Why You Shouldn't Submit to the Silent Treatment
By Elizabeth Barrera
Moment of truth: Have you ever given someone, your partner specifically, the silent treatment? Chances are that your answer to that was yes, even if it’s only been once.
That’s very unfortunate, because let me tell you...there’s nothing worse than being on the receiving end of the silent treatment. Why?
Because you have no idea what’s going on in your partner’s mind or if something is bothering them until, bam! They come at you with utter silence and no intentions of explaining to you what you did wrong. Under petty guidelines, that’s completely okay. But how many people live a happy, petty life? “Not many” is my safe assumption. Because I’ve submitted to the silent treatment and fallen victim to it as well, I can say that silence is not necessarily the best route.
If something is bothering you, be grown, grab some balls (or ovaries), and express exactly what you feel. None of us have been gifted with mind-reading capabilities and nobody wants to deal with the immaturity of silence, especially if it’s a common go-to strategy to get what you want. Nobody will know how you’re feeling unless you speak up, and nobody will know what you want unless you ask for it.
Expecting others to understand how you’re feeling solely based on the idea that “they should already know” is an ameteur mistake in relationship-building. So next time you get upset with your partner and think that silence will resolve your issues, think again. Swallow your pride and put yourself in their shoes. Would you like it if they treated the issue in the same manner? With silence and confusion? Think about it this way, would you give your work manager the silent treatment or would you tell them what’s bothering you? You’ll most likely let them know because that’s the mature thing to do, so why wouldn’t you go the mature route in your relationship?
Now, it’s understandable if you’ve expressed your concerns to your partner time and time again and aimed for the silent treatment because they don’t show a visible solution or attempt at making things better. However, not all of us function the same way. They may be trying in their own way but won’t know if their efforts are enough if you don’t say something. Most of the time, we are blinded of our mistakes or lack of effort until it is brought to our attention. And the only way of fixing a mistake or becoming better is by being notified.
If your patience is being exhausted and taken advantage of, then express that. If the exhaustion is becoming too much and you can no longer deal with the repercussions, then express that too. Yes, silence is an option when you’re frustrated and tired. But so is loss and unclarity.
Trust me, I completely understand the fear behind expressing how you feel. It means exposing yourself, being vulnerable, or many times it just means repeating what you’ve said a million times before. But when in a relationship, we unfortunately get so used to how things are and the way we treat our partners. So unless our partner informs us of how we’re negatively affecting them, then we wouldn’t know how to help make the situation at hand better.
Sure, some of you ladies may argue that you’ve told your partner a thousand times how you feel and he still doesn’t understand. And men, you can argue the same thing
The way I see it, you have two choices.
You can take the easy way out by choosing not to talk about your concerns.Solution: Feelings are held in, everyone is left in the dark, and the potential of failure is higher.
You can have that “tough conversation” and talk about your concerns.Solution: Feelings are expressed, there is more clarity and understanding of expectations, and the potential of success is higher.
You either set yourself up for a loss because of pride, or you set it aside and win. That’s as simple as it gets, but it is ultimately your choice to make.