December 4, 2012

The Evil Silent Treatment

How many of you have been victims of the silent treatment? If you have experienced such torture (I guess it's torture if you like the person...otherwise, it's a gift) you have experienced passive aggressive communication. That is, those that subscribe to this form of "communication" (or lack thereof) are people who fear conflict, have little confidence in themselves, and may be hurting inside and don't know how to express their emotions in a healthy and assertive manner. In other words, they are still in emotional kindergarten.

It's easy for me to say this and intellectualize this disfunctional behaviour, but another to actually have to live with someone who is giving it to me. I end up personalizing all over myself and others without any recollection of the facts above. My evil being is my manfriend's teenage daughter. She hates my guts right now and, although the other two are thoughtful, friendly, and fun to be around...all I'm doing is focusing on the dysfunction and not the health of our living situation. Is this natural human behaviour? Or am I really just taking this too personally?

Unfortunately, I am not taking the high road as so many (if not all) parents do. I have to give it to parents...they take the crap, the mean spirits, the silent treatments, and they return it with hugs and kisses and unconditional love (you are all superheros). Obviously, there is something in the genetic relationship that has created this....'cause I ain't got none of it.  I started well enough; I would say hi to her or greet her and would be lucky to get a hi back. It soon deteriorated to a grunt. Finally, I got nothing (with the exception of her complaints about how bad and wrong I am - to her dad). So I did what any single woman without the experience of living with teenagers would do....I stopped saying anything to her as well. Nice, eh? I am the definitive role model of healthy communication.  I am, in no way, proud of myself. I just can't put myself out there right now and get nothing back. My feelings get completely hurt and I end up doing what I have to do to mend them. I'm a big wimp...that's what I am.

My counsellor (yes, I have a counsellor now to help me deal with the drama of my new household) had to laugh at me (in a good way) when I told her my story. She alerted me to the fact I am completely personalizing and it isn't about me (God, I love her...she is a no nonesense woman who isn't afriad to speak up). It's just really hard to remember this when you share space with a person who would rather see you under a truck. People have always liked me...I'm likeable! Why doesn't she like me?

Whatever. She's 14 and dealing with other mental health issues at the moment...I should remember this. Meanwhile, I'm getting really really good at hot yoga as I'm going to a class every night to escape the stress of the house. What is my manfriend doing? Is he being supportive? Absolutely. Unfortunately, there is only so much a parent can do..the rest is up to the person who is moving in on the family. It's a change for us all and hopefully won't be hell for that long.  I just imagined a happy family environment, sharing a nice house, doing our own things, and appreciating the odd night of movies and popcorn...together. Instead, I got a door slammer who is ruining all my pictures as they fall to the floor each time (um...yup. I'll be taking care of that door this weekend when she's at her mother's....sharing evil stories about me and hating me together).

At any rate, I'm doing all the right things to deal and not displacing my feelings or drinking heavily (anymore). I have to say, yoga has helped me de-stress, worry less, and keep me more level headed than any exercise I have ever tried before. It won't be long and I will be able to pretzel-ize myself like all the rest.

In conclusion, if there are any fans of the silent treatment reading this, remember that this form of communication hurts you and those around you. It does no good and is a form of aggression. The best thing you can do for your own health is learn how to verbalize your feelings in an assertive manner. It will reduce your stress, increase your immune system function, and make you happier in general.....I promise!



  1. Thank you to tell us so much useful information. I’m glad to read it.

    back muscle pain in Taiwan

  2. I am so happy when I discover this blog. It contains much more useful information than my thought. Thanks!

    Diane-35 birth control