Giving the silent treatment back

Someone who is very close to me is giving me the silent treatment. When I was a child and I received it, I apologized for what I was supposed to be doing wrong, even if I was completely sure I wasn't doing anything bad.

For me, someone ignoring me, was a brutal punishment. I preferred to give up rather than being invisible.

Eventually, I grew up and I began to understand this behavior. It was a form of emotional and psychological control. This person applied silence as a form of punishment: when she didn't get what she wanted. But this childish behavior has its downsides: like many things in life, the more they apply you the poison, the less effective it is.

Eventually, I learned that the best tactic to deal with such behavior was to act as a dumb person. That means, doing as I didn't notice that person was upset and acting as nothing happened. The key was to never apologize because as I said, I wasn't doing anything bad in the first place.

That was kind of a good antidote. After a while, the person realizes how pointless the silence is and she begins to talk again.

I don't know why, but during the last month, this person has been applying the silence treatment continuously and I've gotten sick of it. So I'm kind of trying a different tactic now...

Instead of me acting like a dumb human, I decided to tell this person that I won't consent to this behavior anymore. If she decides to not talk to me again, fine, I will respect her decision, but I will respond in the same matter; I will give the silent treatment back to her.

The aim is that she tries her own medicine and that she experiences what is to be on the other side of the table. Maybe acting like a mirror makes her understand that this attitude is highly toxic and can ruin a relationship quickly.

Let's see what happens, I will write the feelings during the process. I hope it doesn't last more than a few days... 😫

Day 3

Three days have passed by. We still ignore each other. It's so stupid to act like that. It's painful and it makes no sense. It's ridiculous...

Day 4

After lunch, the person approached me and said it wasn't ok to be like that. I ask her how she felt if someone stopped to talk without apparent reason. She said it was hurtful. I told her to don't be suddenly quiet. If she doesn't want to speak for a while because she is upset about something, please say it, and I will respect the silence.


This week another person is giving me the silent treatment. This time is more painful than the first one because the person is somehow more special. I will document it because:

  1. I can't talk to anyone about it (I don't want acquaintances to know that I'm having trouble with this person).
  2. It's unlikely that she reads these lines.

If there was a chance for her to read these lines, I would never post this article. Having said that, I hope that it all passes soon, but now I feel like I'm burning from the inside.

Short story. We live far away from each other, but we used to talk every day. Since last Friday we haven't. Almost a week has passed by, but it feels like it has been months. We didn't argue. Everything was fine. The last message was sent by me; I wrote a mundane sentence. If you read the full conversation, you would never say that we would suddenly stop talking. You would read a 'how are you' conversation: no anger, no ironic, and no condescending sentences.

Honestly, I think she is testing me. It's kind of a stupid game to verify if I care about her and I'm emotionally dependant.

I avoid asking her what is wrong because, like most silent treatments, they happen without a reason. So I'm patiently waiting for her to say something (the same tactic I used in the last silent treatment). If I ask her what is wrong, I would show weakness, and she will give me the silent treatment again in the future.

The last silent treatment took 4 days until the other person realized that she didn't want to be like that. But this time I'm afraid. What if she never talks to me again? What if she has found someone else?

It would be depressing that things ended this way. Silent treatments are so stupid.

Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.