Is Silent Treatment a Form of Abuse?

Written by Angela Atkinson

Are you getting the silent treatment after an argument with someone in your life? Does someone use the silent treatment as a form of punishment for when they feel annoyed or wronged? Do you feel exhausted and confused because you aren’t even sure what you’ve done wrong? 

The silent treatment is a form of avoidance that, in theory, accomplishes nothing other than escalating the situation. Logically, the victim becomes resentful and less interested in resolving the issue. But when you’re dealing with a toxic relationship that might involve a narcissist, the silent treatment is much more than it seems. 

Silent Treatment by Narcissist

When a narcissist enacts the silent treatment on you, the purpose is emotional manipulation, psychological control and ultimately, to get what he or she wants. Today, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about the silent treatment. What is is, why it’s used, how it’s done, who uses this tactic and where you can use it to your advantage. 

What is the Silent Treatment?

The silent treatment is what we call it when someone stops speaking to you and/or recognizing your presence. They refuse to engage in communication with you in response to some conflict or problem in the relationship. It’s also called “stonewalling” or “the cold shoulder.”

Is the silent treatment a form of abuse?

Yes, the silent treatment is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse. Used as a way to manipulate and control the victim, it can also be used as part of a strategy for psychological abuse that can cause complex post-traumatic distress disorder (C-PTSD) in its victims over time.

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Author

  • Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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