It’s been said “the silent treatment” is more than not talking to someone because you’ve run out of things to say or you’re frustrated, angry, hurt, need space, setting a boundary, protecting yourself, or using restraint of pen/tongue to prevent further harm. It is so much more than that.

“The silent treatment” is psychological warfare. The intention is to punish, hurt, and humiliate. It is more than not responding and not talking, it is the lack of acknowledgement. It is encouraging and enlisting others to do the same, to ignore when the punished person speaks, or demand that others also participate by not talking to you. It’s especially harmful when children are encouraged to comply with this cruel isolation by a parent or family member against another. It is as if the other does not exist, not including them in important events or momentous times in their lives. The person on the receiving end of “the silent treatment” in the worst cases has been completely ignored – they are invisible – they have ceased to exist.

The “silent treatment” is more than detachment, more than a time out, more than a boundary – it is warfare. It’s sole purpose is to torture the other person through isolation and ‘fake death’ making this, in my opinion, the epitome of sheer cruelty. You are assumed dead… only you are still alive and you feel everything. But they don’t see you, hear you, or care. ~ Anonymous