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The Silent treatment….


Hello there,

I have seen a lot people suffer and complain with this “silent treatment” in my office. Thinking about it, I guess we all might have had to go through this kind of abuse in some time of our lives. Yes, I am calling it abuse because its hurts. Hurts even as physical pain and our body responds as to it as such The abuser is knowing exactly what he/she is doing. So I decided to sit down, investigate a bit and, see if I was able to write something about it…Here it goes. Hope it can be useful.

First of all, let me define this “could shoulder treatment or, silent treatment “I will be talking about. According to Richard Zwolinski “The silent treatment is an abusive method of control, punishment, avoidance, or disempowerment (sometimes these four types overlap, sometimes not) “

The silent treatment is the preferred weapon of narcissist people, people that have hard times controlling their impulses, in other words people with infantile tendencies. “Depending on the method used, it can make the person on the receiving end feel powerless, invisible, intimidated, insignificant, “dissed”, looked down on, disapproved of, guilty, frustrated, and even angry” According to Richard Zwolinski,

To expose someone to this” silence treatment “, can even be a considered kind of torture. In fact, isolation has been used in ancient times and actually is still used as a way to punish interns in penitentiaries.

Some of the more typical ways of “silent treatment” …

1.When the person refuses to speak to you for a certain period of time sustaining that you have no responded to his/her demands. This would be manipulating with silence

2.Silence as a result of something you have said or done that bothered the abuser. Here this would be silence as a punishment

3 Silence as a result of something you have said or done and will not even tell you what it was leaving you powerless. This would be the silent treatment as a disempowering tool

I consider there is not much you can do towards this silent behavior. As I mentioned at the beginning it is a childish behavior, the abuser does not want to find a way to resolve “the issue “

My suggestion, try not to let the perpetrator witness your feelings. He/she knows. Do not insist. Try to focus on something else. The more attention you put or show on this the more you reinforce the childish behavior giving him/her the sense of control., just take it as a temper tantrum !!!Just sit and wait. If the relation is worth it, when it’s over, when you have been taken out of the freezer. You may a chance to talk about it and let them know, it’s your choice then,

Remember, you can only change your behavior, not anyone else’s.

Ref.  LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Ines Estrada Vigil

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