Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 3 · 2 years ago

6 Ways a ‘Silent Treatment’ Is Abusive

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Matt knew he messed up but he wasn’t sure how. His wife’s complete silence towards him over the last few days was a signal that he made some sort of mistake. The problem was, according to his wife, Matt made daily errors in judgment, so he was completely in the dark. Did he drink too… (more…)

Whether you're thinking of divorcing your narcissistic spouse, right in the middle of it or have finalized your divorce, the tactics are the same. If this sounds like you, you need to know about Christine Hammond's new master class series how to survive a divorce with a narcissist. In this four hour video series, Christine Hammond introduces the toxic tactics that narcissists use to abuse, humiliate and manipulate you and teaches you exactly how to recognize these tactics and navigate through them with mastery and confidence. How to survive a divorce with a narcissist is a deep dive, a master class that I'll show you how narcissists use tactics like bait and switch, scare tactics, roller coaster ride and child's play. It's how to survive a divorce with a narcissist, a four hour recorded video master class with Christine Hammond. For more information or to purchase to day, just go...

...to grow with Christine dotcom forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dot com, forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot Com. Forward Slash Narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Hi and welcome back. Today we're going to talk about the six different ways that a silent treatment is abusive. So you may have heard of what a silent treatment is. That's when somebody doesn't talk to you for...

...a period of time and they literally go silent. They may snub you, they may be in front of you, they may even turn their back on you. You might ask them a question and they might refuse to respond. They're just giving you the silent treatment. I have seen this go on for anywhere between a couple of hours to literally almost years, where someone won't talk to you at all for whatever reason. Now, this is not the same thing as having set boundaries with somebody who's a dangerous person. Let me make sure that we're clear on that. There are people that are dangerous for which you shouldn't have any contact any longer, or people who have hurt you or harmed you in some kind of way. That's not what this is. This is using the silent treatment as a way to abuse or manipulate somebody else. So the desired outcome is to get them to do something in the end.

That's the biggest difference, whereas when you set a boundary of not talking as someone there is no ulterior agenda. You're not trying to get the other person to do anything, you're just setting a boundary that's healthy for you. But the silent treatment is done so that you can cause the other person to do something. So there is the difference. I want to make sure we're clear about that before we go ahead and get started. So let's talk today about Matt. Matt knew that he messed up, but he just wasn't quite sure how. His wife's complete silence towards him over the last few days was a signal that he had made some kind of mistake. The problem was, according to his wife, Matt made daily errors and judgment. So he's completely in the dark. Did he drink too much at his wife's Office party? Did you say something that was embarrassing? Or perhaps she was upset over the new pile on the kitchen counter? Could be that he spent too much on groceries,...

...because they're trying to eat healthily, or did she see his sarcastic text message to a friend about how he was in the Dog House with her again? Normally, Matt would just confess to everything and anything and apologize and beggar to start talking again. He hated her silence. She would reluctantly ex up his remorse, lecture him about the incidents and then slowly re engage. Unfortunately, within a couple weeks the same psychle would repeat, but not this time. This time Matt had enough. He was done being treated like a child. He began to see how she used silence as a way to control his behavior and get him to accept excessive responsibility. At the beginning of their relationship, he saw her noncommunicativeness as sophistication. Now he saw it as manipulation.

But he needed to understand this subtle abuse tactic better. So here are the many ways that the silent treatment is used to abuse others, and we're going to go over six of those ways. Number one, ignoring. Giving a person the cold shoulder or ignoring is done by dismissing the person or even disregarding their existence. It is used as a way to devalue a person and establish a hierarchy of superiority in favor of the abuser, for instance, paying no attention to a person as if they were not present, discounting a comment as if it was not heard, forgetting about an event as if it was never scheduled, or looking down on a person as if they were stupid. That was ignoring. That was number one. Number two, evading. Instead of...

...flat ignoring a person, an abuser might evade, Stone Wall or shrink from communication. This is done by giving one word answers to open ended questions, refusing to look in the eyes of a person when they are talking, giving vague responses when asked for specifics, mumbling under their breath or deflecting a response by changing the subject. An abuser uses these tactics to render a conversation meaningless and cause the victim to feel dismissed. That was evading. Number three, subverting. This is done to undermine a person's power and put them in a state of destabilization where they are unsure of themselves. This looks like no acknowledgement...

...of quality work, blindly removing areas of responsibility, resetting expectations without informing or quietly sabotaging any success in most cases this is done in a cunning and crafty way that the victor dum is unaware of the shift until it is too late to handle. That is subverting number four, rejecting. In an intimate relationship, physical refusal of affection is a subtle form of rejection. This can be done non verbally by pulling away from touch, turning a cheek when being kissed, moving further away when physically close and giving non responsive hugs. It also includes no engaging in sexual behavior, minimizing the importance of sexual contact and snubbing...

...any type of intimacy. Number four was rejecting number five, quarantining. Quarantining or isolating is a form of physical and mental abuse where a person's social activity is restricted. This is done to cut them off from the family that might rescue them from their abuser, and abuser refuses to engage with extended family to limit where the victim has access. Then the separation is justified by saying they don't like me, they're trying to destroy our relationship or they don't really care about you. This subtly expands a silent treatment to include the unknowing participants of the victim's family number five is quarantine. Number six shunning. Taken to the...

...next level, shunning involves isolation from an entire community, in this case an organization, religion or group of friends is both knowingly and unknowingly engaging in the silent treatment. The abuser accomplishes this by going to the group of individuals in spreading lies or rumors about the victim. Usually the statements demonstrate an inconsistency with the belief system of the group. For instance, the abuser might say to a religious organization that the victim no longer believes in God or that their behavior is not consistent with a believer. This puts the victim in a defensive position where they cannot recover easily. Let's review real quickly the six different ways that...

...silent treatment is abusive. Number one ignoring, number two evading, number three subverting, number four rejection, number five quarantining and number six shunning. Understanding the different silent treatment abuse tactics was actually the beginning of the end for Matt's relationship with his wife. Once he fully understood how she manipulated him, his family and his friends, he decided to leave. Remember, the silent treatment is just one form of many different types of abuse, but is often not understood and also misunderstood. It is not the same thing, however, as setting a boundary that is healthy with somebody who is damaging or hurtful to you.

So just remember what this looks like so that you will know in the future when you are being the victim of the silent treatment. Thanks for listening, to understanding to day's narcissist with Christine Hammond, brought to you in part by Psych Central Dot Com. For more information, visit grow with Christine Dot Com.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)