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102 Comments to
The Silent Treatment And What You Can Do To Stop It Cold

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  1. My daughter has given the silent treatment to her brother for over a year now. He has asked her a lot what he did and she is just silent. He told her several times he is sorry if he has done something wrong and she won’t accept his apology. Now it is my turn , she doesn’t call or e mail me anymore and won’t even let me see my grandchildren. I told her she is using them as a pawn and she said she would never do that but she is and won’t admit it. The last time we talked was months ago and all she wanted to do is argue , which I wouldnt do and it frustrated her more that I wouldn’t argue. She kept it up so much I told her if we weren’t going to have a good conversation I was hanging up, which I ended up doing. She has always been a control freak and if its not her way it is the wrong way. Its been four months since I have heard from her. Mother’s day will be coming up and I doubt very much she will even call me. Have no idea, just like her brother, what is bothering her. I am slowly coming to terms I have lost my daughter. She argues with everyone from people driving and even the people she works with. She yells at her kids and her husband. I see her now as a toxic person who will never apologize for the way she has treated me or her brother. She hasn’t come to visit me going on a year and she lives a one hour drive away. I don’t like who she has become but maybe this is who she has been all along. I have always been there to listen to her complain about this or that and when she is done complaining she is ready to get off the phone. I love my daughter but I don’t like her

    • You are the parent regardless of her age. You can ask her why she is doing the silent treatment. There has to be a reason. She is a product of you and that is something you should think about. Did you hurt her feelings? You should take that step to continue to show her love and affection despite her giving it back to reassure her that as a mother you will always love her. She may just very well come around.

    • HI,
      My son wont talk, answer me if I take the phone to ask him something, or even respond to any comment regarding me to his dad. This started with his gf. Everyone told us what would take place. They were right. She is a psycho. He lets her control him to the point he was recording us and she was indicating we were not good for him or our daughter. We had to put him out. He was cocky and did not seem to have a problem at all with that. We even had an officer talk to him first and he was like ok call them ill be in my room. He is out of the home and now wont speak or admit his behavior of betraying his family is wrong. Its ok if he wants to date her, its not ok to side with her when we have raised him. Hes a hard worker, no law issues, great personality. This is his first real girlfriend and man is she a piece of psychotic work. He has pulled away from everyone including his beautician that he grew up knowing. Is there any hope? He had a lot going on for him. Got his Eagle rank, was going to military until he hurt his knee. Now he is ok but we feel he will not persue anything now due to this girl he is dating.

  2. I have/had been dating a guy who goes silent on me with anything he dislikes me doing. Example is I aim to go away for 2days with one of my friends bearing in mind we were on month 5 of dating. He has decided to block me from communication via text/social media so we are unable to resolve anything. Reading this has gave me clarity

    • if your ‘friend’ is male, i agree with him and would dump you.

      if your friend is female, he’s being unreasonable.

      • Omega Man…I agree. I had a boyfriend once who had his ex stay overnight from out of town. I raised an issue with it but backed down when he asked me why I didn’t trust him. Now I understand better that you do not position someone you love to sit in such a painful spot. It is disrespectful at best.

  3. My wife has taken off on me and I would send emails or try to text her for over a month how should I handle the situation here I love her so much and don’t wanna lose her could someone please help we’ve been married over six years and don’t know what to do?

  4. What is striking to me is how passive aggressive this behavior is. And intentional. Abusive ? Heck yeah !! This is different than when someone ‘takes time out’, or steps back so as not to argue. It is a deliberate control tactic, and can also be seen as a form of manipulation/punishment. How counter productive to real communication, and a healthy relationship. Right now, it is going on 3 days. He’ll walk right past me as if I’m not here. With a facial expression that is down right scary, to boot. If this was the first time, I’d probably be beside myself (it is crazy making behavior, after all)..But it’s not the first time. Add the explosive temper, blaming, name calling, belittling comments, threats, and accusations, etc., (which usually occurs before this game begins); only makes me wonder if there is a personality disorder manifesting it’s ugly head. The most trivial (and nothing) becomes the end of the world. As I said, this is far from the first time. While it is still difficult to deal with, I have at least become able to not allow it to affect me as much as he probably hopes it would. It is horrible. And he makes it seem like it’s my fault that he behaves this way. He is not responsible for anything. Nope. It’s all me. I deserve this. I don’t deserve respect. Nope.
    This is what is so ugly about this behavior. This is the message being sent. This is how this person regards me.

