This is a bit of a controversial topic.
On the one hand, silent treatment has been said to be a form of abuse with long-term psychological effects.
On the other hand, when used wisely, it could be very effective.
We’re going to look at the 11 benefits of the silent treatment when used properly.
How to use the silent treatment effectively
The silent treatment is a refusal to communicate verbally with another person. It often includes the refusal to acknowledge their existence.
As such, silent treatment may be considered to be a type of emotional abuse.
When the silent treatment is used as a form of punishment it’s likely to inflict psychological pain.
It’s considered abuse when it’s used to manipulate, control, and hurt the other person and when it’s used for a prolonged period of time.
When used in this way, the silent treatment is likely to cause more damage than it is to help a relationship.
So how can you use the silent treatment effectively without inflicting pain?
The silent treatment can be effective when it’s not used to punish but rather as a timeout.
Let me explain why:
Sometimes silence gives people a chance to cool off and think before discussing something further.
Silence also goes hand in hand with giving or taking space. Sometimes you just need to stop talking so that you don’t say something you’ll regret in the heat of the moment.
Wait, there’s more. It will also give your partner a chance to reflect on their own behavior and see where they might have gone wrong.
In short, it can be effective if it’s not used to shut your partner out but rather to take some time to work through your emotions, cool off, and show your partner that you’re not happy.
It should never be used for long periods of time.
Here’s a list of the benefits of the silent treatment:
1) Allows you (both) to cool off
Here’s the deal, it’s easy to say something you’ll regret when you’re emotional.
When one or both partners are angry or worked up, it’s almost impossible to find a resolution.
So, by giving yourself some time to calm down, you can avoid saying something nasty or mean-spirited.
Silence can also help to get rid of any tension.
When used in this way, the silent treatment will give both of you some time to cool off, reflect, and help you work through your issues.
2) Gives you a chance to reflect on the problem
Now, sometimes the problem is a misunderstanding.
You might have been thinking the same thing but because of miscommunication, you do not get what your partner was trying to say (or the other way around).
But when you have time to reflect on what’s going on, you both have the chance to identify the problem and see where the misunderstanding was and how you can work it out.
With time to reflect you hopefully have a better chance of working through these issues.
3) Gives you space to heal
In my experience, people sometimes say something in the heat of the moment that is likely to inflict emotional pain.
That’s where the silent treatment comes in. It can give both of you some space to heal from current and past wounds without having to say anything at all.
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
When you’re having to use the silent treatment to make a point, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for, and continue to feel horrible every time we get into an argument with our partner.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture a love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to getting my partner’s attention.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
4) Helps you understand your partner better
You might not realize that you’re pushing your partner’s buttons.
But here is the kicker: If they use the silent treatment on you, you’ll probably notice that it was after you did or didn’t do something.
For example, You get the silent treatment after you come home late having forgotten that you had plans with your partner. Or, you said you would clean the house while your partner is out shopping, only for them to come home and find you watching TV and eating ice cream with an even bigger mess around you.
As such, getting the silent treatment from your partner is a good wake-up call – it should help you understand what your partner needs from you and ensure that you stop doing things that annoy or irritate them.
You see, when you’re in a relationship where both partners are aware of what upsets the other, it’s easier to resolve every problem as it comes up instead of letting them build up.
5) Helps them understand you
It’s hard to listen when you’re mad or emotional, don’t you agree?
So by giving your partner a time-out, you’re giving them a chance to gather themselves enough to listen to you without interrupting or being defensive.
After a few hours of the silent treatment, they may be more open to hearing your side of the story without getting defensive or angry.
6) You may get an apology
Giving your partner some time to think may just result in them regret what they have said or done.
And the best part?
They may come back to you with a genuine apology and attempt to patch up the relationship.
This is a very important benefit!
If your partner comes back with a sincere, heartfelt apology, then the healing benefits of using the silent treatment are evident.
7) Fight silence with silence
If your partner is using the silent treatment to punish you, the best thing you can do is to respond by silencing yourself.
Instead of letting it get to you and allowing them to hurt you with this kind of treatment, give them a taste of their own medicine. Let them experience the consequences and I guarantee they’ll be open to dialogue before you know it.
The bottom line is that using the silent treatment on a partner who is using it as a weapon can be very beneficial to you.
