Have you ever received or given someone the cold shoulder? If yes, I’m sure you already know how heartbreaking it is for the person at the receiving end.
However, that is not the only effect of it. Giving someone the silent treatment speaks volumes about your character too.
Avoiding communication, ignoring, and hurting another person in such a way shows what kind of person you truly are. It also damages the relationship you have with that person, sometimes even beyond repair.
The truth is, using this method of emotional abuse may define your personality, and if you still aren’t sure how that’s possible, you’ll need to stay with me until the end.
Giving Someone The Silent Treatment Speaks Volumes About Your Character
Here are 6 ways giving someone the silent treatment speaks volumes about your character.
• You aren’t brave enough to confront them directly
The truth is, most people choose to give someone the cold shoulder when they want to avoid conflict and confrontation with another person.
They think it’s the perfect way to steer clear of verbal abuse, but, unfortunately, what they aren’t aware of is that the silent treatment is also a form of abuse… emotional abuse.
I personally believe that it’s one of the most common reasons for unhealthy relationships nowadays. Couples choose to avoid fights because they don’t have the courage to solve their issues by speaking about their problems directly, and they think it’ll help them save their relationship.
On the contrary, silence will only drive them apart and weaken their emotional connection.
If you don’t feel free to talk about everything directly and openly with your loved one, then your relationship is anything but healthy. Besides, the fact is, the longer you keep stonewalling them, the less chance you’ll have to fix and save your relationship.
• You have self-esteem issues
If you don’t have the courage to confront another person, the only logical conclusion is that you’re struggling with deep self-esteem and self-confidence issues.
Maybe you think you won’t be able to win the argument, or you’re scared you may say something that will drive them away. It doesn’t really matter because it’s still the same conclusion: you are consumed with self-doubt.
This may deeply harm your mental health and general well-being. Not being aware of your worth, doubting your own qualities, and retreating into your shell may be a serious threat to all of your future relationships.
Until you free yourself from that self-doubt and overcome your self-esteem issues, you’ll never be able to build and maintain a healthy relationship with another human being.
You’ll keep pushing people away by giving them the silent treatment. So, take this as a serious warning: start working on improving your self-esteem and put an end to these bad behavior patterns once and for all.
• You try to punish the other person through this emotional abuse
Maybe you’re aware that the silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse, and you want to punish your ex-husband/wife, family member, or loved one who hurt you by using it.
However, did you know that emotional pain can cause physical pain too? And the fact is that domestic violence starts with emotional and verbal abuse in most cases.
The first times your significant other hurts you or you get into a disagreement, you may think about punishing them by giving them the cold shoulder, but what will happen after it happens several more times?
It’s really something you should think about. No matter what someone else does to you, no one deserves to be abused or mistreated in any way.
So, instead of sulking and going silent for days when you get into a fight with your loved one, try to take a timeout and cool off. Don’t act in the heat of the moment because you’ll be sorry later.
If you can’t solve your issues through healthy communication, then maybe you shouldn’t be together. Maybe you aren’t meant to be together…
• Stonewalling goes hand in hand with gaslighting
Trust me, it wasn’t until last week that I was aware that giving someone the silent treatment speaks volumes about your character. I was stonewalling my partner from time to time, but it was only because I thought I’d teach him a lesson that way.
Of course, I was wrong, and now, I clearly understand. Last week, we had a serious and honest talk, and we talked about everything that was bothering us in our relationship.
He said that what annoyed him the most in our relationship was how I always tried to gaslight him after my ‘silence period’ was over. And I was like, “WHAAAT? I never do that. 😱” Except I really did. I was guilty as charged, but I just didn’t want to admit it to myself for a long time.
And you see this, right here, the sentence I told him, is the best sign of gaslighting. I immediately started denying the facts to make both him and myself believe that I wasn’t doing that. Actually, I tried to blame him for my bad behavior, which is beyond wrong.
He explained how he always had to walk on eggshells around me because he never knew when I’d go silent again. I am now aware of my mistake, and I’m still working on it.
I am not an abuser. I don’t want my partner to feel bad, unhappy, or unloved in our relationship. I decided to give up on the silent treatment and stop with the gaslighting. I really care for him, and I will work hard to fix our relationship.
• It’s one of the most favorites methods of narcissists
People who display narcissistic personality traits usually have different (manipulative) ways or (abusive) methods that help them keep their victims around.
Silent treatment is exactly one of those methods. They use it mostly because they want to punish their victims for acting in a way they don’t approve of.
They also use it as a precaution just to show their victims (who probably developed strong feelings for them) that they can easily lose them.
It’s actually a kind of warning to their victims to say that if they don’t behave how they want, they’ll leave them.
They hope that their victims won’t see it as abuse, and they continue to manipulate them in that way as long as they don’t uncover their game. Unfortunately, most victims realize this too late.
In the end, if you’re giving someone the silent treatment, it may make you seem like a narcissist. To avoid that, always think twice before actually deciding to give someone the cold shoulder.
