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How to Use the Silent Treatment Effectively

Updated on March 15, 2013

You're doing it all wrong!

The Silent Treatment; we’re all familiar with this term and I’m sure most of us have been on both the giving and receiving end of this ploy. When executed appropriately, this device can be very effective and really get one’s point across. When handled carelessly or without the proper experience or training, one will find their efforts thwarted. Too many times, I have been witness and perhaps victim to ineffectively delivering the silent treatment and it is my duty to help those understand how to do it properly.

Ladies… Who are you trying to punish?

First of all, ladies you must understand that men generally appreciate simplicity and silence. I think it is a pretty well-known fact that most women have the “gift of gab”. Gift? I am not sure who determined that the ability to talk endlessly to anyone about nothing is a gift, but nonetheless the term is appropriate for the point I am attempting to convey. Bla, bla, bla, that is about as deep of a meaning as men get out of 85% of our conversations. While we are talking about the yogurt being on sale at Walmart and the blouse that Gladys wore to bingo our man is thinking about what time he should get up to go fishing tomorrow. Furthermore, most of us women are over analytical and overdramatic. We analyze behavior, emotions and feelings; we want to know why he would say this or do that. Overdramatic is not meant to be offensive but while we may think that it is tragically devastating that someone broke up with a Kardashian and maybe even shed a tear over it, our men typically don’t give a crap, he cares that she looks hot in a bikini.

Have you ever noticed that glazed look your man gets on his face when you’re mid deep in some deep conversation; that’s because he’s not listening! So chances are if you are giving him the silent treatment out of punishment, he probably won’t feel as though he’s being punished.

huh?

Betcha he doesn’t even notice…

Considering that men only listen to and absorb about 15% of what we have to say, chances are he doesn’t even know you’ve stopped talking. What is the point of giving someone the silent treatment if they don’t realize you’re being silent? Even worse is that it kills us and tests every nerve for us to be silent. You know what I’m talking about; you’re mad for whatever reason and you want him to know it, but you can’t help that you just had a thought or something that you want to bring to his attention, but you have to refrain from doing so or you risk compromising your silent treatment, which hasn’t worked its magic yet.

Zip It!

Shut Up!

Every time we go in for a silent treatment attack, we run the risk of it being ineffective. So if it is worth initiating then it is worth doing it correctly. Now if you’re plan is to give someone the silent treatment to hurt their feelings and create an awareness that you are upset and they are in some way responsible then the first step is; Be Silent! The second step is; Stay that way! Now ladies, I know that this step is particularly hard for us, but he’ll surely never catch on to our efforts if we don’t talk to him for a while, pop in with something to stay and then return to the silent mode. That’s like calling a timeout in Tag as your about to be caught and then running away before you declare “Time In”. Thirdly, silence doesn’t only pertain to words; this means anything that you would normally do to show some form of affection must be paused. If you fetch him food or give him a kiss before going to bed, don’t do it during the Silent Treatment mode. Then he will perceive you as everything being okay, you just happen to be a little quitter, as a matter of fact, it will probably have an adverse effect and he will wonder what he has done to make you guys get along so good lately, because you will be still meeting his needs and gabbing/griping less. You never want that to happen, now you have to work twice as hard for him to see that not only are things not okay, but they are bad. So, continue in silence; in words and actions. Next step; Be patient! It will be harder for you to remain quiet than it will be for him to realize that he is being given the silent treatment or even care. Yes, at first this may seem like a treat for him once he realizes that you are giving him the silent treatment, but then there will be a point when he will want your silence broken. This leads to one of the most important steps; Express the problem! He will ask; “What’s your problem?” You will not enter this conversation defensive, aggressive or pathetically. You will simply state what it was that he said or did that upset you and briefly, very briefly explain to him why that bothered you. Now remember, men don’t generally see the drama in the situation that we do so don’t expect him to fall to his knees with an apology. If he even acknowledges your concern and shows any signs of remorse, regret or sorrow, then take it! Accept his response and move on. Once the Silence Treatment has been executed and accomplished you cannot renege. You cannot decide later that you aren’t actually over the issue or that his response to the silent treatment is no longer acceptable. That is not fair to him or you. You will confuse him into thinking that he has done something else and he will not know how to correct the situation because he will feel he already did. You also run the risk of him getting frustrated or not caring about the original issue because you are revisiting it. You will also more than likely stress yourself out having to repeat the entire process all over again.

Make Up

Now that the war has been officially declared over, make up. It may be hard to get into a super mushy mood so soon, but making up is often the best part. If you had to exert energy, test your strengths and hold back emotions you should be rewarded with some extra positive behaviors. Not to mention the silence treatment paid off and you won the victory; your partner deserves to be rewarded as well. When the battle is all said and done, don’t just go about your daily business. You also don’t want to hover of the issue any longer. Consider yourself grateful; you got somewhere. If you continue to revert back to the conversation you will just turn the offender off. Celebrate the victory! Take out some time, go on a spontaneous date or stay in a pop some corn, watch a movie and cuddle up. Or you can just get straight to the point and make up the fun way.

