Love, Always

How to handle getting the silent treatment

Silent Treatment_o

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s awful to be on the receiving end of the silent treatment.

It’s just as awful to be the one who dishes out this “punishment.” Because it’s a rotten way to communicate. It takes a deeply insecure, deeply frustrated person to resort to this method of getting one’s point across.

So let’s stop it, shall we?

There’s no need to treat each other this way.

And, it’s awful role-modeling for children … who are then at risk for behaving the exact same way, when they’re grown up.

Let’s break the cycle, shall we?

Change the behavior now! Short-circuit leaving this legacy to the younger generation.

So, why do people behave this way?

And what should the person whose getting the silent treatment, do? First, I made the video below about this for you.

So keep reading & then “Click to Watch” below.

Why give the silent treatment? Many possible reasons. Here are two:

1. Sometimes people are at a loss for words. They don’t know what to say & feel it’s better to say nothing. (“I clam up before I stick my foot in my mouth.”)

— The silent treatment could be a form of punishment. Some people handle their anger by punishing the people they’re mad at. What could be more punitive than a type of withdrawal from a relationship… A withholding of love?

How to handle getting the silent treatment?

2. Continue to feel good about yourself.

— Let the other person stew over his/her unresolved feelings(which are instigating this unhealthy behavior).

— If there are children involved, teach them.. without badmouthing the other parent, that: “This behavior is rude and reflects poor communication skills.”

And… If you’re the one who is giving the silent treatment, STOP. Find a healthier way to deal with your anger.

To learn more, CLICK THE ARROW BELOW and enjoy the video.

In an earlier vlog I shared how much fun it was to do the column at Hawaii Reporter & why I put that terrific project to rest.

Click here to view that earlier vlog.

Love, always.


PS. Are you a giver or receiver of the silent treatment? How does it feel?

PPS. The comment section is now closed. Please enjoy the comments that other readers have shared in the past.

  1. What a relief to read this! It’s quite lonely to get the silent treatment. Your post is uplifting (and great company!).

  2. Hi Melissa: I’m so happy your spirits are lifted.

    Something to think about… “When we’re one with ourselves, we can be alone (physically) but not lonely.”

    Also, many people have found the following affirmation helpful: “I am never alone. I am always with myself.”

    Hope these tips are useful. :)

  3. Thanks. My wife dishes out the silent treatment, often. So I appreciate your tips on how handle when this happens.

  4. I identify with this topic. I used to travel with my partner until I noticed that something always seemed to happen just before we were scheduled to depart that would provoke anger – and then I’d be traveling with someone who wasn’t speaking to me! Not pleasant. And, as a result, I rarely travel with this person these days.

    • Hi Karen: Thank you for your comment. It speaks powerfully to those who are delivers of silent treatment (ST) – some of whom are hopefully reading these comments.

      Your comment delivers a strong message to them: There a consequences for delivering ST.

      Why lose out on the beautiful company of a beautiful partner? Find other, better ways to communicate.

  5. I’m the “clam-up” type. Now I understand better how that comes across to my other half. Thank you so very much.

    • Hi Sheryl: You’re welcome. I imagine your “other half” will appreciate your sensitivity about how you come across. Good for you!

  6. I’m doing some personal growth work and just this week I was looking at my experiences growing up where I learned that someone “not talking” to me meant they were angry – at me. That’s had an effect on me all my life.

    • Hi Gertrude: I’m so sorry you had to experience that.

      How nice that as an adult you can handle the silent treatment differently, keeping in mind that:

      “Other people’s negativity is not my problem.”

  7. Wow, wake-up call! I’ll share this with my partner. We both got the silent tx growing up. And we aim it at each other, often. And we have kids.

    Say no more… Things are going to change in our household starting now (that’s my open declaration right here!). Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Hi Trish: Hooray for change! We’re never too old to learn how to treat each other with respect. Good luck (I sense you don’t need it though.)