The Silent Treatment

I recently observed a couple fighting, followed by the woman giving the man the silent treatment as punishment. It made me chuckle because she didn’t understand the male language or what impacts men. In this specific case, she didn’t realize that her husband longed for silence. He was fed up with her talking and desired peace and quiet, which she gave him.

While she thought her actions were hurting him, he was enjoying the peaceful night. What was a bit more humorous was her sense of accomplishment for having hurt him deeply. She was putting out a great deal of effort to punish him in away that he didn’t recognize. It drained her. After all, what she really needed was to talk through the problem and make sure they both were on the same page. Her actions went against her own needs.

We sometimes forget that we were engineered for forgiveness and compassion. There seems to be a tendency during upset times to think the other person is like us and when we attempt to jab them we end up hurting ourselves. Interestingly enough, when we show forgiveness and compassion, we end up helping ourselves in the process by opening up communication and understanding.

Having an intimate conversation and gaining insights into our loved one’s heart is something that both men and women desire. However, we both approach it in a different way. We look to understand the situation from our vantage point, which many times is unproductive. It’s not until we focus on understanding the other person that we can make sense of the circumstances.

Further confusion might come into play if we desire to be understood before taking time to understand the other person. Wanting to go first in stating our position tends to put us at the end of the line when it comes to healthy relationships. By first taking time to understand the other person, we find there is much less effort in explaining our viewpoint. In fact, once we understand the other person, many times our viewpoint isn’t needed, as we have gained insights that help us to adjust our perspective.

I have found that the only silent treatment I need to show someone is the action of being quiet long enough to listen intently to what they are saying. When doing so, I’ve been honored numerous times by hearing a person pour out their heart or share their deepest secrets with me. It’s truly a privilege to gain that level of insight into a person and understand their heart. It also makes for a very rich and rewarding relationship.

Copyright © 2011 By CJ Powers
© Pearson Art Photo –

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