Being on the other side of a silent wall can be extremely hurtful, especially if you are a sensitive type. Silent anger can feel like a dagger into your heart or a knife into your soul. When you try to talk or break the silence and you are met with the back of someone’s head or a blank stare this eats into your own feelings of self-worth. It is so upsetting and confusing that it’s hard to know what do to.
Being silent as a form of defence
People that feel unable to communicate on an emotional level can feel safe behind a wall of silence. Instead of being present and engaged through difficulties they abandon you emotionally, physically and spiritually. If this happens often in your relationship it is likely that your partner finds it hard to be in touch with their own feelings of vulnerability. Their inability to look at themselves becomes a shield of self-defence and protection. Not talking saves facing up to reality and responsibility.
Lack of self-awareness and insight can be turned into blame and attack of other which can all be going on inside the mind. Without conversation and different views and perspectives, there is no limit to the imagination in terms of twisting truths and ruminating on events to further justify behaviour.
How to meet the silent wall
Shutting someone out is an aggressive act that can feel like rejection at a deep level. Shutting down lines of communication when you need it most can leave you feeling sad and confused. When people build walls they are putting up barriers and when the bricks are all in place how do you get through. Here are some suggested ways to acknowledge the situation and their behaviour:
“I can see you don’t want to talk right now but let me know when you do”
“Shutting me out is not going to solve anything”
“I can see you are upset”
By seeing their behaviour as belonging to them allows you to separate emotionally. Verbalising the situation puts you in control. By reflecting back to them you are in fact validating them which will help them to validate and strengthen themselves. Enough about them now and lets look at you
When you feel upset or hurt by your partner and are waiting for them to change YOU are NOT in the driving seat. We cannot control others, their thoughts, their opinions or their behaviour. You can only control yourself. Let them sit behind their walls and get over whatever it is that has become the issue. Carry on with your own life and make it clear that you are doing so. Do not allow their behaviour to stop you. Be clear and honest with yourself about your part in any situation. You can even try writing them a note about how you see things. If you have made a mistake, own up and take responsibility. However do NOT apologise for things you haven’t done just to keep the peace. Do NOT stoop to the lowest level of self-respect. Affirm yourself with positive statements instead.
I have many articles to read on this subject and also a 6 week online course for those who to want to survive, thrive and finally break free from passive aggressive behaviour. Check it out
In the meantime please do fill out my free questionnaire on silent treatment and other examples of passive aggressive behaviour
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