Cracking the silent code
A sticky situation.
Have you ever gave someone the silent treatment? Usually silence is used against another person. When silent treatment is used what signals are we sending the other parties on the receiving end? Are we telling them they no longer matter? Is this a tool that should be deemed childish? Is it a defense mechanism? Only you can answer those questions. Let's start with a defense mechanism example; For a while you have a person in your life that has taken your kindness for weakness. Takes a mile when only given an inch, and pretty much takes you for granted. You've allowed them in your life because on some level you valued them and genuinely care for the person. However,it doesn't seem they felt the same by their actions and treatment of you. The only way you could regain some of the control and alleviate the stress was by to set boundaries. You already manged to stay away physically, you've even managed to stay away verbally. However when that person contacted you, you were right back at square one. This person had made a cycle of coming and going as they please, leaving you hurt and confused. Enough is enough, You have to stop all communication with this person. So the silent treatment comes in to play. The first week is hell you see the call but have to remind yourself to ignore, and when doing so, you have to remind yourself this is for the best. Time goes on and even though the person is still relentless and not giving up, you stand your ground to prevent anymore negativity in your life. A few months pass and your now screening phone calls with ease. You in turn feel lighter and stronger for choosing your sanity first. Sometimes silence is golden, you just have to know when to use it.
A hard pill to swallow
Now you have been the giver of silence,but what happens when you are the receiver? Your talking to a friend you have known for a while. You know sometimes they can be overly sensitive and moody, so usually you try to stir clear if your not sure of their moods. However since the person contacted you it was inevitable that you would get some of their attitude. You try your best to tread lightly but to no avail you end up pissing the person off. They immediately exit the situation leaving you confused. You reach out trying to rectify the situation but you get no response. You decide maybe you should just give the person time and space and eventually they will come around. However, your confused and hurt, you want answers and you don't want to wait around to find the answer out. You figure they could at least give an explanation especially since the disruption in communication seemed so unwarranted. You over analysis the situation wondering if it was you whom really upset the person, or was the person being irrational. It seems like a lost cause so you wash your hands of the situation and think to yourself...maybe one day they will communicate with me again. Life goes on and people have their reasons for their behaviors and all you can do is be responsible for your actions.
Time to grow up
Is the silent treatment a form of immaturity? Well are you really being immature if you just need space and time to think things threw. Are you being immature by possibly preventing yourself from saying things that may be hurtful or offensive. Some say it's a passive aggressive way of doing things, but really who are we to judge someones emotions at the time. Some people get so angry they can't speak, all they can do is shut down. If your in a heated argument and the person just stops talking altogether than chances are you upset them to the point of silence. Its best to not push a situation in this case, just let the person stay in silence until they find their words again. Most of the time it's temporary unless a person has taken a vow of silence there is probably no way they can stay silent forever. It just may feel like an eternity when their not verbally expressing themselves to you. It's also best not to figure out what their thinking, unless you have physic powers its not worth the energy. Yes this is a tactic used by children,but as children we instinctively know how to handle certain situations as well. After all emotions are hard to express,some are easier than others but anger may not be that clear to express in words like joy would be. Be patient and try not to judge someone because they communicate differently than you do.
A vow of silence
Sometimes silence is not used against anyone to prove anything,but it can be just a time where you need to listen in order to understand a situation. When someone is talking there probably not actively listening, they may be hearing you but not actually comprehending or internalizing the things you say. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are religions in which a vow of silence takes place, and it's a time to clear your mind and achieve balance. What about the old adage that says "the pot the blows the loudest is usually the emptiest." Is there something to be said for people that are strong silent types? It's true that some things are better left unsaid, and it's best to take heed to what is put out in the universe. Once it's spoken it can not be taken back, so be careful what you say and who you say it to. Always try to use your silence for good with no intentions on hurting someones feelings or to just be cruel. If you must use the silent treatment at least have the courtesy to tell the person why, so there not left wondering. Ex: I need some time to clear my head, so I won't be contacting you for a while. Remember we have the right to freedom of speech as well as freedom of silence.