Silent treatment – a form of emotional abuse


I have known many people who were rude to me. I must admit I have been rude myself many times. However, I feel it is better to speak up what you are upset about and continue with the relationship as if nothing wrong happened.

There is no justification for rude behavior, however, if each one of us have been rude to others at some point, it is human nature. There are times when we get angry when someone said or does something, but later we calm down when our anger subsides. These are behaviors we learn from people around us when we grow up.

Giving silent treatment is different though. It is a form of control. Such people have tendencies to inflict pain on others. It leaves others confused and doubt themselves.

Many managers give silent treatment to their sub-ordinates at some point or the other. S/he may be upset about something that did not get done. But as a grown up, they are supposed to resolve any differences in private and behave like adults in presence of others.

You will often find yourself in situations where the boss talks to everyone else in the team and ignores you as if you did not exist. Sadly, this is a very common form of control over others and it only proves lack of maturity from the manager more than anything else.

In a typical hierarchical structures, you will find that someone very senior in the organization won’t talk to you because you are too junior for them. While a reporting structure and protocols need to be followed, there is no management or leadership book that mentions that you can’t talk to staff who work for you.

Some people behave the way they do, because they can get away with it. Such childish behavior is acceptable when you have power.

Most times you get stressed for the unkind words people say, but what is worse is when people stop talking to you and you don’t know what have you done wrong to upset them.

You wonder from where do people learn to give silent treatment – parents and where did they learn from – their parents.

If you did not do something they asked you to, then expect that they will take at least 2-3 days to start talking to you normal again.

Such behavior is learnt and then carried forward with other relationships you develop through out your life and most importantly with the spouse.

So a spouse refuses to talk because you did not express your concern for something you were not aware of, and then you ask ‘What is it about?’, you get a response ‘If you cared you would have known about it’.

I am sorry – but I believe nobody can read other’s mind if people don’t know how to express their feelings.

How do you deal with people who give you silent treatment ?

Laugh.  Seriously, it works 🙂








6 thoughts on “Silent treatment – a form of emotional abuse

  1. I have found that the main thing to do when faced with a negative reaction is to remember that the other person is not who you are. Every person has a different way of reacting to their situation and it is possible their reaction has nothing to do with you. If we wish to find the cause and resolve the problem, the best way is to approach lovingly and with an open mind. We get hurt by how others treat us but we may also discover that they are more hurt than we are.

    Liked by 1 person

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