Ever had someone give you the “silent treatment”? Ever given the “silent treatment”? Let’s stop this madness……
It’s a mind game that intends to try to control people. It may not seem like much, but look at what the “giver” is trying to accomplish. No words are spoken but the other person is left walking on egg shells. “What did I do?” “What’s the matter?”
It’s honestly yet another form of abuse, in my opinion. I wrote about abuse in the post The Damage Has Been Done. There is so much to say about abuse and all the aspects, forms and effects. Those worn down by humiliating actions or comments, by intimidating threats or by the silent treatment have basically had their trust betrayed. The primary effect in the future may be their reluctance to trust others. Emotional abuse diminishes self-esteem. Consequently, victims may have difficulty succeeding in other areas of their life where trust and self-confidence are necessary.
Along with diminished self-esteem, victims can experience anxiety, depression, anger, suicide, chemical dependency and eating disorders. I would like to say that I’m not affected anymore by the emotional and physical abuse I received from my ex, but I still carry some scars. It didn’t stop the day my co-workers moved me out nor did it stop when I was granted an emergency restraining order. I can still hear the insults and name calling, but I know deep down I’m better than that ~ better than him. I’m still struggling though with what a healthy relationship should be.
In the book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond, the author, Patricia Evans suggests the following as basic rights in a relationship.
- The right to good will from the other.
- The right to emotional support.
- The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.
- The right to have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
- The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledges as real.
- The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you may find offensive.
- The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.
- The right to live free from accusation and blame.
- The right to live free from criticism and judgement.
- The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.
- The right to encouragement.
- The right to live free from emotional and physical threat. The right to live free from angry outburst and rage.
- The right to be called by no name that devalues you.
- The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.
To some of you, this list may seem like a “no-brainer”. But I know there are those that are on both ends of the abuse spectrum and you may be hoping and praying for these rights. So if we, however, are willing to tolerate negative treatment from others, is it possible that we may be abusive toward ourselves? What sort of things do you say to yourself? Do thoughts such as “I’m stupid” or “I never do anything right” dominate your thinking? Learning to love and care for ourselves increases self-esteem and makes it more likely that we will have healthy intimate relationships. So stop talking down to your self and begin to demand the rights listed above.
Remember though that demanding your rights while ignoring the rights others is selfish. Treat other with the same fairness that you demand for yourself. Maybe your life seems hopeless. You feel trapped. There’s no way to break free. BUT THERE IS!!!! Start by standing up for yourself. You have the power to change your future……lean on God. Let Him carry you through the battle.