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suzie271's avatar

What do you think about people who give the silent treatment as a way of dealing with conflict?

Asked by suzie271 (284points) December 10th, 2010

my father and I often get into arguments about our differing beliefs on certain aspects of life. Often when I don’t agree with what he says, he just gets quiet and says nothing. Sometimes his silence never ends. I find this to be really rude. Like he is saying it is either my way or the highway.. What do you think of this ? I am 28 by the way.

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19 Answers

deni's avatar

It is better than making a hurtful remark that you will regret later.

syz's avatar

Usually I just enjoy the peace and quiet.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

While my nature is to want to do what you do, I’ve learned that there are many people who prefer to be nonconfrontational. If you and I continue to push, we will only experience resistance. We need to learn to back off, cool off, and then pursue the issue in an objective manner. It seems to be the best way to reach a more comfortable ground in order to reconcile, or at least attempt to address, the difference of opinions.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I don’t see that as the silent treatment. I think of the silent treatment as refusing to talk to someone at all, about anything, in an attempt to punish them after a fight. I would guess that what he’s trying to do is say (non-verbally) that his relationship with you is more important than which one of you is right about certain things, and he isn’t interested in fighting with you about it – especially if it doesn’t directing impact your relationship.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If someone wants to STFU, I am more than happy to let them ;)

tedibear's avatar

Is he saying nothing at all or is he simply refusing to discuss that specific subject? If it’s the former, I find it manipulative – unless he’s attempting to not scream at you. If it’s the latter, maybe he is trying to “agree to disagree” but hasn’t told you that.

marinelife's avatar

Normally, I oppose the silent treatment. However, what you are describing with your father sounds different.

If you know that the two of you disagree, what is there to talk about? it sounds as if you are talking him into submission. That he just wants to agree to disagree, but you won’t let him. In that case, withdrawal may feel like his only option.

ETpro's avatar

I thought it was a terrible way of dealing with conflict till I ran into others who instead used a constant and loud verbal harangue in the same setting.

wundayatta's avatar

They could be afraid of loss. They could be afraid that if they push the argument, you would abandon them. They could be afraid of your anger. They might think it’s better to suffer in silence than to hurt you. They could be hoping you’ll figure out what’s wrong and help them out.

I get afraid to talk about things because I believe that I’ll be abandoned if I do the wrong thing. Abandonment is the worst thing in the world. Sometimes I’ll push someone away before they abandon me. That’s how much it scares me. Everyone does it eventually once they find out who I really am.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@wundayatta Omg, so it’s you that’s the Boogie Monster!

YARNLADY's avatar

Many people don’t see any point in arguing, so they don’t. You can’t change him, so learn to live with it.

klutzaroo's avatar

I think its immature. I think that people who use this are avoiding having adult conversations.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@klutzaroo Sometimes, there are no adult conversations to be had with that particular person.

klutzaroo's avatar

Oh, I know.

I just broke up with a very large child.

wundayatta's avatar

@papayalily The Boogie Monster ain’t even half of it. There is so much more. I’m surprised I haven’t been lynched yet.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It’s selfish and controlling, a way to be “right” and unyielding or unexploring.

ratboy's avatar

They make me so angry that I refuse to speak to them.

Coloma's avatar

It is emotionally abusive. read up on ‘The silent treatment.’

It is a way for the angry party to effectively dismiss you and your feelings and subtly control all the communication.

It is manipulative, passive aggressive, and meant as a punishment.

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