Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment - the other end of a chilly silence

Many of us have suddenly found ourselves at the other end of a chilly silence with no explanation. At the same time, many of us will recognize our own tendency to withhold our emotions rather than express them. Most of us have seen both sides of the withholding dilemma. It is a pattern that creates a breakdown in communication and understanding.

No one deserves to be subjected to this. Feeling ignored, disrespected, or shut out, and to not know why, is a terrible feeling. The first thing to remember if this is happening to you is that you are not to blame. You are caught in someone else's pain pattern. This person does not know how to express feelings in a healthy way.

Don't feel guilty for failing as a mind reader. You can do your best to understand why this person clams up. But to expect you to figure things out on your own is unrealistic and exhibits poor communication skills on their part. If he or she keeps giving you the silent treatment every time your relationship hits a bump in the road, then maybe the relationship is better off silent.

The silent treatment is a form of control, which in turn is a form of abuse. Don't buy into it!

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