Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Silent Treatment

I really dislike the silent treatment. I am annoyed when people use it towards me, and I only do it if as a means of last resort when dealing with a difficult person. I understand when people have to take step back from one another at times, but when it is a recurring pattern, and it lasts months and even years, it can be absolutely frustrating, and sometimes heartbreaking. I have dealt with this in my family, and have had to learn to understand and come to terms with behavior I do not like.

When I have tried to talk to a certain someone, and that person acts like I am not there or responds in an aggressive manner, that is when I take a step back because of self-preservation. This person has always been a negative force in my life, but I have learned a lot from the extended silences and the times in between. One of the most important of these is how not to act when in conflict with someone else. While my other family members and I have to keep our physical and verbal distance from this particular person, I make sure to keep the lines of communication open with other people in my life, even if there is conflict. I don’t need to make anyone who does not like me to be “my best friend,” but I always believe in being civil and polite, even if the other person will not reciprocate. Of course if he or she is completely rude, I know I have to stand up for myself. I have learned to do so the hard way, but I think I do it pretty well when needed, and with class.

Bottom line, I just don’t think maintaining an angry silence within any relationship is a good thing. This is especially true if it keeps reoccurring; that means there is a major dysfunction that should be taken care of. If not, the cycle of silence continues.

Do you think the silent treatment works, or do you dislike it as much as I do?

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