The Silent Treatment

Do you ever employ the Silent Treatment Approach

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    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Taleb80,

      You're right, so long as we can learn something from life's lessons; we should be in good shape.

      Communication is so extremely important in all areas of life; I will keep my fingers crossed!

      Thanks again!

      Cat

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 4 years ago

      &Cantuhearmescream You are welcome. Yes, life teaches well.

      Hope God will give us the wisdom to communicate well. ☼

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Taleb80,

      I hope you could see that I was trying to be a little fun here, though I think there is a good point. This hub was inspired by a personal moment and realizing that our attempts to 'punish' someone, often punishes ourselves and not them.

      Personally, when it comes to relationships, I don't think silence is every the answer; communication is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy relationship.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and the votes!

      Cat

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 4 years ago

      I agree on most of the points. especially, that man will not be affected much by this treatment. Thanks voted Up & Useful. ☼

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Hey Romeo... please forgive my delayed response... as you know... I was without power... but I'm here now... and you're not :-(

      See? The silent treatment is an ever popular tactic... but I know better :D

      Thanks Romeo for gracing my humble hub ;-)

      Hey... what's that a new last name? You must enlighten me when you return... I'm certainly seeing a coincidence... hmmmm

      Yours Truly,

      Cat

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Lol!Smoke and mirrors,for clueless sinners.The vote results - no one has yet clicked never;that's educational.A great Hub,as per your usual talent.

      Have a lovely evening,

      Yours Sincerely,

      Romeo's Biro

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Go ahead !! Enjoy your outing !!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Aw, you're the best. I will have to catch up with you later and get to some of those hubs of yours, but for now, I must run to the store before my children wear away! :-)

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Well yes am hoping i see that idea tranformed into a hub by you, and the warm sun beaming off you face making you look more beautiful :) is all the nature would like too :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      mr-veg,

      Now that would be an idea wouldn't it? Yes, I do need to take a break and get out into some peaceful nature! The weather is heading in that direction. Yesterday was so beautiful, I was fortunate to get out for a walk and so enjoyed the warm sun beaming off my face. I'm sure my presence will be more scarce around here as the wonderful weather approaches. It is therapy for my soul!

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      wow, looks like you are racing ahead of time Cat :) looks like time for you to hit a nice scenic spot and relax a bit ;) Late night sleeps will do no good to your health :) And may be you can go for a hub which might predict things for a day which would have more than 24 hrs , I know your creative mind can do that :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      mr-veg,

      Aw and I will use your support as inspiration! Oh, battling with Insomnia, I don't remember the last day I have been to bed before the coffee brews! My kids are home on "vacaction" and I should be off to the grocery store. There is never enough time in a day!

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Well as your words keep pouring in the spark reappears for me :) so am trying to use as a lucky charm here ;) I think I might get few hubs out but need some time off my day work :) how is your day going Cat ? Is the mommy busy ?

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      mr-veg,

      You're all too kind. How are you doing with inspiration? Any luck?

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      ha ha ha.. that's sounds like the Cat :) You are bubbly and it is the way you should be, all cheerful and full of energy !!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      mr-veg,

      Gee, thanks! You probably know me better than you think; I have an extremely difficult time being silent! I've been so mad sometimes, whether at my parents or a boyfriend or whatever, and thought to myself, "that's it, I'm just not going to talk to 'em", but five minutes later... I can't take it anymore and break the silence. :-)

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      GM Cat , Every time I read your hubs I get refreshed, they are written so sweetly and refreshingly different :), Silent treatment is indeed effective the way you have put it in but I doubt if you had ever used it, as I think it might be pretty tough for you to be silent :D

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Oh my sweet Colin, there is no better way to start a day than with the magical words you send my way! Please tell me what it must be like to have thousands of people throwing themselves at your feet? This Cat would never practice the silent treatment on the glory that is yourself! Colin is but one of a kind and I am all too happy that I have discovered you! Thank you for making the unblushable blush! You have sent me on a journey to other fine hubbers and so I trust you. Poetvix will be on the top of my priority list today.

      Cat

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Holy shite dear Cat, where are your adoring masses?

      I just found buried treasure here and I feel like the luckiest man in the world just now and if you ever gave me the 'silent treatment' I would just roll up into a little ball and die. Or turn gay. Or run away and join the French Foreign Legion. Or strap myself on a missile in North Korea.

      Or start using Viagra. Or start listening to Justin Biber. lol

      Oh god you drive me delirious with your writing talent - you really should and could be the new editor at Cosmopolitan magazine or a contributing editor to Vanity Fair - in fact the sky is the limit with someone like you and with all of the stars up there you are certainly keeping them company.

      Well as you must know the epi-man by now I love promoting people here at the Hub - please have a read of POETVIX and her new short story - I know you will love it - she speaks your language and she is currently in her 7th chapter right now -

      And here I sit watching the daybreak over the lake coming up in a bit although right now is a beautiful half moon shining with my last cup of coffee , some lovely harp music (don't worry Metallic comes later , lol) and two well fed pussycats at lake erie time 6:45am

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
      Author

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Maybe my silent treatment advice is too good? :-(

      It's too quite in here! Break the silence!