The Silent Treatment

By Mignon Johnson
2nd June 2020

“All games usually have a beginning, a given set of rules, and a concluding payoff. Psychological games however, have an ulterior purpose. They are not played for fun and they prevent honest, intimate and open relationships between players.”  James, M., Jogeward, D. Born to win (1996) 

One of the most important functions of maintaining trust and building healthy relationship is to manage and resolve conflict.

Silence breeds contempt.

It’s made worse when challenged by insecurity and it takes mutual communication for reconciliation to happen. This requires humility, courage, vulnerability, honesty. Some people use silence to get back, to punish the other person. Also, some people use silence as a passive attempt to manipulate the other person or control situations.

A vindictive, or punitive ploy, when used in this way is very damaging for a relationship. In a manner of, “They deserve this”, “They should’ve known better.”, “They should’ve done, said differently”, ‘I’ll teach him” etc. There are of course, other reasons, like social awkwardness, shyness, emotional immaturity, power imbalance within relationship, fear of conflict or anxiety. A thinking that some things are better left.

You will be left guessing, with a lasting feeling of “I’ll never know”.

Have you been impacted by the silent treatment? How do you use silence?
I can help you to work through a whole range of common relationship problems. If you have been impacted by uncomfortable silence in your relationships, please feel free to talk to me now.

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Mignon Johnson

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