We all have been ignored at some point in life and know that it stings a lot. It hurts when someone ignores us, no matter if they are a friend, parent, or someone you barely even know. Today, we will discuss the psychology of ignoring someone & the silent treatment.
1. Why do you Ignore Someone?
Ignoring someone is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of conscious effort to do so as you need to constantly remind yourself not to talk to that particular person. It takes a lot of energy to keep yourself well-versed with the reason that bothered you in the first place. Most people think that giving the silent treatment to someone is the best way to ignore them. This is the psychology of ignoring someone. (See Why Do People Avoid Me?)
2. What is the Intention behind the Silent Treatment?
When in a relationship, you expect the other person to know how you feel, which is impossible without proper communication. Thus, you end up giving them the silent treatment, which just adds to the problems. This expectation is unrealistic and unhealthy. This is another reason for the psychology of ignoring someone. Researches have shown that silent treatment is a passive-aggressive way to deal with something rather than directly facing the conflict. This approach may or may not be useful to solve a situation, depending upon its complexity.
3. Who Remains Silent?
It is commonly observed with people having self-esteem issues. Theories have shown that people tend to remain silent when they doubt themselves or the information they provide. Hence, to resolve this issue, you should spend your time in self-reflection. Additionally, the silent treatment is often seen in people who fear bilateral interactions during communication. Thus, there is lesser interaction and makes the argument unidirectional. (Also see 7 Signs That You Talk Too Much)
4. When is Silent Treatment Used?
The silent treatment is often used when you want to get out of a relationship. Sometimes, you prefer to keep quiet to let the other know that you are no longer interested in sorting things out. It may seem harmless to you at the moment. But, in the long term, you might develop a habit to run away from decisions in your life. To fix this, just go and tell that person the truth. This will not only, help him understand it better but also, have less harmful effects on the other person. (See How to Ask Someone to Do Something for You)
5. Why is Silent Treatment Used?
It’s a common practice that when you’re angry, you believe your partner doesn’t deserve your response because they aren’t giving you enough attention. Ignoring someone says so much more than what words can. However, silence cannot solve the matter at hand. Thus, giving a silent treatment won’t help, but letting the person know how you feel & what irked you will resolve the problem. Punishing someone with silence will end things in a horrible way that might become impossible to repair.
If you think that being silent will make the other person understand and change, then it is another common misconception. Ignoring them and expecting them to change or apologize won’t do any good. How can it be valid, until and unless they are not aware of the reasons that caused the situation? If you think giving them the silent treatment will bring you closer, then I am sorry to burst your bubble. But, it is not possible for them to self-actualize in most cases. It is better to talk about the reason & solutions for resolving the issue using effective communication. (Also see Why do people fight?)
6. Why Silent Treatment is Not Useful?
There is an old saying that thinking about power in a relationship would only make it come to an end. Hence, ignoring someone and thinking that you have control over the relationship is a misconception. Instead, if you are with them at every moment, the wheel should be balanced for it to work properly. Thus, psychology of ignoring someone is just an uninformed misconception. The reality of a relationship is the variation that prevails from day-to-day. Some days, it is 30% of self-happiness and rests in the relationship. Whereas, on the other hand, it can be 50 – 50. If you work together as a team, without giving each other silent treatment, relations tend to last longer and to work better.
Follow 80 – 20 rule to keep things smooth. The rule focuses on finding oneself. It says that if you spend 20% of time finding yourself and 80% of the time in the happiness you acquire from the relationship. It would work smoothly and you would not need control to be happy.