Learning how to handle silent treatment in a game-driven relationship will help you regain control.
The silent treatment is emotionally abusive in any relationship. That’s how easy it is. It’s supposed to make you upset, anxious, and doubt your own words leading up to the experience. Apologizing for something you didn’t do is a manipulative ploy to make you feel bad about yourself. If you’ve learned how to handle the silent treatment, you can get back in charge of the issue.
From a purely subjective standpoint, nothing is more irritating than being ignored by someone who has the audacity to refuse to engage you in conversation as some sort of power play.
It’s meant to keep the conversation going by pleading with you to share more. You feel like shouting, “Say something!” at the conclusion. A sardonic grin is all you get.
Miscalculated Power Play
If your partner becomes withdrawn when things don’t go their way, you should practice this coping mechanism yourself. If it doesn’t work, simply walk away while waving your hand. In a healthy partnership, neither partner should exert undue influence over the other. Prepare yourself for a powerful and healthy reaction to the silent treatment.
I’ve been in situations where the other person becomes silent when they don’t get their way, and it’s very aggravating. At one point, he didn’t like it when I hung out with my pals. While I was out, I sent him a simple “miss you” message. There was total silence. What are you doing? I text you again. No response.
It may not seem like much, but it totally destroyed my evening. I’m embarrassed to admit that I left early. Naturally, he desired precisely that.
Do you see how isolating someone and not communicating with them can be used as a form of punishment? It’s an extremely manipulative and egotistical personality trait you should not have to endure.
Is it always manipulative to go silent on someone?
We all use the quiet treatment occasionally, but only in a playful sense. For instance, you and your partner might disagree on something of little importance. You may tune out your partner for a few minutes rather than listen to what they say.
Not exactly the cold shoulder I had in mind. I’m referring to an approach meant to punish and assert control, not something we all occasionally do when we feel like acting silly.
What is a healthy and powerful reaction to being ignored?
Ignored and looking for a way to break the ice? Deal with it squarely. Don’t let it make you think twice about what you’re about to say or do. Keep in mind that this is a manipulative strategy. If you give in, your spouse will be able to use this against you repeatedly. They will exploit you if given the opportunity.
First of all, you shouldn’t let the radio silence disturb you. It’s tough; I get it. Think about it. There is probably nothing wrong, no phone and no voice, because of which your lover has gone silent. They’ve gone silent because they want to force you to say sorry or refrain from doing something.
You should hope for the best and figure out why your partner has suddenly become distant if this is the first time it has happened. Inquire as to the source of their silence, but be clear that you want to proceed with whatever it was you mentioned doing.
Calmly and kindly approach them; smile and ask, “Hey, what’s up?” if they don’t respond, say, “Well, when you’re ready to talk, you know I’m here to listen.” Proceed with your day. It’s a strong strategy and much more nutritious than they’re trying to sell you.
In addition, you should act as if you are not in an emotional upheaval despite their antics. Be strong and hold it to yourself; then, when you’re outdoors, let it all out with a yell, scream, or whatever works for you.
Holding in your feelings for too long will lead to a verbal explosion and probably a fight.
Recognize the red flags in your connection.
Learning how to respond to the silent treatment in that situation should have been as simple as sending a text message saying, “Miss you, hope you have a great evening,” when my ex was trying to punish me with silence for going out with my friends. Then I can put my phone away and relax.
I should not have sent that second text, and I shouldn’t have let that incident mar my time with my pals by making me leave early. Take note of what I did wrong!
Be sure to establish boundaries for the time being.
Clearly define your limits and communicate them to your partner if this has happened more than once. This is a demonstration of power, not resistance. It’s a great way to regain control. Defining limits and communicating them to the other person will provide you with solid justification to terminate the relationship if the abusive behavior continues.
Getting out of here will be challenging. Remember that you don’t deserve to have to cope with someone who deliberately stops communicating with you to punish or control you. If your partner utilizes silence as a weapon during arguments, it’s important to have a serious conversation with them about setting boundaries. Make it clear that if the behavior persists, you will no longer be interested in continuing the relationship.
Your significant other will probably be surprised. They may even challenge you by asking for clarification but hold firm. You’re the one who’s in charge of this situation.
Putting one’s own needs first.
You must put yourself first. It’s easy to give in to your partner’s demands out of a desire for peace and quiet and a fear of provoking their fury. This is a terrible error since it causes you to neglect your own needs.
Turn your attention inward. Do the things that bring you delight. To give oneself the strength to deal with and, if necessary, leave a manipulative partner, you should hang out with friends, exercise, get lots of fresh air and nature, read books and watch movies, and eat healthy meals.
If you want a shift in your outlook on life, spend more time with individuals who encourage you and less with those who bring you down.
Practice your determination to figure out how to handle the silent treatment. If this keeps happening, break up.
Meaningful articles you might like: Tips for Making Your Relationship Work Despite Your Differences, Recognizing and Coping with an Emotionally Distant Partner, How to Change Without Compromising or Losing Yourself for Your Partner