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Question
Posted by: Tracey | 2011/01/08

Silent treatment - cold shoulder form of emotional abuse

Hi CS,

A very happy and healthy 2011 to you!

I wish to ask a question please, would really appreciate your input and wisdom and expert knowledge regarding the silent treatment as a severe form of emotional abuse.

Is there any documented scientific evidence that the silent treatment - for any length of time is in fact a severe form of emotional abuse.

What are your thoughts?

Thank you in anticipation.

I have completed a module on sexual abuse and the various forms of abuse but am fascinated by the silent treatment. Many people in close relationships use this type of treatment as a form of punishment to their spouse/child - what are the long term effects on the person/child/children?

:)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Thnaks for the good wishes. Am plaugued with an inexplicable severe pain in Left knee since Christmas. But if that cleared up, I'd manage fine.
The "silent treatment" never solves problems, and can indeed be abusive when used for long. It is in effect a flat refusal to make any attenmpt to understand or solve whatever problems are troubling the silent one and the person he or she is busy being silent towards.
As for your question as to whether there are clear long-term effects, who knows ? Check the web, but I doubt anyone has been able to research this. As it's a private action ( or inaction ) and seldom lasts very long, I doubt you could recruit many people into many proper study of the question

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/01/17

Cold shoulder is cruel. It is abuse without bruises. Don't do it. You are a mean person if you do.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/03/26

i have used silent treatment simply because we have the same problem arising (from my partner) time after time and he refuses to see that it affects our relationship, so I dont know what to say anymore. he also does not want to lose me?

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Dirk | 2014/03/25

I was guilty of giving my partner the silent treatment. This lasted for about a day, but I cannot stay silent for longer periods, because I love him so much. I have discovered another way of expressing my anger: talk it out, have a good old argument, shouting session, whatever. Silent treatment is anger from one side - once you share your anger with your partner, you will wonder why you were angry in the first place! Love your partner - wish you well.

Reply to Dirk
Posted by: Jonathan | 2014/03/25

Passive-aggressive disorder

Reply to Jonathan
Posted by: Tracey | 2011/01/09

Thanks User for your comments. I think most of us behave that way... however I was referring to really long term not just a few hours or a day or two.... like long term silent, ignoring like the person doesn''t exist.

I found so much on the net. Apparently it is part of narcistic behaviour. Controlling, manipulating and cutting the person out completely. Punishing them emotionally like killing them, removing them from one''s life...

Obviously if someone''s behavioiur is toxic to a person, it is a good way to just cut the toxic person out of your life completely. Avoiding, not talking etc. the end of a friendship... that is acceptable.

As this site won''t allow me to post links, and some are fairly lengthy, if you google silent treatment emotional abuse and narcistic behaviour you will see what I mean.

Guess we are all social animals and as such require the company, acceptance, respect and friendship as well as support from other people. Some obviously don''t need or require many friendships and others may be quite hermit like but generally speaking and studying anthropology, psychology, find it really fascinating.

IMO - silence is golden, the sounds of silence and if you thing of all song titles, silence has its place I guess, very therapeutic too.

Narcistic behaviour is abusive and damaging. Suppose there is a fine line - how much is too much and what is acceptable and what is not.

Each one decides for themselves what and who they tolerate. We all have to protect ourselves and set boundaries.

Little children want and need attention and affection, so locking a child up in a room all alone as punishment for lengthy periods may be more damaging for the child long term. Perhaps that is why children fear sitting all alone and being ignored or banished from a group.

I know CS can''t see my response unless I repost a new message, which I will.



Reply to Tracey
Posted by: User. | 2011/01/09

OK. I do go silent when I am annoyed by a remark/action and the reason is that I wish to dissassociate myself from the offending person completely. I find that this is better as I do not wish to engage in an arguement over the issue. Now whether this is a sort of self protection or not I don''t know. It does not last for long, maybe a few hours. I might also just take myself off to the garage or outside the house work. I suppose its also a message to the offender as a form of punishment. I don''t feel bad about my actions

Reply to User.
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/01/09

Thnaks for the good wishes. Am plaugued with an inexplicable severe pain in Left knee since Christmas. But if that cleared up, I'd manage fine.
The "silent treatment" never solves problems, and can indeed be abusive when used for long. It is in effect a flat refusal to make any attenmpt to understand or solve whatever problems are troubling the silent one and the person he or she is busy being silent towards.
As for your question as to whether there are clear long-term effects, who knows ? Check the web, but I doubt anyone has been able to research this. As it's a private action ( or inaction ) and seldom lasts very long, I doubt you could recruit many people into many proper study of the question

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: IMO | 2011/01/08

The long term effects of silent teatment is silence.

Reply to IMO

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