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In this video, you’re going to learn the impact of the silent treatment and how to make up after a fight.
Not many people know this but the silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse in a relationship.
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Please watch my other video, “How to Spot Emotional Abuse: Signs of An Unhealthy Relationships” to learn more:
I didn’t mention the silent treatment in that video because I wanted to spend extra time on this today because it is so important to understand exactly what it is and the impact it has on relationships.
It is common for people to retreat in silence when we get upset because we are hurt and need some space to process.
Sometimes silence can be effective in “cooling off” and gathering your thoughts.
But in some relationships, people take the silent treatment too far, and is a form of emotional and verbal abuse.
The silent treatment is known to cause damage in a relationship as it makes the person on the receiving end feel bad.
Here are some helpful relationship skill ideas on how you can deal with the silent treatment, and engage with your spouse once the silent treatment starts:
1. Label the action
It is important to point out the fact that your significant other is giving you the silent treatment.
This isn’t an opportunity to stir the pot, but rather acknowledge what they are doing and give them space to engage with you.
2. Label the impact
After your significant other is made aware you recognize the silence, this is a good opportunity to tell your other half that their silence hurts your feelings.
It is important to be authentic with them about your feelings and model that behavior for them, even if your spouse is not ready to talk yet.
3. Be open to conversation
Once you tell your partner how their silence impacts you, ask them if they are ready to have a conversation with you about whatever it is that is bothering them.
A good example is “I notice you are not talking to me and I would very much like to have a conversation with you about this.
Disengaging and remaining silent is not helping resolve this situation and I very much would like to do that. Are you willing to talk?”
4. Set the boundary after re-engagement spouse re-engages
Ignoring your spouse has no place in a healthy relationship. Taking some space can be beneficial to gain insight and reflection, and is considered healthy at times.
But the silent treatment is not the way to go and should not be tolerated. After your partner re-engages in conversation with you, tell your partner that it is not okay for them to ignore you in the future.
Inform them that you would appreciate a pre-determined about of space time that is mutually agreed upon, but not okay to ignore you for a lengthy amount of time without a prior agreement.