How To Use The Silent Treatment In Your Relationship

The silent treatment.

The silent treatment is an age-old technique that we have used on people even the people we love the most for the longest time now. While it can be bad for a relationship to just go about solving problems with silence, there are just times wherein keeping quiet is the best temporary solution. Sometimes, things can get a little heated and emotions can be running high; during these times, we have a tendency to say hurtful things that we could never take back. That’s when the silent treatment can be a more effective tool of expressing your displeasure and getting your point across without necessarily saying anything that you’re going to regret.

However, given all of that, the silent treatment is never going to be a sustainable way of going about addressing the problems in a relationship.

So what is the silent treatment exactly? It’s essentially one or both persons’ refusal to talk to one another in the relationship. In all simplicity, it’s the willful suspension of open communication between two people. The silent treatment is most usually employed during arguments or disagreements wherein words and emotions can be a little overwhelming. The length of a silent treatment can vary depending on the intensity of the argument and the personalities of the people involved. Sometimes, a silent treatment can be as short as a few minutes but it also has the potential to span a few days or weeks. And in the most extreme cases, silent treatments can even last for years.

And why is it that silent treatments are detrimental to relationships? Well, when you give your partner the silent treatment, you are essentially shutting yourself off from your partner. You think that you are using this tool as a means to get away from your partner and to express your displeasure. But you should now that this is also a cowardly way to go about resolving your conflicts. First of all, when you use the silent treatment. You deprive yourself of the opportunity of expressing to your partner just how you’re feeling and what they can do to fix things. Next, you are only unnecessarily prolonging the pain of the conflict by refusing to engage in healthy dialogue. And lastly, you are essentially telling your partner that you can’t trust them to handle whatever it is that you have to say anymore. And trust is always important in a relationship.

But with that being said, silent treatments don’t always have to be detrimental to a relationship if executed properly. Because in a sense, there’s no point in trying to fake your way through negative feelings. If you’re unhappy with your partner, there’s no reason for you to be smiling at all. But again, it’s only when you find that you are unable to put yourself in a place of emotional stability to actually engage in healthy talks wherein the silent treatment can apply. If you try to force yourself to talk your way through your troubles even when you are just plain too angry to do so, you may end up damaging your relationship even further.

But how long should you be willing to let the silent treatment last? It varies. But here’s a general rule of thumb. If you’re already living together, then you shouldn’t really let the silent treatment last for more than a few hours. Just allow yourselves a few hours to let the tensions die down and allow your heads to cool for a bit. When you’re ready, start talking to one another again. There’s no point in prolonging the silent treatment even though you’re both in a healthy emotional and mental state already.

Given all of that, it’s still highly encouraged that you use the silent treatment as little as humanly possible. It’s not a tool that you can use to resolve all of your conflicts every single time. It loses its effectiveness the more that you use it and you are slowly chipping away at the foundation of your relationship every single time. Save it for only the most grave and emotionally exhausting moments in your relationship. Save it for the biggest issues. Don’t waste it on the petty ones because you’re only going to come off as a petty person by doing so.

Remember that at the end of the day, a relationship won’t be able to survive without free and open communication. Couples who don’t talk to one another are essentially dooming themselves and their relationship into oblivion. Don’t let that happen. Don’t let your ego get in the way of you and your partner having a fulfilling life of love and romance together. Don’t get caught up in the drama of your emotions. Yes, it might feel good to give your partner the cold shoulder for screwing up. But it feels so much better to just get back to a place of love and intimacy with one another.

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