There is so much going on in my mind right now and I'm trying my best to write my personal experience on silent treatment. In which I am a giver.
Silence is a very powerful tool of communication. As I am seeing it, people are using it when they're angry, if they want to manipulate with someone (lover or a family member) or in my case, they want to protect themselves from being hurt.
I can clearly remember myself as a teenager giving my father silent treatment after a fight, always about the same things. Hormones are wild and you think you know what's best for you. You want to go out and party like a mad man while parents want you to stay home, be a good girl and study. No boys, no alcohol, no skipping classes. Or in my head : "Blah, blah, blah, I'm not talking to you."
But this isn't about that little naive silent treatment which ends 30 minutes later because I knew that my parents love me and they care about me. This is about something different and deeper.
I've coped with social anxiety my whole life and still sometimes during the conversation happens that a trigger (word, sentence) instantly shuts me down and swings me into the bad mood. It makes me want to run away from the world, myself and my mind.
That happend a lot during the last two years. I've changed. I'm not that happy person always making plans, always creating. I am scared. My biggest problem is that I care a lot about comfort of other people. People who I love or people who are family. I don't want to make them sad. So I choose silence instead of words, silence is my defence mechanism.
My trigger for shutting down and giving silent treatment non intentionally, to one specific person, was living in a different family and watching one bad breakup influences and slowly destroys my relationship. It was that, or big, messy words. Red, angry words.
But sometimes the words are simply not there.
My relationship is my holy grail. A sacred place in which I am always safe even running from myself. So when seriously threatened, everything went quiet.
I've learned from that a lot. Instead of being silent I am always engaging in small talks. Deep breathing and saying whatever comes to my mind. It makes me cringe sometimes but if that makes other person happy, I am ok with that. :)
Sometimes silence is not violence. It's a wound.
It's a storm inside someone's head.
Choose your words wisely when someone goes silent.
(all photographs are mine)