Ah, the passive aggressive silent treatment! Most of us know how it feels like to get the silent treatment from a partner.
When you are being given the silent treatment, your partner ignores you or refuses to acknowledge you verbally or through any other method. It is one of the most common patterns of conflict in relationship.
Your partner may resort to the silent treatment in these four circumstances: When you refuse to acquiesce to his or her demands; when you do or say something that hurts them and they refuse to accept any reasonably sincere apology; when you have done something wrong but they won’t tell you what you have done to upset them leaving you powerless to make an apology; and when they refuse to answer a question or statement that requires a response.
You should never accept the silent treatment as an acceptable behavior. Here are a few tips to help you deal with the silent treatment:
Never beg for a response
Attempting to prod the person out of their silence never works. Once you realize you are being given the silent treatment, accept that they have a right to react with silence and politely remove yourself from the ‘conversation’ and get away from them for a while if possible. Never beg for a response.
No matter how badly you want to talk to them, don’t stoop to the level of begging for a response. It will drive you crazy.
The best course of action is giving them time to calm down and let the anger pass. Don’t make your partner think that they are your entire world and that you are falling apart without them. Never beg.
Don’t let your him see it is affecting you
The worst thing you can do when you are at the receiving end of the silent treatment is letting your partner see that their tactics are getting to you.
People who use the silent treatment are narcissists who enjoy knowing that they are getting to you. If they see that you are being bothered by the silence, they will prolong the silent treatment and it might even encourage them to use it another time.
Whatever you do, do not show them that their silent treatment is bothering you. Preoccupy your mind with other things until the silent treatment ends.
Do not pick an argument with them
When someone is giving you the silent treatment, they are probably quite angry to begin with and picking an argument will aggravate the already volatile situation.
The best thing to do is to stay quiet and let things cool off a bit. Even if you do get them to say a couple of things, they won’t be happy responses.
Do not bug them with calls and messages
When it becomes apparent that someone is ignoring you, blowing up their phone with calls and messages won’t get them to talk.
All you will do is annoy them even more with your incessant messages. Ask them only once if there is something you can do to help end the conflict, or if there is any way you can help them to feel more open to communicating with you.