“If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all!” I know that’s what your parents taught you; but for many, saying nothing at all is taken wayyyy to far!
PSA: Giving your mate the silent treatment when you are upset still doesn’t solve the problem! You know the feeling, the one where two people are mad at each other and you can cut the tension between them with a knife.
Or maybe you grew up in that environment where when mom and dad were mad at each other they simply ignored each other for days on end because they were were both pros at the silent treatment game.
The power struggle of “I’ll be damned if I say anything first” invades your house and the next thing you know days or even weeks have gone by and still no valuable communication is being had. Here are a few reasons you should stop the silent treatment act!
1) There is no resolution
You and your mate won’t always agree on everything, but a fundamental skill for a relationship is being able to come to a resolution of conflict through communication and compromise.
Getting mad about a difference of opinion or because your mate is doing something that bothers you isn’t grounds for you to just stop talking and start being passive aggressive. All you end up with is an attitude…and the same problem you started with.
2) It just builds more tension and resentment
No one likes to feel ignored or dismissed and the silent treatment has that written all over it.
The longer you ignore, the more the tension builds and the more resentful the other person becomes. Oh and this just gets worse if you have a stubborn mate who is set on not being the first person to speak… which they equate with “breaking.” A relationship full of resentment is a recipe for disaster (man that’s a lot of R’s right there)!
3) It’s childish
“When I was a child I acted like a child…but when I became a man I put away childish things!” It seems we throw around this verse often; but so many times, in our relationships, grown people revert to very childish ways.
Oh y’all remember when you were a child and you got mad at your friend so you took your toys and stomped allllll the way home and swore you weren’t talking to him or her ever again because you weren’t friends anymore.
Well there is no place for this in adult relationships. You are in this thing together so drop those toys and get to talking and be friends again.
4) It’s divisive
Communication connects two individuals while silent treatments divide them.
As a couple you should always be growing together. But one of the easiest ways to begin to grow apart is to shut each other out through silence. Suddenly you stop talking and then someone from outside of the relationship starts talking – then HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
You don’t want anyone stepping into that space that was created through silence. You should be the ultimate place of comfort for your mate and he or she should be able to be as vulnerable as they want with you. The more silent you are the more divisive things become.
5) It sets a bad example
If you have a child and your example of working through conflict is through the silent treatment then don’t be surprised when your child follows suit.
Children need to see good and healthy examples of what conflict resolution and communication look like. You can’t ignore each other and think the child doesn’t notice. Don’t create an environment of silent chaos.
Bottom line: Stop the stubborn stuff and childish behavior and work through your issues without pulling the silent treatment card. The silent treatment can quickly turn into the lack of intimacy card, I’m not having sex with you card, and the broken relationship card.
Thrive in your relationship through good communication!
BMWK, How do you avoid the silent treatment?