THAT MOMENT… WHEN YOU ARE SO PISSED THE TEMP IN THE ROOM DROPS BY AT LEAST 10 DEGREES AND YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON THE PERSON YOU LOVE… WANTING TO MAKE A ‘SOLID’ POINT…. YOU BECOME SILENT… YOUR BODY AND MIND SHOWING REJECTION…. IN THAT MOMENT… WE ALL KNOW… THE SILENT TREATMENT GAME HAS BEGUN.
One of the things I used to crave most in my life was to have people love and validate me. I looked into their eyes, full of hope, wanting to please them. I would have done anything for my life partner and my children. I wanted to see them happy and thriving on my love. That mindset, of course, changed immediately the moment they did something wrong in my eyes, something that deeply hurt my feelings…. like not returning my phone call on time or going to a friend’s house without telling me. Didn’t they get I was here to rule their world so we could all live happily ever after? No. In that moment, it seemed they had missed that memo Again! I felt more like Cinderella sweeping chimneys than a beloved queen ruling her kingdom. I felt wronged, ashes of anger badly sticking to me. Someone had to pay for this and I knew just how to do it. I became a master at the silent treatment game.
I believed I was right looking at my loved ones with angry eyes while not uttering a single word. I believed I was right watching them squirming in front of me, unsure of what to do. It was some kind of ‘relief’ for my ego to watch them tiptoe around me. It has taken years of therapy for my anger to stop dominating all my emotions so I could find room within myself to start realizing what the silent treatment game had done to me and my loved ones. Here are some of my findings:
- Silent treatment demonstrates a high level of rejection for everyone playing the game… including ourselves! By not acknowledging someone’s presence, we portray to them that they do not exist in our eyes. By ignoring our own feelings and emotions, by default, we stop existing in our eyes as well. Seriously, how silly is that?
- Silent treatment is used to ’prove’ there is something deeply ‘wrong’ with the other person. If you believe you are 100% right (full silent treatment), then logically the other person will start questioning themselves and end up believing there is something ‘wrong’ with them (especially if you are a master at the game). Now, how does their sudden erosion of self-confidence (and your queenie ego boost) going to improve the situation at hand? Silent treatment resolves nothing in a loving way.
- Silent treatment is a form of emotional shut-down. Unable to handle their own feelings and emotions at the time, the one who starts the silent treatment game is actually blaming the other person for their lack of understanding (‘How could you do that?’) when, in fact, it is themselves who lack the emotional maturity to face their own emotions and handle them with dignity and grace. Ouch!
Now that we both see how detrimental the silent treatment game is to both parties, How do we handle the silent treatment game? EASY! STOP PLAYING THE GAME!
- QUESTION YOUR INTENT. You can only control yourself, your own feelings and emotions. If you agree to play the silent treatment game, what is unresolved within you that you accept to treat others (and yourself) like less than a full feeling human being?
- GO WITHIN. Ask yourself, ‘what can I do right now to remain connected to this person while being angry?’ Hugging a loved one while feeling hurt is a MATURE way to separate the loved person from their unwanted behaviors.
- MAKE IT SAFE. Have compassion for yourself and your loved ones. Maybe someone pissed in your life’s partner coffee cup that he could not return that phone call. Maybe your child was just being a child. Or maybe the real issues at play here are something much deeper that have nothing to do with either of them and EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOU.
I trust you have found this article valuable. If you are truly determined to build a loving, healthy relationship with yourself and your loved ones, I can assist you. I am an emotional intelligence coach serving women who are sick of the silent treatment game and want something different in their life. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With love & compassion,
#emotionalintelligence #silenttreatment #walkinginside #selflove