Hello again my dear readers! My medical board exams are finally over, cialis generic generic so La Vida Dolce is back in action! Let’s celebrate by talking about my biggest pet peeve in relationships: the silent treatment. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the following scenario with our partners: 1) an argument starts, best viagra decease 2) the issue goes unresolved, sickness and 3) you or your partner responds with a cold shoulder for days. It’s understandable if this may happen occasionally, but what happens if this continuously repeats during every argument?
Before we delve into the peculiarities of the silent treatment, I would like to differentiate between the “cooling off period” and the “silent treatment”.
Cooling off period: This is the minutes-hours immediately following an argument. You and your partner just had an emotionally charged tete-a-tete and need time to regroup/recharge mentally and emotionally. I consider this a normal evolution of an argument because it allows the issue to be resolved after both parties are calmer.
Silent treatment: This is the hours-days-weeks following an argument. There’s no basic communication between you and your partner. Its the type of tension that can be cut with a butter knife. Issues are clearly unresolved and resentment brews. This is an emotionally unhealthy relationship.
The silent treatment and emotionally ostracizing your partner is destructive to any personal relationship. It’s a passive-aggressive way to control the emotions and dealings of the relationship. In fact, many psychologists and therapists would consider this behavior as emotionally abusive, and I whole-heartedly agree with that classification. Couples who engage in this sort of conflict management demonstrate decreased relationship satisfaction, lower sexual intimacy, and poor communication. Additionally, the victim repeatedly feels abandoned, ignored, and unworthy – who should feel like that in their relationship? Gradually resentment brews between partners – they attribute blame to each other rather than dealing directly with the issues at hand. Nothing good comes out of the silent treatment; I personally feel it’s manipulative, disrespectful, and overall, not productive to any relationship.
I decided to write about this topic because it reminds me of my most recent relationship. Whenever we had an argument, or at random times, he would go completely silent. The silence was accompanied by no eye contact, personal acknowledgement when we’re in each others presence, and complete withdrawal of verbal and physical affection. I was left emotionally depleted, thinking “what did i do wrong? why do i deserve such treatment?” I realized that it wasn’t me with the problem; it was his way of controlling our relationship. It created an emotional struggle between us, and eventually, we parted ways.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but how we deal with it is extremely important. I try to subscribe to the saying, “do what you say, say what you mean” in my relationships. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but be open with your partner when you need time to cool off after an argument; it’ll save your relationship from unnecessary struggles. Here are some tips below to start breaking the silent treatment cycle:
1) Mutually agree to “cool off” when the cycle begins
2) Avoid character assassination
3) Sincerely apologize when the time arises
4) Refrain from ping-ponging the silent treatment between each other
5) Do not appear upset nor coax your partner into conversing with you
These suggestions will take time to initiate and you may falter momentarily, but all is not lost. Everyone is entitled to respect, love, and happiness in their relationship. Try to rise above the silent treatment and be responsible for your own happiness. (**Note: If you feel your partner becomes verbally and/or physically abuse, please seek advice from a professional**)
I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading