We all know the power of words and have felt the sharp pain of feeling hurt by what someone said. But most have also felt harm by the absence of words. The space between the words can hold a deafening silence. In our world, this is called ghosting. The silent treatment is a refusal to communicate with another person.
Some may not be consciously aware of their actions. Choosing to withhold communication carries a consequence. In essence, ghosting is a form of withholding love and connection. If it is intentional, a pattern of control or punishing behavior can be torture! (tee hee) Psychologists believe the silent treatment becomes a form of abuse. Establishing a boundary can be positive. But an unexplained break from the relationship is another matter. It leads to making up stories in your mind to explain why the person won’t communicate.
Everyone can benefit from self-care and emotional regulation, but how hard is it to say a few words or send a text? Fear and desolation are the products of the silent treatment. In some way, the message from the one ghosting is you don’t exist. The story in your mind becomes you’re not worth my time. In business, this is rude at best. In personal relationships, it can damage the relationship beyond repair.
People who receive the silent treatment can experience a type of threat, according to research published in the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. The need of belonging, self-esteem, control, and a meaningful experience are absent. Let’s create a meaningful experience with a whisper on the subject:
With so many options, it becomes a choice to avoid communication. Rumination follows the person who is experiencing the absence of connection. Emotions can destabilize with the story created around the silent treatment. You might first wonder if some harm has come to that person. The story might then turn to questions of wrongdoing directed at the self. Maintaining a positive mindset in the face of silence is challenging at best.
Letting go is the essence of finding freedom from detrimental thoughts. Facing your current reality to develop a strategy brings regulation to the system. Once stabilized, the peaceful flow of energy returns to face the issue. Taking responsibility for your part of the relationship requires the utmost honesty. Being honest with others first requires being honest with yourself.
Be careful with the stories created in your mind. Keep it real when performing an inventory of the past. If your behavior was inappropriate or harsh, it’s okay to admit, communicate, and move on. In some cases no communication simply means no, requiring your acceptance. Boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships. The silent treatment is an example of a boundary that is too rigid. It sends a message that cannot be adequately interpreted, leaving the other guessing.
Find the balance in any relationship which has something missing in the connection. Truth is subjective to beliefs. Leave the space of the mind to hear the whispers from your heart. There you will find the connection you seek.
Bring joy, ease suffering and create beauty, then dance like you mean it!
“Silence ain’t no (treatment) treat meant! How many of us barely recognize these invisible and emotional lack of intelligence signs of the times…ain’t nobody grown got time for! Adults with a developed frontal cortex ought to be ashamed of this kind of behavior. Listen, learn to level up, turn around and reach one by example, in order to teach another. Be the change that beautifies your communication world.” Dr Tracey Bond
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