• You don’t care about the consequences your silent treatment may have, which makes you…
Thoughtless. Deeply apathetic. Disregarding. Oblivious. Uncaring. Selfish.
Again, all of these traits are the traits of a narcissistic person. And, believe me, being called a narcissist is the worst title a person can get.
However, when you think about it, what kind of person keeps hurting someone on purpose and not giving a damn?
So, the next time you give someone the cold shoulder, think about this. If you don’t want to make yourself look like a narcissist, give up on using this awful narcissistic technique.
If someone is using, mistreating, or hurting you, talk about it with them. Try to solve your conflicts in a healthy way instead of just going silent on them.
And always remember, just because someone hurt you doesn’t mean you’re allowed to hurt them too. Don’t stoop to their level just because you want to get revenge on them. To let go and walk away is and always will be the best revenge.
What Type Of Person Gives The Silent Treatment?
A narcissistic person. People with narcissistic personality traits care only for themselves, and if they think the silent treatment can benefit them, the other person’s suffering won’t make them give up on it.
A manipulative person. Oh, this is definitely all manipulative people’s favorite technique to manipulate someone else into doing something they want them to do. If the person on the receiving end has genuine feelings for them, sooner or later, they’ll fall for their manipulation.
An immature person. Avoiding conflict and ignoring someone just because you can’t communicate with them in a healthy way is a huge sign of immaturity.
A cruel and apathetic person. Someone who doesn’t care for other people’s feelings is also able to give someone the silent treatment. They’re simply emotionally numb and unable to feel another person’s pain.
An abuser. Someone with an abusive personality disorder is also capable of hurting another person through the silent treatment. For them, it’s a form of abuse they gladly use to punish their victims.
What Is The Psychology Behind The Silent Treatment?
From a psychological perspective, silent treatment is seen as a form of emotional abuse, a manipulative method abusers use to punish their victims or make them do something.
When someone decides to cut off communication with another person, they need to have a reason for it. You can’t just stop talking to someone because it doesn’t make sense at all.
People with low self-esteem and those who struggle with insecurities are prone to this form of emotional abuse because they aren’t able to resolve conflict with another person. They go silent to ‘save themselves’ and don’t even think about the person on the receiving end.
This form of emotional abuse is deeply unhealthy and toxic, and it can damage even the strongest relationships. Lack of communication weakens the connection between partners (especially in romantic relationships), and it slowly makes them drift apart.
Also, the fact is that it may have worse consequences on a person’s mental health than verbal abuse. Those consequences may even cause them physical pain and leave scars that will haunt them in all of their future relationships.
Is The Silent Treatment Immature?
Most psychologists and relationship experts consider the silent treatment deeply immature. In fact, most of them agree that it’s a method immature, narcissistic, and manipulative people use to emotionally abuse their victims.
Mature people always find a way to solve their conflicts in a healthy way, through healthy communication. Avoiding communication is something they never do because they know that it’s never a way to deal with issues and disagreements.
We all know that adolescents and young adults are prone to ostracism, and it’s just another piece of evidence that supports the fact that the silent treatment is immature.
If you’re a stable and mature person, you’ll deal with your problems directly and won’t try to ignore, avoid, or hide from them. If you don’t know how to express your feelings and thoughts, you should really work on your emotional maturity.
Is It OK To Give Someone The Silent Treatment?
To be completely honest, it’s okay only if you don’t care for that person at all and want to make it clear to them. On the other hand, you should always show someone respect even if you don’t particularly care for them.
You can end your relationship with that person and explain your reasons to them. Your silent treatment may be heartbreaking for the person on the receiving end, and hurting someone else’s feelings on purpose makes you a bad person.
It’s actually a sign of narcissism. Just try to imagine how you would feel if someone ignored you in the same way? Not a good feeling, right?
Then, don’t make another person feel that way – you can always find a more painless way to end communication with that person.
Is It Bad For A Relationship To Give The Silent Treatment?
As much as I try, I simply can’t think of any positive effects the silent treatment may have on a relationship between two people. So, yes, it is bad for a relationship, and it can damage or completely ruin the bond between partners.
Communication is and must be the foundation of every healthy relationship. After all, there are no problems or issues that can’t be solved through healthy communication.
And if one partner needs some time alone to recharge or deal with their personal issues, they should simply admit it to the other person. If their relationship is healthy, the other partner will be understanding, patient, and, above everything else, will respect their needs.
I hope you now understand how giving someone the silent treatment speaks volumes about your character. Obviously, it doesn’t quite send the picture of a nice person to the people around you.
So, if you had an argument with your loved one and are torturing them with silence right now, you should know that you’re just one phone call away from being the bigger person.
Avoiding your problems is never the right way to deal with them. You can avoid or ignore them as much as you want, but the truth is, sooner or later, they’ll come back to haunt you, and you’ll need to confront them in the way you should’ve done in the first place.