The Silent Treatment

What is the best way to deal with unspoken feelings?
What to do when you know someone is angry or hurt at you but they won’t admit it or say anything about it? Is it the Silent Treatment or, maybe, something else.

Related: Spiritual Surrender

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Are you getting the silent treatment?
Have you ever had a friend or relative snub you and you know they are upset about something but if you ask them, they just say it’s nothing?

And maybe you even know what it is but they won’t admit it?

I’m ponding the spiritually conscious response to this situation this morning. The natural tendency I have is to want to confront the situation, get it out in the open and talk about it but where is that impulse coming from?

If I look at it deeply, I see that it is coming from selfish need. I don’t like the feeling of having something between me and someone I love so I need to have it addressed. This is a decision I’ve made in the past….I’ve pressed the issue until the other person finally spoke out what they were angry or hurt about, or acknowledged that there was an issue.

This morning, I’m not feeling that is the best approach from higher spiritual levels. What I’m sensing as the silent treatment, in that negative way the words are meant, may only be evidence of a person who needs time to process or who may come to a resolve on their own and not even need to speak about it at some point. This is different than suppressing anger but how do I know which event is happening?

If I’m being motivated by my own need to have something resolved, then I’m not in the right place to fully appreciate whatever is bothering the other person anyway. The need is coming from my own personal discomfort with the unknown and unspoken. I’m asking the other person to ease my mind. Second, I am not honoring their right to deal with the situation in whatever way they feel is best.

The problem is that I can see that holding things in is ultimately unhealthy so my second impulse is to want to help. That feels incorrect as well, from higher spiritual levels. If I pull something out of someone, I may have functioned as an enabler of unhealthy anger patterns rather than embracing the empowerment of right action for another person.

It comes to me this morning that the only thing to do is be with the situation, just as it is, without attempting to change it in any way. Acceptance. Surrender.

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