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.

The Narcissist and the Silent Treatment

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