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The Silent Treatment
Might Hurt Worse Than Anger

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

The silent treatment usually hurts more than anger does. That's why some people will try to get the silent person angry--just to get them to say anything at all! Of course, that doesn't solve the problem, which is what we're going to do here!

Nobody wants to be shut out, ignored, excluded or rejected. That is, unless you really don't like the person who has shut you out--but if that was the case you probably wouldn't even be reading this web page.

Our focus here is being shut out by someone important to you, where it really does matter.

You need to remember that sometimes people are silent because they just don't know what else to do. It's not always intended to do harm.

Keep reading for the rest of the story. 

What Harm Does The Silent Treatment Cause?

In some primitive societies, ostracism (which is a total exclusion--as if the person did not exist) can lead to death in some cases. While shunning & ostracism probably won't kill you, it certainly can feel bad.

The silent person might not mean any harm. This is very true. Sometimes the person being silent is just trying to protect themselves, or maybe trying to avoid showing anger.

However, here are some things everyone needs to know about this type of behavior:

  • It can be very passive aggressive behavior, intended to hurt the other person.
  • It can hurt more than anything else you could ever do, depending on who the person is.
  • Silent treatment to children is the most destructive of all, and should never be used as a form of punishment.
  • It can contribute to depression, anxiety and low self esteem if it lasts a long time and occurs on a continual basis.

The important thing to consider here is that your behavior can have a very strong impact on others. What you do and don't do matters, especially to those close to you. Take responsibility for your behavior, and be aware of the effects it has on those around you. 

What's The Best Way To Respond To Silent Treatment?

Focus on yourself! It someone is not speaking to you as a passive aggressive way of hurting you, the best thing for you to do is to take really good care of yourself. Do things that are good for you, and keep your focus off of the other person and their behavior.

I also recommend you do the following things when someone is giving you the cold shoulder:

  • Move ahead with your own life. Do the things that are important to you, especially the things that make you feel good.
  • Do not give the same "treatment" back to them. That's right, I do not suggest that you ignore them just because they're ignoring you. While your attention to them will certainly be less than usual, just be kind and courteous to them.
  • Think kind thoughts of them in your mind. Every time you think of the person who has shut you out, send them love and appreciation, focusing on their very best qualities.
  • Remember that they wouldn't be doing this if they didn't feel hurt or afraid in some way. Be kind in your mind.

Get more helpful ideas in this article entitled, How To Confront Someone Who's Giving You the Silent Treatment.

I realize that this is a tall order. However, I happen to know that you are a brilliant, good person, and that's why I know you can do this if you set your mind to it.

Get your copy of this audio program now, and your self esteem will be so strong that nobody can ever manipulate you again by shutting you out!

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