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Silent Treatment Stress in the Workplace - Emotional and Physical Health Awareness

Updated on October 1, 2015

7. Workplace Stress can result in both emotional and physical ill-health

Silent Treatment Stress in the Workplace
Silent Treatment Stress in the Workplace | Source

Stress Levels

It's imperative to recognise that silent treatment stress/bullying in the workplace, or anywhere, has the potential to negatively impact health. Excessive or prolonged anxiety, frustration, anger, worry and/or isolation can bring on depression, headaches, palpitations, nausea to name but a few of the mental and physical ailments which can be exacerbated or brought on by stress. Unhealthy self medicating (e.g. with food, drink, cigarettes) can also result from workplace stress/stress generally. Thankfully there are steps you can take to help safeguard against emotional pain mounting and making you physically ill.

Take extra effort to eat healthily, drink plenty of water and take exercise when you feel vulnerable or stressed. In addition, there are a number of stress management strategies, such as deep breathing, meditation, and music therapy which can help you stay healthy both mentally and physically. You can find further essential guidelines and suggestions here to help protect your health

A good starting place in protecting your emotional well being is to employ positive self talk, positive thinking, and positive affirmation to strengthen and empower you. Make it your goal to comprehend that being iced out, given the cold shoulder, ostracised and shunned need not be the end of the world for you. Know that people who thrive or take some curious delight in trying to make others feel isolated, below contempt and just not worth the effort of talking to, are themselves not worth your tears, pain or capitulation.

Shame on them, and pity them rather than repeatedly appease, beg, or desperately try to find out what you have done wrong to deserve such treatment. In addition to feeling sorry for and forgiving your passive aggressive co-worker, colleague or boss, try not to take the silent treatment too personally. This may sound ludicrous when someone is unfairly targeting you but if it wasn’t you, it would probably be someone else getting the silent treatment. Although there is no acceptable excuse for this type of behaviour it can arise from past trauma, present situation at home or marital difficulties. Again this doesn’t mean it's okay for them to target you with silence but it could be another reason for you to feel sorry for them and persuade you to change your perception, response and reaction to silent treatment, so that it won’t rile or upset you so much.

The Benefits of Changing Your Perspectives

Changing your perspective as suggested over these 7 pages can enhance equanimity, problem solving skills and confidence. The result is you feel measurably better about the challenges you face even though, of course, problems will not disappear overnight.

About keeping out of reach of the person giving you the silent treatment

You may contemplate hiding from/avoiding the person issuing silent treatment. Just do be aware that, If they observe that you are going out of your way to escape them this can validate and encourage them to persist in this form of passive aggressive behaviour. Also don’t be tempted to stoop to their level and engage in tit for tat silent treatment.

Even though they may persist in trying to upset you by talking to everybody else but you, even though they may refuse to make eye contact or look through you, whatever your age, you can use the various perspectives given on these pages to take away your fear of being given the silent treatment and ultimately take pride in being the bigger, more mature and professional person in your working environment and beyond.

Remember - let the silent treatment be the silent person’s problem rather than yours. As the saying goes, don’t let the b----- get you down! These rather pathetic individuals are to be pitied and you should strive not to allow them to dominate or negatively influence your emotional or physical well being.

Look after yourself well, and you will be in the best position to tackle givers of passive aggressive silent treatment and bullies in the workplace as and when necessary.

BACK TO PREVIOUS PERSPECTIVE - Or see below for what, for many, has proved a life changing book about the benefits of altering your perspectives on life, plus a publication on dealing with the variety of difficult personality types we encounter day to day. Plus there's an interesting video on the all too common practice of bullying at work.

Highly Recommended Further Reading on Changing your Perspective and increasing Your Positivity

Dealing With Difficult People: 25 Lessons on How To Turn Difficult People into Your Allies and Get Rid of Stress in Workplace, Parenting and Relationships: ...

The above publication, by Robert Smith, is highly rated at 4.4 stars out of 5 as at July 2015. Based on 45 reviews, 87% of those rating it gave it either 5 or 4 stars so presumably many were able to make use of the 25 lessons on how to turn a difficult person into an ally. This book can assist with handling difficult managers, improving communication, helping a person take action rather than simply endure poor treatment. It explores why people act the way they do and can enlighten the reader on how to improve their situation. It has strategies which apply to the workplace relationships, as well as advice to employ with friends and relatives.

Overall, readers were pleased to learn how to be calm and deal with tetchy difficult people in a measured mature manner. They appreciated the help with how to diffuse difficult situations, stress relief and effective communication, since we all encounter difficult people at some stage or other in our lives, to a lesser or greater degree.

Bearing in mind, in life, it is just about impossible to avoid having to have contact with challenging people this book is worthy of your consideration and time.

Resolve to STOP worrying!

The articles in this series ...

... are not intended to replace expert advice from qualified HR professionals, or to replace legal advice. If you are experiencing prolonged or troubling silent treatment from people you work with, it’s important to seek such help promptly.


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    • Ebonny profile image

      Ebonny 3 months ago from UK

      Hi Maria

      I am glad to know you are in a better place now and trust that what you have experienced from that unpleasant episode will help you protect and fortify yourself in all senses for the future.

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 3 months ago from Philippines

      I was not lucky I guess from 2011 to the half of 2016. I realized the trauma is still here with that I cannot tell my story yet. In other words I left that job and became happier with my present.

    • Ebonny profile image

      Ebonny 14 months ago from UK

      Hi Nicole

      It is a relief and liberating when we realise that we dont have to always let others dictate our feelings and I am glad to know that these artlcles have resonated with you. I appreciate your feedback. Ebonny

    • profile image

      Nicole 14 months ago

      Many thanks for all this information about the silent treatment. This was right the kind of information I was looking for. Much of what you write I can confirm from my own experience, in particular on the part of how the right form of compassionate attitude with the attacker can be crucial to gain enough emotional distance to be able to detach yourself from feeling like a victim yourself (without denying that you indeed are under attack).