8) Want advice specific to your situation?
While this article explores the main benefits of using silent treatment in relationships, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations. They’re a very popular resource for people facing any kind of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a rough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
9) Use it to show that you’re hurt
There are times when you may be hurting, but your partner isn’t aware of what he or she has done.
If you find it difficult to communicate using words, you can use silence to show that you’re hurt without pointing out exactly what they have done wrong.
What’s more, if you’ve tried talking to your partner about behavior that’s hurtful and they don’t seem to be taking a hint, silence could be the key.
The bottom line is that if the silent treatment is used in a constructive way, it can help both of you learn from each other and connect on new levels.
10) Silence can open the door to communication
Silence can be used to invite conversation.
Think about it. When you are upset about something, you may have a hard time sitting down and talking about it with your partner.
If you use the silent treatment, your partner may come to you with an apology or an attempt at a solution before you know it.
This type of silence can turn into communication in a very short period of time and can help both of you resolve the issue at hand quickly and easily.
11) Silence can help you reach a compromise
Just because you’re not talking doesn’t mean there’s no issue.
Silence can also be used as a tool to express yourself and to help you reach a compromise or understanding that you both really want.
You can express yourself without fighting back by using silence as a tool to make sure your partner understands what you’re upset about and why.
The importance of communication in relationships
While there are benefits to using the silent treatment, you should know that communication is an important element of any successful relationship.
1) Helps you get to know each other
Now, when you’re in a relationship with someone, one of the most important things you can do is learn about them and who they are. That’s why communication is key.
When you’re in a relationship, you must be open to hearing about their past, present, and future.
It’s important for both of you to know what makes your partner tick.
You also want to know if you’re compatible, and the best way to do that is to be open from the offset. Get to know them and let them see the real you.
2) It helps to avoid misunderstandings
Understanding your partner is a key part of communication. As Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown points out, there are three key factors to understanding your partner.
He actually got these key factors from shaman Rudá Iandê’s new video on healthy and successful relationships.
The first key factor is that the two partners need to have curiosity about each other. It’s not enough to demand that your partner listens to you. This can only work if they have a genuine curiosity about you.
The second key factor is about really understanding your partner. It means putting yourself in their shoes and seeing where they’re coming from. It means being truly open to seeing things from their point of view. It also means really listening to them, with your heart.
Finally, the third factor is self-confidence. It means you’re not afraid of being wrong and that you no longer make negative associations with your thoughts. It means you are strong enough to be vulnerable and to truly be seen by your partner.
I found Justin’s video really insightful and definitely recommend that you check it out.
3) Communication strengthens respect
One of the most important ingredients to a strong and happy relationship is respect.
When you can talk and listen to one another, you’re showing that you care about how your partner feels and giving them validation.
When your partner respects you as a person and listens to what you have to say, this shows that they want to grow with you instead of against you.
Simply put: Respect is the foundation of all relationships.
4) It builds trust
When you can communicate with your partner, you’re helping build trust.
Now, it takes a lot of trusts to keep the lines of communication open and not fight. This is especially true if one of you has been hurt in the past and has a hard time trusting.
Working on your communication skills will help deepen your relationship and make both of you feel more secure with each other.
5) It helps resolve conflicts
One of the worst things that can happen to a relationship is a lack of communication when someone is upset or doesn’t agree with something their partner has done.
The truth is that without communication, these issues may continue to fester and lead to bigger problems down the road. That’s why it’s vital that you talk to your partner about what’s bothering you instead of letting it build up inside of you.
When your partner feels like they can talk to you about anything and that you’ll listen, it makes them feel more secure in the relationship.
When both of you are able to work through conflict in a constructive way, it makes both of you feel better about one another and the relationship overall.
You both have the ability to resolve issues using words instead of destructive actions or hurtful words.
6) Helps set clear expectations
Good communication will set realistic expectations and boundaries for both of you.
When you communicate with one another and lay down what’s expected out of your relationship now and in the future, you’re taking a step towards building trust together.
When you’re on the same page about what your relationship is all about, it creates less negativity and it makes both of you feel more secure.
7) It nourishes the love between partners
Effective communication with your partner helps nourish the love that you have for one another.
It’s easier than you think.
By nourishing and nurturing the love in your relationship and staying true to who you are, you are helping build a stronger bond between you.