. The Silent Treatment is never appropriate, but is especially damaging to young people in our care.
Dan walks through several steps in this video, that he suggests you take to combat The Silent Treatment. The result will be a healthier, more open, more stress-free relationship. And if this loving openness does NOT work, what you might have to give the relationship at issue is distance.
To bring Dan into your organization or to see his premium and free resources, go to danoconnortraining.com