Silent Treatment: How To Handle It & The Damage It Causes

To the particular person on the receiving finish of the silent remedy, the results can completely be hurtful and even detrimental to the connection, relying on how extreme the remedy.

Page cites analysis referred to as the “still-face experiment1,” for instance, wherein moms gave toddlers impassive reactions and silence for an prolonged time period. In this experiment, he says, the infants make fixed bids for connection. They strive, it would not work, and the infants freak out and begin crying. And finally, they withdraw and pull into themselves.

“If you want to understand the effects of the deep silence, that’s kind of what we create with it,” Page explains, including that there is a purpose solitary confinement is taken into account the worst punishment in jail.

In relationships between adults, he says, irrespective of the rationale behind the habits, the particular person on the receiving finish goes to really feel dejected, remoted, offended, and/or confused. “Extreme silent treatment is unequivocally a form of abuse,” he provides, noting that even subtler types can nonetheless be dangerous to the connection.

And for what it is value, Page provides, {couples} who’ve a “low threshold for allowing conflict” (aka they’d reasonably speak issues out than let issues fester) are literally happier of their relationships than {couples} with the next threshold for battle (aka they “let things go,” aka ignore issues).

“We often defer to silence and avoidance as a strategy to preserve the relationship—but it actually does exactly the opposite—and the other person experiences your silence as absence and avoidance,” Page explains.

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