Drawing this one was a lot of fun. Yeah. I admit to having been Whiskers a time or two in my life. When we’re hurting and giving someone else the “silent treatment” it’s usually because we don’t see any other way. We think that we’ve tried to really communicate, and worse, that they just don’t get it, can’t get it, never will get it… and so forget ‘em!!! FOREVER!!!
However, in the midst of all that “I’m done with you forever!” energy, what we really want is for the other person to SEE our pain, to understand the problem. It’s a desperate plea for help. We’re really not letting it go and getting rid of it like we think we are, “Well I don’t have time for this problem in my life… I’m distancing myself from it.” But we’re not really ignoring it like we think we are (we’re chewing on it mentally and emotionally) It just puts it off for later.
The silent treatment is a form of punishment because we want to hurt the other person for how badly they misunderstood us or don’t respect our thoughts. We want to withdraw to the extent that they miss us or feel terrible and are FORCED to change. Unfortunately it’s immature and it punishes ourselves just as much as it punishes them; it injects greater pain and distance into the problem so that it just gets bigger and bigger. It’s a totally ineffective bid for attention. Most of the time your partner will either be closed down and hurt , or just as oblivious as Bob.
What works better? Plain old fashioned communication, making progress more important than our ego, and yes even some forgiveness and apology. It’s funny how we are sometimes afraid to do those very things that will really take care of the problem instead of slapping a band-aid on it because we are afraid it can’t work. But you know what can’t work? The Silent Treatment or any of its friends (punishment, slamming doors in the hopes someone notices you’re mad, etc.)
Being kind to yourself, and loving to yourself sometimes means forgiving others so that you can move forward and be understood.
Have a great weekend