    • I am right there with you. I am concerned about a personality disorder in my son. I am terrified for him. I will keep you in my prayers. I hope someone will keep us in prayers also. The walking by with out even looking at me and almost like a dare to get out of his way as if I am invisible. His gf got him on those video games that he never used to play. I wont allow the 2 he started playing with her in our home. I wonder if that is why its like he wants to literally walk over someone. The devil works hard on the young folks now days. The video games I hope will cease one day. I do feel they are numbing in a sense. We never let him play those then this girl came in the pic. I can only control what goes on in my home. I do not regret that we put him out. I hope your situation gets better. Make some kind of line in the sand that cant be crossed.

    • That sounds a lot like my husband except for the belittling comments or accusations. At least he’s never done that. But he has been ignoring me for going on 6 wks. He has spoken to me a time or two, but for the most part, does not acknowledge my existence. Even does his own cooking and grocery shopping. I haven’t asked him what’s wrong because I think I know what it is – asking him to put his dish in the sink. And I said it very nicely. So, this is his problem and he will have to put an end to it. Does it annoy me? Sure, but life goes on. I’m doing things I want to do, I am not sulking, not afraid he’ll get mad at me because he already is! He’ll come around eventually. Actually. I have to feel sorry for a person who is so angry inside and immature that they can’t relate on an adult level.He needs to take responsibility for his actions, but I think he learned this from his mother.

    • Karly, I have a very similar situation, but it sounds like it is harder for me to move on than it is for you. I have noticed this is always the result of telling him I feel hurt by something he has done. We do not argue about a lot of things. It is the same stuff over and over. He wants to dismiss me and continue the behavior.(ie changing plans without telling me, planning vacations with his sister which exclude me, etc.) If he apologizes at all (and that is a big if) he can’t handle it. I will let it go but within three days, he loses his mind and turns everything around. If I am “registering a complaint” about feeling hurt, I am “criticizing” him and deserve to be punished. THIS is the call of the narcissist. The silent treatment follows, and can go on indefinitely because he knows I do not have the means to leave right now. It is truly punishing and demeaning to be ordered into submission. Sometimes it is embarrassing to witness such infantile behaviors.

  5. The problem I see in this is that there are individuals who say whatever suits them at the time as they interact with others. In my opinion once the bridge is burned and hurtful words are hurled the damage is done and the chosen words used by the offender/s can never be taken back ever. I see choosing to never speak to a person again unless it is a co-worker and you don’t have a choice because you need a paycheck as a way to keep a peaceful state of mind since their choice of words was about them and how they communicate with people. (hopefully paths don’t cross again to manage peace)

  6. This article, along with all other articles dealing with emotional abuse need to be more gender neutral. Women are just as capable of emotional abuse in a relationship as a man is.

    • Yes both genders are guilty of this sickening behaviour.

  7. My wife left me with my daughter, have been living alone with her for quite some time. Ii have a girlfriend after about 5 yrs now. This girlfriend is pretty straight forward and my daughter does not like this and finds everything she says is crap and don’t want to deal with my girlfriend and gives me the silent treatment.

  8. Hi, my mother often gives me the silent treatment. Now you mentioned how to deal with it if I didn’t live with her but I recently moved back in due to monetary problems and she’s giving me the silent treatment at the moment because I said something wrong. How do I deal with her and get her to start talking to me again, she has terrible anger management issues by the way (however I don’t think she’s aware of it). Please help I’m sick of living with someone who treats me like this (that’s why I moved out in the first place) but I can’t afford to move out this time. Please, please help. I’m desperate!

  9. I’m dealing with an issue with my mom, this isn’t the first time that she has done this to me, it’s been going on my entire life. For as long as I can remember when she didn’t like something I was doing she would give me the silent treatment. Even as a child she would criticize me and then not speak to me. She had a bad childhood growing up and always stated how she hated the way she was treated growing up and didn’t want to treat her children the same way, but I find that the older we get the worse her behavior becomes. When my siblings and I began dating it made our relationship with our mother even more difficult. As long as we were not with anyone and it was just us she was fine, but once either of us began dating someone then the silent treatment would begin, along with other passive aggressive behavior such as “you are grown I don’t care what you do”, but tells friends and relatives that things won’t work out they will be back. I am married and we have an adult son, she is happy when my husband is not around but once he is around she won’t talk to me and will call our son instead of talking to me. He goes out of his way to make sure she is taken care of and will do anything that she asks, but she still manages to find ways to be angry with me when I am not at her beckon call as I once was. I am trying to do the right thing by showing her respect as my parent but it is getting to the point where I am feeling as if I am doing something wrong and I don’t know how to fix it. I am happy with my husband, we have our ups and downs, but what marriage doesn’t. I feel as though she is only happy when my siblings and I are single and it can only be us. It is interfering with my marriage and I don’t know how to stop it without making her feel bad or upsetting her even more.

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