SwCA Episode 177: I am being subjected to The Silent Treatment from someone. How do I handle it?

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Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

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SHOW NOTES: In our HELP! SITUATION SPOTLIGHT™ series, we shine the light on challenges that community members have shared. This episode is, “I am being subjected to ‘The Silent Treatment’ from someone. How do I handle it?”

You Don’t.

This is a challenging subject as many of us would prefer to remain silent about “the silent treatment” (ouch). Yet, we cannot do so. We prefer our aggression served out loud so that we are able to hear it. When we are confronted with aggression masquerading as innocent activity, it is slithery and elusive. When exactly did it start? Are we imagining it? Is silence really deafening or are we simply too sensitive? 

In this show we discuss ‘the silent treatment’ at work and in our personal lives. These two questions will be our guides irrespective of the setting. 

1) How much are you invested in the person? 

 

2) How much are you invested In the relationship?

 

What is ‘the silent treatment’? Maybe I am simply imagining it? Or, perhaps I am confused and mistake a quiet person for an act of aggression?

The silent treatment is a form of aggression. It is not your imagination. It is not you being too sensitive. It is not that some people are quiet (as quiet people are not entirely silent, they simply speak less loudly and less often). 

Specifically, this behavior is passive-aggression. “Passive aggression is aggression by “not doing” — and deliberately not communicating or giving someone the “silent treatment” is one of the more common forms of it. And passive-aggression can be one tool in an arsenal of weapons that people use to manipulate and/or a

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